CNN contributor LZ Granderson took failed Virginia gubernatorial candidate Ken Cuccinelli (R) to task on Tuesday over his support of Arizona’s SB 1062, which would effectively legalize discrimination against the LGBT communities in the name of “religious freedom.”
“Are you wrapping your homophobia around the Bible and trying to find scripture to justify your homophobia?” Granderson — a gay man who identifies as a practicing Christian — asked Cuccinelli. “Just because you’re uncomfortable with something does not mean it’s against your religious faith.”
“And just because you disagree with me doesn’t mean I’m a homophobe, does it?” Cuccinelli replied. “Will you agree to that? Will you have an intellectual disagreement that isn’t personalized?”
“We all know your history,” Granderson told the former Virginia attorney general. “You’ve made several remarks over the years that I would classify as homophobic. I would say you, personally, are probably a homophobe. ”
“So you walked in at the beginning of the discussion and said I’m a bigot, so my position doesn’t count,” Cuccinelli complained.
Cuccinelli did not mention his statement that being gay — or, as he put it, the “homosexual agenda” — leads to “nothing but self-destruction, not only physically but of [the] soul.” Cuccinelli refused to disavow those comments in a July 2013 gubernatorial debate against Democratic Party opponent Terry McAuliffe, telling moderator Judy Woodruff, “My personal beliefs about the personal challenges of homosexuality haven’t changed.” McAuliffe, who emphasized marriage equality as part of his platform, subsequently won the election.
Watch the discussion, as aired on CNN on Tuesday, below.