The Arkansas school board member whose homophobic rants on Facebook drew widespread condemnation announced he was resigning on Thursday's "AC360."
Anderson Cooper told viewers that Clint McCance, a member of the Midland School District board in Arkansas, contacted him to set up an interview after his anti-gay Facebook posts sparked a wave of outrage.
The posts, which emerged on Wednesday, were written in response to the "Wear Purple Day" that was launched to show solidarity with gay youth in the wake of a recent string of suicides. In one post, McCance protested the idea behind the initiative.
"They want me to wear purple because five queers committed suicide," he wrote. "The only way I'm wearing for them is if they all commit suicide. I can't believe the people of this world have gotten this stupid.
In another post, he wrote, "it pisses me off, though, that we make special purple fag day for them. I like that fags can't procreate. I also enjoy that they often give each other AIDS and die...I would disown my kids they were gay. They will not be welcome at my home or in my vicinity. I will absolutely run them off."
During McCance's appearance on his show, Cooper confronted him about the extreme anti-gay sentiments he expressed.
"You have written some really terrible things," he told McCance. "Do you really hate gay people that much, that you like to see them die?"
McCance, who said he was ashamed and embarrassed by his actions, told Cooper that "I would never support suicide of any kids. I don't support bullying of any kids."
"What do you feel like you're apologizing for, exactly?" Cooper asked him.
"It was over the top, Anderson," McCance replied. "It was -- I -- I just went too far with it."
That explanation, however, did not seem to be enough for Cooper, who pressed McCance further.
"But, I mean, do you have any idea of the... pain and fear you have caused to kids maybe even in your own district who are being bullied or who are gay or who don't feel safe telling anyone that they're gay?" he asked him.
McCance said that the situation Cooper was describing was a "what-if."
Then, Cooper got McCance to announce his resignation from the school board. McCance said that he did not want to be a distraction to the board, adding that, "if they decide later, you know, a year, five years, 10 years from now to vote me back in, if my constituents want that, then -- then I will run again."
By the end of the interview, Cooper also got McCance to call his Facebook comments "hateful" and to apologize for hurting people "on a broad, broad spectrum."
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