Al Melvin, a man in the running for Governor of Arizona, stunned CNN news anchor Anderson Cooper when he refused to say whether he thought being fired for being gay constituted discrimination, despite being given numerous opportunities to make any kind of distinction.
The state senator seems convinced that the question is some kind of trap in the clip, repeatedly dodging it and instead making blanket statements about freedom and being 'against all discrimination'.
Here's how it went down:
Cooper's first question:
"If somebody is fired - a boss doesn't like some guy on their staff or some woman on their staff because they're gay or lesbian and they're fired for that - which is legal because there's no protection for sexual orientation, is that discrimination?"
Melvin: "…I don't know of anybody that discriminates in our state."
Anchor tries again
"Sir, you're running for governor of the state of Arizona, you're going to be governor of gay and lesbian people and you can't even go on the record and say if a gay and lesbian person is fired simply for being gay or lesbian that's discrimination, you can't even make that leap?"
Melvin: "…I don't know of any case like you just cited."
He gives Melvin one last chance to answer the question in the simplest terms
"I want to give you one more opportunity because I think this is going to come back on you, if somebody anywhere in America is fired because they're gay or lesbian and that's the reason they're fired just coz somebody doesn't like them and it's legal in that state, is that discrimination?
Melvin: "...I'm against all discrimination and I want maximum relgious freedom sir."
Cooper shakes his head
"Ok so you can't answer that question then, I gave you that opportunity.
Melivn: "That's my answer to you, I know you're trying to set me up and I'm not going to stand for it sir."
Join our commenting forum
Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies