CNN’s Anderson Cooper spoke on behalf of the gay and lesbian community when he grilled Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi over her recent statements about the scene, in which she said “anyone who attacks our LGBTQ community will be gone after with the full extent of the law” after this past weekend’s mass shooting at an Orlando, Fla., nightclub. Cooper pointed out that these statements seemed to contradict what she’s said about the gay community in the past, including that gay marriage “will induce public harm” to the people of Florida.
“Do you really think you’re a champion of the gay community?” asked Cooper, who is openly gay himself.
“I was sworn to uphold the Constitution of the state of Florida — that’s not a law that was voted into our state Constitution by our voters in Florida. That’s what I was defending,” said Bondi, adding that she’s never said she doesn’t like gay people.
Cooper continued to drill her about her comments, arguing that people might receive a negative message from her past statements in court and that gay and lesbian people have not felt respected by the attorney general. Bondi stuck by her statements of defending the state Constitution, adding that if a 12-year-old could get access to medical marijuana because of her state Constitution, she would defend that as well because that’s “her job.”
“Had there been no gay marriage, same-sex marriage, you do realize that there would be no spouses, that boyfriends and girlfriends of the dead would not be able to get information and would not be able to visit in the hospital? Isn’t there a sick irony in that?” said Cooper. “That you for years were fighting that idea?”
“Isn’t it hypocritical to portray yourself as a champion of the gay community?” he continued.
Bondi defended her position and said she is championing all Floridians. Unconvinced, Cooper read her Twitter history for the full year and noticed that she never mentioned Gay Pride Month, although she recently added rainbow hands to her website after the tragedy.
“Moving forward, do you see yourself as being a vocal champion for gay and lesbian citizens in this state?” he pressed.
“They are citizens just like anyone else,” said Bondi. “We’ve had 49 people murdered simply because they were at a bar at the wrong time.”
— BuzzFeed News (@BuzzFeedNews) June 14, 2016