Following the Orlando massacre – which saw 49 people killed and 53 injured in a shooting at the Pulse gay bar in Orlando – Florida’s Republican Attorney General Pam Bondi (who wasted a vast amount of taxpayer money trying to block same-sex weddings) has claimed she is actually an LGBT ally.
However, Bondi who was a fierce opponent of same-sex marriage until the very end last year, got called out for trying to claim that her past actions were somehow pro-gay by CNN anchor Anderson Cooper.
He asked her:
A lot of gay people in Florida said they thought you were being a hypocrite, you for years have basically gone after gay people, and said in court that we’re trying to do harm to the people of Florida… do you really think you’re a champion of the gay community?”
She her reply
When I was sworn in as attorney general, I put my hand on the Bible and was sworn to uphold the constitution of the state of Florida. That’s not a law.
That [ban on same-sex marriage] was voted in to our state constitution by the voters of Florida. That’s what I was defending. I’ve never said I don’t like gay people, that’s ridiculous.”
When Cooper cited her very specific arguments recorded in legal briefs which claim gay people cause “public harm”, she insisted it was simply a “legal argument” – even though most other Attorney Generals managed to refrain from such inflammatory rhetoric.
The AG also claimed in a legal brief that “disrupting Florida’s existing marriage laws would impose significant public harm”, and would cause “significant financial and logistical problems”.
She also fought bitterly against same-sex marriage until the very week that marriages began, filing desperate taxpayer-funded attempts in successive court battles to stall on the issue on behalf of the state, and didn’t even give up once equality became law, filing a dispute to avoid shelling out the hundreds of thousands of dollars that the case had racked up in legal fees.
Incredibly, she claimed that her actions trying to block gay marriages actually helped gay people to get married, claiming:
Well Anderson, we rushed to get it to the Supreme Court. You know what today is about? Human beings. Today’s about victims.”
Talking about the victims, Cooper responded:
You’ve been talking about a hotline that allows family members and spouses of the dead to get information, which is incredibly important.
Had there been no same-sex marriage, you do realise 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 probably even to visit in the hospital here. Isn’t there a sick irony in that?”
I was defending the constitution of what over 69 percent of the voters put in the constitution.”