Anderson Cooper Confronts Florida's Attorney General on Live TV

June 14th 2016

Lucy Tiven

On Tuesday, CNN host Anderson Cooper pressed Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi about her history of opposing marriage equality in a tense interview in the wake of this weekend's Orlando massacre.

According to Cooper, Bondi had in previous interviews directed the spouses of victims to use a hotline to get information about their loved ones. Cooper pointed out that if same-sex marriage were not legal in Florida, partners of the deceased and injured would not be able to get that information, or even be permitted to make hospital visits. “Isn't there a sick irony in that?” he asked.

Bondi, for her part, maintained that she had simply been upholding the state constitution of Florida. “I've never said I don't like gay people," she asserted.

In 2014, when a federal judge ruled that Florida's ban on same-sex marriage was unconstitutional, Bondi repeatedly and unsuccessfully appealed the decision, the Sun Sentinel reported. In 2015, she argued that the state should not have had to pay legal fees for same-sex couples fighting for marriage equality.

According to Equality Florida Action, an LGBT advocacy group and educational charity, 22 percent of Florida hate crimes are based on sexual orientation — second only to racially motivated hate crimes.

You can watch the full video below and on YouTube.