Anderson Cooper interviewed Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi regarding her previous stances on gay marriage.
Bondi is one of many in the state of Florida who are rushing to help the victims and their families after a mass shooter targeted a gay nightclub in Orlando. But is her concern for the victims hypocritical?
Cooper asked Bondi about a recent comment, where she threatened anyone who attacked the LGBT community, “our LGBT community,” with the full extent of the law. Some in Florida’s LGBT community have called her a hypocrite, citing her previous opposition to gay marriage.
Cooper asked her about her past involvement, when U.S. District Judge Robert Hinkle ruled Florida’s near 20-year-ban on gay marriage unconstitutional in August 2014. He asked if she truly felt like “a champion of the gay community.”
Bondi replied that she had a duty to uphold the Florida constitution and that she never said that she hated the gay community.
Cooper pressed her about previous language that suggested same-sex marriage would present harm to the state.
The attorney general cleared up the statement. According to both Bondi and NBC 6, the language was used by the lawyers in her office when they argued that the recognition of “same-sex marriages performed in other states would disrupt Florida’s existing marriage laws and ‘impose significant public harm.'”
Bondi told Cooper that her job is to fight for the Florida constitution. To bring aid to her defense, she mentioned medical marijuana by saying “if that passed, I would defend that as well because it’s my job to defend what’s in the constitution in the state of Florida.”
Cooper noted that the current legality of same-sex marriage meant that the families of the victims in Orlando’s mass shooting were able to visit and receive important updates on their loved ones. Without the 2014 ruling and subsequent implementation, partners would have to wait longer periods of time.
Some noted the intensity of the interview: