Matthews to Air America Green: Don't Call Me Bigot Because I Don't Support Gay Marriage

On Tuesday, Chris Matthews made clear his displeasure with the Mexicans who booed the American entrant at the Miss Universe pageant. Matthews was back on the conservative side of the cultural divide today, letting Air America's Mark Green know in no uncertain terms that he didn't appreciate being classified a bigot because he does not support gay marriage.

View video here.

Green, a perennial candidate for office in New York who now with his multi-millionaire brother has bought Air America out of bankruptcy, was Matthews' guest on this afternoon's Hardball along with GOP consultant Ed Rogers.

At about 5:38 pm EDT, the topic turned to gay marriage.

MARK GREEN: A majority under 30 are for it [gay marriage]. Ed and I and you will not be having this conversation in two election cycles. It's basically bigotry, it's anti-miscegenation.

CHRIS MATTHEWS: Ed, you like being called a bigot? . . . If everybody who opposes gay marriage is a bigot then we've got a hell of a lot of bigots in this country.

Matthews concluded the segment with a shot at Green.

MATTHEWS: I have to tell you Mark, I'm not with you on gay marriage yet, and by the way I don't like being called a bigot cause I'm thinking about something. And I just don't like being called a bigot when I'm trying to figure something out as part of a social change. I may be for it, I may not be in five years, but I'm not a bigot now, I'm not one in five years.

GREEN: I do think it [the ban on gay marriage] discriminates against gay and lesbian Americans.

MATTHEWS: Sure, by definition. And you know what, it has done so for how many thousands of years and if we change it, we change it. But we can't call everything in the past bigotry just because now we want to make some social change.

ASIDE: There was a remarkable exchange between Rogers and Green at one point.

When Rogers described marriage as "a sacred union between a man and a woman," Green laughed out loud. I'm not talking a quick snicker, but an extended, mocking laugh. It comes 50 seconds into the video linked above.

REPUBLICAN CONSULTANT ED ROGERS: He laughs at that notion. I'm glad the left does that. That's what'll drive votes to us.

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