Anderson Cooper made sure not to avoid the tough questions in a new interview with Florida State Attorney Pam Bondi. In the aftermath of the Orlando massacre (opens in new tab), Bondi has recently championed the rights of the LGBT community—but on the air yesterday, Cooper dove right in on calling out the Republican's hypocrisy, considering her track record of fighting gay marriage legislation in the state of Florida.
"I saw you the other day saying that anyone who attacks the LGBT community—our LGBT community, you said—will be gone after to the full extent of the law," Cooper said during his live interview with Bondi. "I talked to a lot of gay and lesbian people here yesterday who are not fans of yours and said that they thought you were being a hypocrite, that you for years have fought—you've basically gone after gay people, said that in court that gay people simply by fighting for marriage equality were trying to do harm to the people of Florida."
In May 2014, Bondi filed a brief in which her office argued (opens in new tab) that "disrupting Florida's existing marriage laws would impose significant public harm." Earlier this month, NBC News reported (opens in new tab) that Bondi's fight against marriage equality would cost Florida taxpayers around $500,000.
Bondi explained that she was upholding the state's constitution, and that she has "never said I don't like gay people." She asserted that her recent support is about humans and Florida citizens, not about gay rights. But Cooper didn't buy it.
"The hotline that you've been talking about on television, which allows family members and spouses of the dead to get information, which is incredibly important, and I appreciate you talking about on the air," Cooper said, "had there been no gay marriage, no same-sex marriage, you do realize that spouses—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 here. Isn't there a sick irony in that?"
Watch the whole thing here:
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Samantha Leal is the Deputy Editor at Well+Good, where she spends most of her day thinking of new ideas across platforms, bringing on new writers, overseeing the day-to-day of the website, and working with the awesome team to produce the best stories and packages. Before W+G, she was the Senior Web Editor for Marie Claire and the Deputy Editor for Latina.com, with bylines all over the internet. Graduating from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University with a minor in African history, she’s written everything from travel guides to political op-eds to wine explainers (currently enrolled in the WSET program) to celebrity profiles. Find her online pretty much everywhere @samanthajoleal.
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