Showing posts with label Gay Friendly. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Gay Friendly. Show all posts

April 20, 2015

The Gay “Longest Ride" Interview




East1 The hunky shirtless star of the Western romance The Longest Ride talks with our Chris Azzopardiabout his famous dad, gay marriage and sex in a barn.
Scott Eastwood has already provided a generous hunk of swoon-worthy shirtlessness, but the model-turned-actor is just getting started. In his first lead role as Luke Collins in the film adaptation of Nicholas Sparks’ The Longest Ride, Clint’s sexy son makes you feel all the feels as a bull rider pursuing a hard-won girl (and, for good measure, flashing his now.
— Chris Azzopardi
Dallas Voice: Scott, you were obviously blessed with good genes, and people have taken note of that, many of them in the gay community. At this point in your career, how aware are you that gay men enjoy you?  Scott Eastwood: Now I am — you’re bringing it to my attention! I love it. I don’t discriminate against any fans. Fans are fans, and gay men are great. I support gay marriage and the whole bit. I think everybody should be able to be with who they want to be with. My dad is the same way. He’s a total Libertarian — everyone leave everyone alone. Everyone live their own private life. And why does everyone gotta be all up in arms about it? 
Your dad put it best when he spoke about gay marriage: “I don’t give a fuck about who wants to get married to anybody else! Why not?!”  I’d give the same fucking quote — that’s perfect. I’m a firm believer that everyone’s human. We’re only on this planet for a short period of time, and we should all just be as kind as we can to other people because, in life, all you really have is how you affect people, in a negative way or a positive way.
How did you learn to embrace that mentality?  My mom — and my dad, too — was really a firm believer of it, and really compassionate and selfless. She’s such a firm believer that in life you gotta be compassionate. Everyone’s from different walks of life and everyone has their own reality, and to be uncompassionate is not very human.
You were a model for so long …  I wasn’t really a model for that long. People say that, but they don’t really know. I mean, I did a couple of modeling jobs, but I never really pursued that. I was like, “Oh well, that’s not really for me. I’m gonna do something different.”
East3Why wasn’t modeling for you?  I didn’t find it creative enough. It was cool, though. It paid some bills when I was in college as a struggling, broke actor.
Your body, however, is breaking barriers. I read a web comment recently that said, “Even I, as a Gold Star lesbian, look at this guy and state categorically, ‘A-hummina-hummina-hummina.’” What’s it like to know you can have that effect on even the lesbian community?  That’s awesome! I mean, I don’t really know what I’ve done that’s worthy of it.
You’ve taken your shirt off a few times, so there’s that.  Yup! 
The hat, the Levis, the boots. You rock that look like you were born a cowboy.  There’s probably a little bit of cowboy in me somewhere.
When it comes to gay roles, could you see yourself playing one? Is it too soon to get you in a Brokeback Mountain remake?  Oh my gosh, that’s funny! To me, it’s all about the script and the director. I’m very director-driven and material-oriented, so if it’s a great script and a great director, then yeah.
What do you look for in a great script and a great director?  Ohh. That’s hard to put into effect. It’s gotta have that je ne sais quoi, as they say. You don’t know why it’s amazing but it is.
What about this Nicholas Sparks movie stuck out to you when you read the script?  Well, for one, I love [director] George Tillman, Jr. — his films are great. I loved Men of Honor. I thought it was a fantastic movie. I thought that movie was an old ’90s drama, which don’t exist anymore. I was really so excited to work with him. I thought it was a very unorthodox choice to have him direct a Nicholas Sparks movie. And then geez — what else? The script was great.
East2The name of the movie, The Longest Ride, really lends itself to a porn spinoff down the line, don’t you think?  That would be amazing. That’d be so funny if that happened. And why not?!
Your sex scene in this movie wasn’t your first.  I’ve had a few. I’ve had about four or five.
What’s the trick to shooting a sexy sex scene?  Keeping your thoughts sort of… controlled.
In addition to keeping other things “controlled.” I’m only one man! I can only do what I can do. But I think it’s sexy. I mean, being in a shower with a beautiful, sexy woman — I was turned on! I had fun!
You’ve shown full butt before, and in this film, you graciously give us a glimpse. With this movie, how was it determined how much butt would be in the shot? For me, I didn’t really care. The butt thing — to me, this was a really classy story and a really classy movie, so I didn’t care about showing a little butt in there. That’s part of it. Sex scenes … you see a little bit of action, right? And that’s what makes a good sex scene. Not too much. You don’t wanna give it all away. You gotta leave something to the imagination.
Has your father seen the movie?  He hasn’t.
How do you feel about him seeing those scenes?  I’m really proud of the film, and I hope he enjoys it. It’s not all the time you do a film you’re really proud of.
What are or have been some of the challenges of creating a career independent of your father?  That people take me seriously. I’ve been doing it for 12 years, and I always say Hollywood is like high school. If you’re not the cool kid, you’re the outcast. And nobody really cares and people don’t take you seriously. I was never the cool kid. Definitely not the cool kid. And so I split. I split LA. I lived in San Diego. And there’s been a couple of moments I thought about throwing in the towel, for sure. I once heard from Mel Gibson. His advice was, “Just stick around and keep plugging away at it. Keep your head down and keep working hard.”
With so much attention on your shirtlessness, is there more pressure to prove yourself beyond the hunky exterior?  I don’t really think about it like that. I don’t spend a lot of time on it. There’d be a lot of wasted time if I let that consume my thoughts. I just keep my head down and do the best I can.
When you’re in a movie about love and relationships and sex, people are interested in your own personal experiences.  [Laughs]
How do you deal with those kinds of questions? Are you an open book?  Partially. I don’t give everything away. You gotta have your private life too. But I’m not shy. I love women.
Well, then, barn sex – yay or nay?  I mean, why not?!
  

November 10, 2014

Nick Jonas is Grown and Knows Sex, Gay or Straight Sells



My, oh my! Nick Jonas has certainly grown up!
Sure he's recently channeled Mark Wahlberg in memorable underwear photo shoots. And yes, he also gave fans a tutorial on how to perfect "crotch grabbing."
Now, the former Jonas Brothers member is opening up about sex in a very candid way.
"Sex is such an important part of a healthy life, in the sense that it's such an intrinsic part of who you are," he shared in the December issue of Attitude magazine. "When your sex life is not healthy, you resort to other things as an outlet. And in terms of the show, that’s tough to watch."  
Nick JonasAttitude Magazine
In recent magazine shoots, fans may have also noticed Jonas' impressive abs, partly attributed to his role in the DirectTV series Kingdom.
While some admirers were shocked at how much the “Jealous" singer bulked up, Jonas was surprised at how some fans didn't exactly approve of his chest hair.
                                                                      
"I never even really thought about it; that that would be an issue," he told the Europe publication.  "I think that I've never even tried to like wax or shave my chest hair or anywhere else. I just think, ‘I'm a man, I don't really need to!' That's the beautiful part about being a man!" Breathe ladies, breathe. And while the former Jonas Brothers member continues to work towards an image far different than what we saw during his Disney days, the 22-year-old admits it's a work in progress.
"Back in the days with my brothers, I think I put more pressure on myself than I should have. I wasn't enjoying the moments as much as I could've," he admitted. “So this time around, at the core, I've told myself to enjoy the ride and have fun with it, and don't stress over the little things."
Want to read more? Download the entire interview at Attitude magazine's website here.

September 22, 2014

Nick Jonas Going Naked, Possibly Gay, In New Show, “Kingdom”

  

nick jonas 2.jpg
Nick Jonas has been making the scene lately to promote his new solo single, “Jealous.” And the former JoBro has been making a point to reach out to his gay fans with appearances at several New York gay clubs—where he hiked up his shirt and flashed his killer six-pack for the swooning crowd.
“I grew up doing theater here in New York, surrounded by [the gay community] and loving it at a young age, ” he tells NewNowNext below. “When my brothers and I started touring and had some success, naturally they became a pretty big part of our following.  I don’t know that we ever did enough to really own that.”
Nick says now that he’s on his own, “I really want to make an effort to embrace the community with open arms.”
And, hopefully, bare abs.
Nick Jonas just can’t keep his clothes on. And thank Gaga for that. The 21-year-old singer-actor-stunt queen has been on a tear lately, tearing off his clothes in the vicinity of any gay man. Nick managed to keep his clothes on around Andy Cohen, however, when he visitedWatch What Happens Live! But that was a rare moment of composure, as he revealed that he just did “a lot of nudity’ for his new  show, Kingdom.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, the 10-episode DirecTV series centers on a gym for Mixed Martial Arts competitors in Venice Beach, where there’s “just as much drama outside of the ring as there is in it.” Some of that drama will include Nick, who’s character has several sex scenes and — to Andy’s delight — a “big storyline” around his sexuality.  

August 8, 2014

James Franco’s Multiple Personality in all Orders


                                                                 
       

A pic or post does not prove James Franco is gay. The actor’s caption: “GAWKER – always getting the cutting edge, homophobic scoop!!! Go see CHILD OF GOD in theaters and see me direct my live-in boyfriend, SCOTT HAZE!!! Love you SCOTT!!!!”
He does drag.
He played Allen Ginsburg.
He played Harvey Milk’s lover in “Milk.”
He co-directed a film about gay sex based on the 1980 Al Pacino film “Cruising.” Title: “Interior. Leather Bar.
He’s producing a film called “Michael.” “It’s about a gay rights activist,” he told the New York Times. “He decided to be straight and turned on his lover.”
And, as per a recent Times piece, he lives with a man: Scott Haze, his frequent collaborator. “They are now so close that describing them merely as friends would be a disservice,” the Times said.
Yet, we in the media still cannot say that James Franco is gay — and Franco is not happy with our speculation.
When Gawker ran a piece wondering whether the Times had subtly outed Franco by discussing his intimacy with Haze, Franco responded with the above Instagram post, calling the publication “homophobic” and — sarcastically? — calling Haze his “live-in boyfriend.”
We get it: An actor’s interest in gay roles and gay-themed material doesn’t mean he is gay.
“In this history of cinema, there are so many heterosexual love stories,” Franco told EW. “It’s more interesting to me to play roles and relationships that haven’t been portrayed as often.”
We get it: Franco — who allegedly tried to pick up a 17-year-old girl on Instagram earlier this year — likes being coy about his sexuality. 
“Part of what I’m interested in is how these people who were living anti-normative lifestyles contended with opposition,” he told the Huffington Post. “Or, you know what, maybe I’m just gay.”
We get it: It doesn’t matter whether Franco is gay or not.
“I don’t even care if people think I’m gay, so it was like, ‘Awesome!’ I mean, I wish I was … I wish I was gay,” he told the Daily Beast.
We get it: We will not know whether Franco is gay until he decides he wants to tell us.
That day may never come.
That’s okay.
h/t Gawker
Justin Moyer is deputy editor of the Morning Mix. washingtonpost.com

July 6, 2014

The Son of (gay indecisive) Gov Walker a Witness at Gay Wedding


                                                                             



Gov. Scott Walker may be having a little trouble stating his position on gay marriage these days.
Not so his son Alex.
Alex Walker, who will be a sophomore this fall at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, recently acted as the state-required witness to a gay marriage in Waukesha County.
Records show Shelli Marquardt and Cathy Priem married at the Waukesha County Courthouse on June 9. Alex Walker, 19, scribbled his signature on the marriage certificate as one of two adult witnesses to the wedding. The certificate is on file with the Waukesha County register of deeds.
Laurel Patrick, a spokeswoman for the governor, confirmed Thursday that Walker's son was present for the event for the lesbian couple. One of the two women, Patrick noted, is a relative of first lady Tonette Walker.
"Shelli Marquardt is the first lady's cousin," Patrick said in a statement. "She is a part of the Walker family who they dearly love."
Marquardt is the chief executive of the Wheaton Franciscan-St. Joseph Foundation and the stepdaughter of prominent local businessman George Dalton, who died in 2011; Priem is a longtime real estate agent. The pair live in Hartland.
Marquardt and Priem are listed, along with Walker and his wife, as hosts of an Independence Day barbecuestarting at 3 p.m. Sunday at the Executive Residence. Both Marquardt and Priem are past donors to Walker's campaign fund, having given a total of $1,678.
Patrick did not say whether the governor or first lady attended the same-sex wedding last month. Alex Walker did not respond to emails on Thursday.
"Just heard the fabulous news from tonette," one relative recently wrote on Facebook under a picture of Marquardt and Priem holding a "just married" sign last month. "We are thrilled for you both. Congrats and much love from the Tarantino Gang in Az.!!"
Tarantino is the first lady's maiden name.
Three days after the Marquardt-Priem wedding, Walker garnered national attention for his refusal to state his position on the hot-button subject, suggesting that his views on gay marriage were not relevant. He has long been a proponent of traditional marriage of one man and woman.
Asked June 12 if he were rethinking his views on gay marriage, the first-term Republican governor — and possible presidential contender — said: "No, I'm just not stating one at all."
Walker did make clear, however, that he supports Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen's appeal of U.S. District Judge Barbara Crabb's order last month striking down the state's 2006 constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriages.
County clerks around the state issued marriage licenses to nearly 600 same-sex couples in the week after that ruling. Crabb then put at least a temporary halt to the gay weddings, setting up the appeal by the state to the federal 7th Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago.
It's not clear whether the same-sex marriages performed last month will hold up in court.
Last year, Walker told BuzzFeed that his two sons had become more aware of gay rights since going to college. Matthew, 20, is a junior at Marquette University and chairman of the Wisconsin Federation of College Republicans.
Walker said his sons have suggested the government should leave it to churches and other institutions to define and oversee the institution of marriage.
"That's a solid argument," Walker told the website. "I personally may not embrace that yet. But that, to me, is a bigger question. ... I get their concerns."
His sons' views on gay marriage appear to be very much in line with those of other young conservatives. Last month, a Pew Research Center poll found that 61% of self-described Republicans under 30 support legalizing gay marriage while only 35% oppose it.
In Wisconsin, public opinion has shifted dramatically since voters easily approved the state ban on same-sex marriage eight years ago. Today, a solid majority of state residents now favor legalizing same-sex marriage, according to the most recent Marquette Law School poll.

Daniel Bice

Contact Daniel Bice at (414) 224-2135 or dbice@jrn.com. Follow him on Twitter @DanielBice or on Facebook at fb.me/daniel.bice.

November 17, 2013

Robbie Williams wished he'd tried Gay Sex

Robbie Williams - Is not too late yet! or is it?


Robbie Williams wishes he'd had a gay fling.
The 'Candy' hitmaker - who has a daughter Theodora Rose, 14 months, with his wife Ayda Field - admitted he regrets not swinging both ways in his youth.
Speaking on The Kyle And Jackie O Show, he said: ''You know what? I wish I did.
''Especially in the singleton days, I would have had a 100 per cent hit record, because you know, if I was getting no joy from the ladies, I could have gone up the Khyper Pass with the guys.''
The outspoken singer joked he couldn't have followed up on his curiosity though, because he thinks even his own manhood is ''ugly''.
He added: ''I would have liked to have done that, but unfortunately I shy away from the meat and two veg. I know what mine looks like and it's ugly.''
Robbie recently blasted Liam Gallagher for cheating on his ex-fiancée Nicole Appleton.
He previously explained: ''I have a very big soft spot for Nic because she's a very decent person.
''I feel sorry for her as she deserves to be in a good place, in a happy marriage, and I thought she was with Liam. But it would appear that they weren't.
''Nicole really doesn't deserve all that from Liam. I've very, very fond memories of her. She’s a sweetie.''

November 5, 2013

Why The Virginia Election for Governor Matters To People Outside of The State

  • Terry McAuliffe and Ken Cuccinelli
    McAuliffe and Cuccinelli  
     
  •  Voters in the US state of Virginia go to the polls on Tuesday for a new governor. So why does it matter to anyone else?
  • Only one in three people voted when Republican Bob McDonnell became Virginia's 71st governor in 2009. That's fewer than two million people.
  • So the contest to become his successor might not seem like a battle of national, even international, importance.
  • But the result of Tuesday's election - between Democrat Terry McAuliffe and Republican Ken Cuccinelli - will have implications far beyond the Blue Ridge Mountains and Chesapeake Bay.
  • It's a key swing state, closely contested in presidential elections, but it's a different electorate who make the effort to vote in these kinds of elections. In fact, for 36 years, whichever political party holds the White House has lost the governor's seat a year later.
  • There's a theory that presidential candidates are at an advantage when campaigning in a state with a friendly governor, but it didn't help Mitt Romney win the state in 2012. So why is this election important?
  • 1. It could shape Republican identity
  • In Virginia, the Republicans have put forward a candidate closely allied to the Tea Party, the group that other members of the party have blamed for the recent government shutdown.
  • National Republicans should be really worried if McAuliffe wins, says Craig Brians, professor of political science at Virginia Tech.
  • "They could be thinking: 'This is perhaps the second time in a month that people associated with the Tea Party have really hurt us and we need to rethink things.'
  • "At some point, the national Republican party needs to decide: 'Are we going to be a majority party or go to the right, stake out that ground and maybe never hold national office again.'"
  • The emergence of a third-party candidate polling at double-figures, libertarian Robert Sarvis, reflects the fissures within the Republican party, says John Avlon, author of Wingnuts: How the Lunatic Fringe is Hijacking America. Libertarians traditionally vote Republican, he says, but many have been put off by Cuccinelli's extreme social conservatism.
  • 2. There's a Hillary factor

  • Both Clintons have helped McAuliffe, who was co-chairman of the former president's re-election campaign and chairman of his wife's 2008 presidential campaign.
  • "Terry McAuliffe is a really old friend of Bill and Hillary Clinton so the fact that they would come and help him campaign is not surprising. But they are not super popular in Virginia so the fact he brought them here is interesting, in the sense that Hillary is keeping her hand in, simply by being part of it and keeping her face in it," says Brians.
  • With Hillary braced to run in 2016, a McAuliffe win would be interpreted as a boost for her, he adds, because such a divisive figure inflicted no fundamental damage to his campaign.
  • Writing in the National Review, conservative blogger Jim Geraghty goes even further and suggests it's been a dry run for the Hillary campaign machine.
  • 3. It's what the US is going to look like
  • Continue reading the main story
  • Where they stand
  • Cuccinelli:
  • Pro: Income tax and business tax cuts, abortion restrictions, gun rights
  • Anti: Obamacare, gay marriage
  • McAuliffe:
  • Pro: Expanding clean energy, gay marriage, some business tax cuts, Obamacare, stronger gun laws
  • Anti: Tightening abortion laws
  • The demographics in Virginia are changing in the same way as they are across the country - a growing Hispanic and Asian population, and more people in urban areas.
  • "It's a microcosm of what's happening nationally," says Dustin Cable of the Weldon Cooper Center for Public Service, especially in southern cities like Atlanta and Raleigh.
  • The northern Virginia suburbs are a Mecca for young college-educated professionals, he says, many of them federal employees working in Washington DC.
  • These groups have helped Obama win two elections but it's not yet clear how these shifts will play out in elections that historically have older, white voters, says Cable.
  • 4. Effects on Obamacare
  • Supporters and opponents of the highly controversial Affordable Care Act, Obama's signature law that aims to extend health insurance coverage, will be watching Virginia.
  • Cuccinelli has led the battle against Obamacare in the state, says Brians. If he fails, people could infer that voters in Virginia are in favour of Obamacare.
  • The present governor, Republican Bob McDonnell, has said no to expanding Medicaid and no to running a state insurance exchange. McAuliffe has said he will reverse both those if he wins.
  • "That will make a huge difference in one of the biggest issues of the campaign," says Brians.
  • 5. It's provided comedy fodder
  • When Ken Cuccinelli proposed outlawing sodomy and oral sex, he immediately earned national coverage on The View and The Daily Show, as the likes of Whoopi Goldberg and Jon Stewart ripped into him.
  • His opponent, Terry McAuliffe, was not spared either. At a debate, he was asked by the Daily Show if he thought his image had improved from debilitating to moderate revulsion.

August 22, 2013

Big Business Fighting Along Gays Against Indiana's Marriage Ban

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Big Business know that refusing customers where they are headquartered is bad for them not only in that state but wherever they do business. We hear cases about a pastry shop refusing gay customers or a small bed and breakfast and even a small chain of chicken sandwiches badmouthing their gay consumers instead of thanking them for helping their stay in buisness. But these are just small foot fungus outbreaks in an otherwise good healthy body, which is the US consumer. Usually smart and updated on views on most products and makes. Big buisiness knows this. They have been in the forefront of gay equality since the 1970’s and they never left. They have only grown and become more public.  They didn’t put TV commercials advertising it because that would have been at the time unbuisines like and a fongus like athmosphere when one of the things that makes buisneses grow is peace, prosperity and lots of consumers of every kind. Sex, Orientation, politics and religion are things that are personal and is not something you can buy at a store.

A coalition of businesses and activist groups who launched a push Wednesday to defeat an amendment that would write Indiana's same-sex marriage ban into the state constitution warned that if it passes it would set the state back and undermine the rights of its gay and lesbian residents.

The push by the new Freedom Indiana coalition heralds an expected battle in Indiana's next legislative session, not just between same-sex marriage opponents and gay rights advocates, but also big corporations who contend such a ban would be bad for business .
 Two of Indiana's top employers — Indianapolis-based drugmaker Eli Lilly and Co., and Columbus-based engine manufacturer Cummins Inc. — are among its members, along with Indiana Equality Action, Freedom to Marry, the American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana and other activist grom Indiana's campaign manager is Megan Robertson, a Republican who ran U.S. Rep. Luke Messer's successful 2012 campaign to win the eastern Indiana seat Rep. Mike Pence vacated to run for governor. She said the coalition's push to defeat the amendment in the state's Republican-controlled Legislature will be a bipartisan effort.
More than 200 people, some holding blue signs reading "Liberty for All Hoosiers," filled downtown Indianapolis' Artsgarden for the lunch-hour announcement of the new group.

Robertson said lawmakers would be hearing in the next legislative session from many Republicans who oppose the amendment, which she said would threaten the rights of gay and lesbian residents and harm Indiana's reputation.
 Indiana lawmakers passed the amendment in 2011, but they must pass it a second time in 2014 in order to put it to voters for a statewide referendum. Indiana voters would have to approve the amendment for it to be added to the state's constitution.
"We want to make sure all Hoosiers enjoy liberty and freedom. It doesn't matter whether you're straight or gay, male or female, young or old, rural or urban, Republican, Democrat or Libertarian," Robertson told the gathering.
Indiana is the latest state to consider adding a gay marriage ban into its constitution. North Carolina voters approved a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage in May 2012.
Supporters of the bans say placing them in state constitutions makes it harder for future lawmakers to undo laws against same-sex marriages. But opponents argue such bans paint states as unfriendly places to do business.
Eli Lilly's director of corporate responsibility, Robert Smith, said passage of the amendment would hamper efforts by businesses in the competitive life sciences industry to recruit "the very best and brightest" employees from around the world.
"We want Indiana to be an attractive place to live and a wonderful place to do business. And we want those outside our state to view Indiana in the same way," Smith said.
One supporter of the constitutional amendment said there's no evidence a same-sex marriage amendment would harm Indiana corporations.
Micah Clark, executive director of the American Family Association of Indiana, said same-sex marriage supporters use that as "a scare tactic" to shift the spotlight away for what he called the "real issue" of supporting traditional marriage.
"They attempt to pit economic fears against the needs of children and society provided by natural marriage," Clark said in an email.
Among Freedom Indiana's supporters at Wednesday announcement was Jacob Balash, a 36-year-old from the southern Indiana city of Spencer who brought along he and his husband's 8-month-old son, Truman.
Balash said he and his husband, Jonathan Balash, married in New York City two years ago after 10 years together, but they worry that if Indiana's amendment passes it could threaten he and Truman's medical benefits through Jonathan's employer.
The amendment would also cast Indiana in a very unflattering light, he said.
"It will make the state seem more backward, less advanced and we already have that stereotype. It will help cement that in people's minds," Balash said
 By RICK CALLAHAN  
Adam Gonzalez intro. and editing

July 25, 2013

Tim Hardaway, A Man’s Journey Towards Enlightenment


                                                                                             

Tim Hardaway

When Tim Hardaway this month placed his signature atop a gay-rights initiative in Florida, it was much less an expression in support of a polarizing issue than another milestone in one man's journey toward enlightenment.
It also was a manifestation of the power of education and awareness.
It was, you may recall, Hardaway who during a 2007 radio interview said he "hated'' gay people, didn't want to be near them and wouldn't bother to hide his revulsion. To reiterate, the former Warriors star, then three years into retirement and living in Florida, added a two-word exclamation point: "I'm homophobic.''
I asked Tim this week to convey what was on his mind at the time. He said "nothing,'' and there is every reason to take him literally.
His evolution, then, is not so much a matter of political expedience but of mind engagement. With the benefits of education and awareness, Hardaway has spent much of his time since as a beacon of tolerance and unity.
"We need to respect them as human beings who should have the same rights as any other human beings,'' Hardaway said.
Yet for that brief but very dark moment, one of the most electrifying players in NBA history was the unwitting face and spokesman for intolerance and divisiveness and hate -- emphasis on unwitting.

It has become evident that Hardaway, perhaps adhering to a prefabricated veneer of street machismo, had issued a spectacularly thoughtless exhibition of ignorance that left 
him momentarily deaf to his own words. Put simply, he spoke without benefit of thought.

He regrets the words he uttered six years ago and has since taken action. He attended classes at Miami's YES Institute, which seeks to create a healthy sexual and gender environment for youth. He assists the fundraising efforts of several groups, including the Trevor Project, a national organization providing crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning youth.
And when Equal Marriage Florida in June launched a petition to amend the definition of marriage as described in the state constitution, Hardaway stepped forward as the first person to offer his signature.
Hardaway, 46, said he wants nothing in return for his support. No political points. No publicity. No hugs or handshakes. He said he was comfortable discussing the issue because he has known me since 1989, when he was drafted by the Warriors.
"I don't do this for publicity; I normally turn down interviews about this,'' he said. "But I know you. That's why I'm talking to you about it. I do this because I want to do it. I don't tell people that I'm going to talk to people about gay rights.
I don't tell media when I'm going to talk to a classroom or any other place where they are trying to help these people become more accepted. I don't tell people about that. I just go and do it.

"Hey, everybody is going to accept it one day.''
Hardaway's profoundly ambitious goal is to expand the minds of those resistant to change. Even as the world becomes more tolerant, many continue to stand their ground -- the same ground on which Hardaway himself once stood.
Consider his task much like that of a reformed addict on a crusade to help others break their addictions.
In the wake of his previous comments -- made shortly after another retired NBA player, John Amaechi, revealed he is gay -- a contrite Hardaway was introduced by a mutual friend to Vanessa Brito, a lesbian activist in Miami. She explained the potentially far-reaching ramifications of hate speech, which can incite bullies and traumatize those struggling with identity. Hardaway hadn't bothered to consider any of that.
"With what I said, people could think it's OK to throw rocks at them or bully them,'' Hardaway said. "I just wanted to make people understand that what I said wasn't cool. I wanted to make amends for it.''
Whereas Hardaway's radio comments were the result of being, in a sense, back on the court, where he was utterly fearless and often led with considerable swagger and ego. He was being macho, responding as macho guys are "expected'' to respond. He now responds from an informed point of view.
"Once I started reading about what was happening with these people -- kids getting beat up, bullied and committing suicide -- I realized I made it OK for people to keep ridiculing them,'' he said. "And I felt bad about it.''
Hardaway's passion comes through the phone from Florida, his tone exuding the conviction of the truly enlightened believer.
"I'm not a bully,'' he said. "I don't want anybody to hurt anybody. I don't want anybody to get hurt. I don't want anybody to kill themselves. Life is too precious. And I realize I had made it worse.''
Another element suggests Tim's evolution may be less a transformation than a rededication to his roots. He grew up in Chicago around gay relatives, one of whom he was relatively close to.
"At the time, when I was a child, 12 or 13 or 14 years old, I knew something was different about him,'' Hardaway said. "But we never did bother or ridicule him. We knew there was something different, but we didn't let anybody mess with him.''
He's back, in a sense, to being that protective figure. The man who said he would shun Amaechi now welcomes Jason Collins and, moreover, says he is proud of the NBA free agent's decision to come out of the closet.
It seems the light was always on, somewhere inside Hardaway's mind. After choosing during one unforgettable spasm of contempt to be blind to it, he has made a successful expedition to rediscover it.
Progress never comes easy, or without a measure of clear-eyed introspection.

sources: Monte Poole, Bay Area News Group
 

July 14, 2013

Gay History in PA.17 Years as The Clock went Around This State Changed It’s Mind

Harrisburg, PA : Capitol Building - Detail, Harrisburg, PA USA
                                                                       
The amendment came to the floor of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives almost two decades ago as distracted lawmakers — wearied from a long day of floor debate and votes — got a jolt from the House speaker.
“This is an amendment that in some quarters might be considered controversial,” then-Speaker Matt Ryan, R-Delaware, warned House members on June 28, 1996. “You had better listen.”
It’s even more controversial today, especially after civil rights lawyers asked a federal judge in Harrisburg on Tuesday to overturn what is now a 17-year-old state law that bans same-sex marriage in Pennsylvania and prevents the state from recognizing same-sex marriages from states where they are legal.
Back then, no state had legalized same-sex marriage. Currently, 13 states and Washington, D.C., have laws supporting it — and Pennsylvania is the only northeastern state that doesn’t allow same sex marriage or civil unions.
The proposal met vehement opposition from a few lawmakers who spoke on the floor, but ultimately just 34 out of 253 lawmakers in the House and Senate voted to stop the provision.
Of the state lawmakers who are still sitting, 42 supported it and 10 opposed the amendment at least once. Three members of the U.S. House — Republicans Charles Dent, Jim Gerlach and Joseph Pitts — were state lawmakers when they voted for the provision, while one — Democrat Allyson Schwartz — voted against it. Mike Fisher, now a judge on the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Philadelphia, voted for it as a Republican state senator.
Today, a handful of lawmakers who voted for that law belong to the Legislature’s 60-member lesbian- and gay-rights caucus, which supports same-sex marriage. One of them, Rep. Michael McGeehan, D-Philadelphia, said he regrets that vote and struggled with it at the time.
“If it was 1996 again, I wish I would have made another decision,” McGeehan said.
The Republican governor who signed the law, Tom Ridge, has also had an apparent change of heart. In February, he signed on to a friend-of-the-court brief asking the U.S. Supreme Court to uphold the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals decision striking down California’s Proposition 8, which had banned gay marriage.
During floor comments, the writer of the amendment, then-Rep. Allan Egolf, R-Perry, told colleagues that he wanted Pennsylvania to avoid higher costs that would result from providing insurance and pension benefits to same-sex partners and to enshrine into law the state’s “traditional and longstanding policy of moral opposition to same-sex marriages.”
Egolf cited a Gallup poll from March 1996 that showed that 68 percent of Americans opposed same-sex marriage and just 27 percent approved of it. Late last year, Gallup found that 46 percent of Americans opposed same-sex marriage, versus 53 percent who support it.
Acceptance of same-sex marriage seems sure to grow more: 18- to 29-year-olds surveyed in the more recent Gallup poll supported it 73 percent to 26 percent.
On Thursday, Attorney General Kathleen Kane, a Democrat, called the law unconstitutional and said she refuses to defend it. That likely leaves its defense to Gov. Tom Corbett, a Republican who lines up with the national party platform that supports a constitutional amendment “defining marriage as the union of one man and one woman.” Corbett has been silent on whether he will fight the lawsuit.
The House approved Egolf’s amendment, 177-16, after an effort to deem it unconstitutional failed, 171-29. The Senate took it up Oct. 1, 1996, and passed it, 43-5.
During floor debates, opponents — all Democrats but one — knew they were outnumbered.
“I know the vote today will probably be overwhelming, the same way the vote in a southern legislature years ago would have been overwhelming in discriminating against black minorities,” then-Sen. Vincent Fumo, D-Philadelphia, told colleagues. “That does not make the vote right. It is still wrong.”
Rep. Mark Cohen, D-Philadelphia, warned that passage of the measure would speed up federal court scrutiny, and that an eventual U.S. Supreme Court review would be influenced by what he predicted would be rejections by a Pennsylvania district court and the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.
“I think that we need to say to ourselves, ‘If not now, when?’” argued then-Rep. David King, R-Mercer. “I would say to you that it is time for us now to speak out for those values that have brought us to this great commonwealth through the past, … that today’s values will be tomorrow’s future here in Pennsylvania.”

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