Sen. Tom Cotton Thinks All Is Copacetic Because Arkansas Doesn’t Hang Gays Like Iran

Arkansas Republican U.S. Senator Tom Cotton, the infamous author of the seditious Iran letter, thinks discriminatory “religious freedom” laws in the United States are no big deal, because at least we aren’t executing people for being gay. The conservative Arkansas Senator made his remarks in an interview with Wolf Blitzer on CNN, when he stated:

I also think it’s important that we have a sense of perspective about our priorities. In Iran they hang you for the crime of being gay. They’re currently imprisoning an American preacher for spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ in Iran. We should focus on the most important priorities our country faces right now. And I would say that a nuclear armed Iran, given the threat that it poses to the region and to our interests in the region and American citizens, is the most important thing that we’d be focused on.

Cotton’s attempt to brush aside a question about right-to-discriminate laws, by pivoting back to discussing Iran was predictable. However, lowering the bar to the point that a favorable comparison to Iran’s treatment of homosexuals, excuses discriminatory laws in the United States, shows just how low Senator Cotton’s standards are.


Senator Cotton wants to put things in “perspective”, but it is interesting that rather than compare the United States to a thriving democracy in Western Europe, or Canada, or Australia, or Japan, or Costa Rica, or South Africa, Senator Cotton decides to compare our treatment of gays and lesbians to the treatment they receive under the Iranian regime.

By choosing Iran as his basis for comparison, Senator Cotton can then argue that since America doesn’t punish homosexuality with death by hanging, everything is copacetic. We can just move on, knowing that because we don’t execute people for their sexual orientation, our work as a nation is finished. In Senator Cotton’s mind that should be sufficient. Call it good.


At least we know where Tom Cotton draws the line. He might even oppose a “kill the gays” ballot initiative, like the one being proposed in California by a homophobic right-wing attorney. However, most Americans see human rights as being more than simply the right to escape the gallows. Tom Cotton’s answer to a question about discrimination is to defensively argue that there is little reason for concern because we don’t kill people for being gay. That speaks volumes about his priorities. How we respond to such nonsense will speak volumes about ours. Sorry, Tom, but discrimination is not okay just because it doesn’t kill somebody.


View Comments

    • The GOP favorite little trick is to scare ANGRY- OLD- BIGOTS white people, it's a winning formula EVERYTIME! BTW when our resident FUX TROLLS chime in @jeannette & @Ms
      charlie, try this, turn of FUX for ONE day and actually WATCH & LISTEN to what the GOP offers the country!! NO infrastructure programs, NO education solutions, NO regulating WALL STREET, NO foreign policy solutions, other than the bush docturine, BOMB FIRST , ask questions LATER!! So @jeannette, @Ms charlie, your party just plays YOU on your WHITENESS and your insecurities!! the black guy in the W.H. is a much better friend to you than your GOP overlords are!! WAKE UP!

      • Oh, Knight4444, We need to face the fact that men like Charlie imagine themselves dispossed plantation owners!
        They cannot get beyond that!! They left the Democratic Party and became Dixiecrats! Later The Republicans courtesy of their Southern Strategy, gave us their true strategy!

  • Only a couple months and I'm tired of Cotton's antics already. I wish these jerks would stop seeing the Senate as the fast track to a Presidential bid and start doing their jobs.

  • The GOP and their ilk are the scum of the earth. And they really "think" that their shit doesn't stink!!! Tell them who and what they really are people!!! REPUBLICANS ARE "SHIT" ON THE SHOES OF THE U.S.A.and the entire world. LETS SCRAPE THEM OFF!!!

    • President Obama needs to declare a state of emergency and if the christian taliban teabagger terrorists won't learn their place He needs to put them there . He's got the authority , He's got the man power and he's got the weaponry to do it . He just needs to do it before it's too late

  • Who died and made this guy the new darling of the Republicans. This guys been in office for 3 months and already has commited treasonous acts against our government which for some reason his party feels qualifies him to become their new mouth piece. God, please help us rid our political system of such trash.

  • Wow, just about the time I was sure that Kentucky had the two most useless, nonsensical, morons in the senate. Along comes Cotton. There's a whole lot of stupid coming out of Arkansas lately.

  • I couldn't tell from the quote whether he was disparaging Iran for hanging gays or whether he admires them. My suspicions say the latter.

    Keep on digging, Cotton. Pretty soon you'll have to have a ladder just to reach the bottom.

  • I hope that this is all really just a "Twilight-Zone" style, political based scenario, weird reality type nightmare that we are all having together!!! Don't panic folks!!! We will all wake up someday!!! The problem is that I hardly ever "really" go to sleep. Let me know when its all over. Or if this shit gets worse and really hits the fan. WAKE ME UP PLEASE!!! If I'm really sleeping. KLAXON, KLAXON, KLAXON... ENGINE START, ENGINE START,... TAXI, TAXI,... AIR-BORN, AIR-BORN,...

    • Yeah. Once again, Cotton's set the bar so low you need a metal detector to find it. (h/t Charlie Pierce)

      The Kochroaches are hot for war against Iran, so we can expect all their bought and paid for surrogates to be beating that drum all the time, no matter how ridiculous the connection.

    • The US may not officially hang gays, but plenty of the RW homophobes are beating, torturing and killing them every day. You know, Tom Cotton's kind of people.

  • Isn't this something of an implied threat? Would he use the absence of lynching in his state to suggest that there is no such thing as discrimination?

    Actually it says a lot about the present state of the Republican party that this guy would be receiving so much attention so soon in his political career. The party has run out of ideas and the only fresh faces they can find are more brainless and disreputable, and less intelligent than the tired old faces that none of the voters want to see anymore.

    • The Right is big on implied threats -- witness the Duck Fynasty guy's sanguinary little fantasy about the rape, mutilation, and murder of a "little atheist family". Only slightly less plain is their endless fantasizing that "libruls" are going to put them into concentration camps, a thinly veiled case of projection. In the case of that deranged lawyer in California, there is neither veil nor projection.

  • Considering that he looks like a dick with ears, he ought to STFU. And after the last cock-up he caused, he ought to slink into well-deserved obscurity and humiliation.

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