WATCH: CNN Commentator Calls Ken Cuccinelli a 'Homophobe'

While debating Arizona's 'license to discriminate' bill on CNN's Crossfire, gay journalist LZ Granderson called out the former attorney general of Virginia for his antigay record.

BY Daniel Reynolds

February 27 2014 1:56 PM ET

Ken Cuccinelli (left) and LZ Granderson (right)

A CNN commentator has called Ken Cucinelli a homophobe.

LZ Granderson, a gay journalist, made the remark to Virginia’s former attorney general on CNN's Crossfire during a panel debate Tuesday on the rash of so-called “freedom to discriminate” bills that have been recently debated in several states.

“We all know your history,” Granderson told Cuccinelli. “You’ve made several remarks over the years that I would classify as homophobic. … And I would say that you, personally, are probably a homophobe based upon the series of comments you’ve made.”

During his tenure as the attorney general, Cuccinelli infamously filed a petition asking the full United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit to reinstate Virginia’s “Crimes Against Nature” law, which would have made oral and anal sex a felony for both LGBT and straight Virginians.

Moreover, the Republican politician, who had lost the 2013 gubernatorial election in Virginia to Democrat Terry McAuliffe, had also campaigned against the inclusion of sexual orientation in the nondiscrimination policies of public universities and once stated, “When you look at the homosexual agenda, I cannot support something that I believe brings nothing but self-destruction — not only physically, but of their soul,” as reported by The Washington Post.

The segment focused on the governor of Arizona’s then-impending decision on whether to sign SB 1062, which would permit business owners to refuse service to LGBT customers under the guise of religious freedom. The governor eventually vetoed the measure Wednesday after the show aired.

“What’s the difference between putting up a sign that says ‘No Gays Allowed’ versus ‘No Blacks Allowed’?” panelist Van Jones asked Cuccinelli, who responded that asking antigay business owners to serve LGBT customers would be “violating people’s faith.”

“Are you wrapping your homophobia around the Bible and trying scriptures to justify your homophobia?" Granderson questioned. “Just because you’re uncomfortable [with homosexuality] does not mean it’s against your religion’s faith.”

Watch the heated exchange below.

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