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I'm Gay: The 50 Most Powerful Coming Outs of 2012

2012

2012: GAYEST YEAR EVER

"The fact is, I'm gay." Anderson Cooper's long-awaited announcement sums what it meant to come out in 2012. Again and again we heard the same sentiment — from pop singer Mika's equally anticipated confirmation, "If you ask me am I gay, I say yeah," to actor Andrew Rannells casually remarking about relating to a gay character, "I am gay in real life, so I definitely get it." —  proving that coming out today is in many cases a non-event, and certainly secondary to other achievements.

Yes, a lot has changed in the 15 years since Time magazine ran that cover of Ellen DeGeneres declaring, "Yep, I'm Gay," and even in the six since Lance Bass told People, "I'm Gay." Entertainment Weekly published a cover story this summer called "The New Art Of Coming Out," concluding, "The current vibe for discussing one’s sexuality is almost defiantly mellow."

Yet most of this positive change has happened in familiar territory.

Former NFL star Wade Davis' coming out was a first, as was current professional boxer Orlando Cruz's. And Lee "Uncle Poodle" Thompson from Here Comes Honey Boo Boo helped broaden the overall discussion about LGBT people. But there are a few people on this list who were less valiant, like Republican Sheriff Paul Babeu, and still others who remained quiet about their sexuality to the day they died. The debate over balance between privacy and responsibility is still one worth having, and clearly there are more arenas where LGBT people need space to shine.

All in all, though, 2012 shows that gay people who break down that closet can have it all.

Who had the 50 Most Powerful Coming Outs of 2012?

Find out (in alphabetical order), AFTER THE JUMP...

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Kagan Praises Scalia, Says Wisdom Required in 'Disruptive' Cases

SCOTUS Justice Elena Kagan gives an interview to Politico:

Elena_kaganSaying she genuinely “loves” her colleagues, Kagan praised her frequent intellectual opponent, Justice Antonin Scalia – with whom she revealed she spent three days hunting in Wyoming this fall. Asked to discuss how she interprets the language in laws the justices consider, Kagan credited Scalia with changing the direction of the court.

“This is in some ways a testament to one of my colleagues, to Justice Scalia, because if you look back 30 years ago … there was much less attention paid to the words Congress used to write a statute,” Kagan said. “One of the terrific things he has done is to make people engage with the words that Congress actually used, because that’s what they thought about and that’s what they actually passed.”

In what may have been a reference to upcoming cases such as two on gay marriage that the justices this month agreed to hear, Kagan was asked what role public opinion plays in the justices’ opinions.
                                                                                                           “Well, I don’t think any of us make our decisions by reading polls,” Kagan said. “One’s sense of what to do as a judge is bounded in some way by the society in which one lives” and the political process of getting appointed, she said.

Still, the justice said, “One does think long and hard as a judge -- and I’m not sure I’ve ever been in this position --… before you do something that you think is required by law that would be incredibly disruptive to society, and that’s where great wisdom is called for.”


Scalia's Son Paul Served as Chaplain for Catholic Group Meant to Lead Gays from 'the Confines of Homosexual Identity'

The L.A. Times posted an interesting article about Justice Antonin Scalia's take on homosexuality - basically that gay "identity" does not exist — only the "act" of doing something homosexual. In the article is this interesting bit about Scalia's son Paul:

Paul_scaliaThe notion that there are no homosexual people, just homosexual acts, is an ancient one.  Until recently it was the attitude of the Roman Catholic Church.  Scalia’s son Paul, a Catholic priest who has served as chaplain to Courage – “a spiritual support group to help those with same-sex attractions live chaste lives” – continues to resist the idea of a gay identity.  He has written: “We must always distinguish the person from the attractions. Most errors in this area come from the reduction of the person to the attractions: to say,  ‘A person who has homosexual attractions must be homosexual.’  This reduces the human person to the sum total of his sexual inclinations.”

In a 2005 article in the magazine First Things, Paul Scalia warned against the labeling of high school students as “gay” and even took the Vatican to task  for using the term “homosexual person,” which, the younger Scalia said, “suggests that homosexual inclinations somehow determine, which is to say confine, a person’s identity.”  Of course, this is a straw man; psychologists and other who speak of a gay identity don't argue that “gay” is an exhaustive description of an individual’s personality traits, only that there is more to being gay or lesbian than participation in sexual acts.

Jeremy Hooper notes that Justice Scalia's church promoted an event dealing with the "challenge of same-sex" attractions at which his son was the key speaker.

We've posted about 'Courage' here before. Among other things, the group claims that men are gay because they're estranged from their fathers. They also hold "athletic camps" with the goal of teaching men with same-sex attractions to become manlier by making them play football and other contact sports.

Courage


Scalia's Political Theater Flops When Mixed With Anti-Gay 'Animus'

ScaliaIn case you missed it yesterday, Amy Davidson at The New Yorker offered her thoughts on how Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia's clear "animus" toward marriage equality, as seen in his stubborn and indulgent commitment to a comparison of same-sex love and bestiality, completely undercuts his pursuit of political theater:

A few months from now, when the Supreme Court hears arguments in the two same-sex marriage cases it accepted for review last Friday, many observers will likely be in [Princeton Student Duncan] Hosie’s position—listening with some amazement to Scalia as he berates lawyers, fascinated by his animosity, wondering about the point where a cruel note removes any enjoyment one might find in intellectual theatrics.

There haven’t exactly been signs that Scalia is mellowing. His dissent, this year, in an Arizona immigration-law case, was as politicized and angry as ever—and gay-rights cases do not exactly bring out his soft side. For the health-care case, we had broccoli arguments; for same-sex marriage, we will likely be coming back to bestiality.

The Los Angeles Times' editorial board also took on Scalia today, writing, "But the reality — and perhaps this is what so dismayed Hosie — is that the Scalia opinions in question bristle with hostility toward homosexuality and homosexuals."

They went on: "Hosie wondered why Scalia couldn't make his points without offensive implications about gays and the lives they live. But what if those slurs were the point? That's a depressing possibility to contemplate as Scalia and his colleagues prepare to rule on cases involving same-sex marriage."


NYC Council Speaker Christine Quinn on Scalia: 'Don't Compare Me to a Murderer Because I'm a Lesbian' - VIDEO

Chris_quinn

NYC City Council Speaker Christine Quinn appeared on MSNBC's Hardball last night in a segment about Scotus Justice Antonin Scalia's remarks comparing homosexuality and murder.

Quinn_matthewsQuinn denounced Scalia:

"The Justice should apologize...It's offensive. Sexual orientation is who we are as people. It's how we're created if we're LGBT. And to compare that even in a way you want to say was some philosophical exercise to a heinous horrible crime of murder. It's just wrong. He can say it's a slip of the tongue. Just apologize. But don't compare me to a murderer because I'm a lesbian. Just don't do it. It's wrong."

Added Quinn: “My father always said, 'It’s nice to be nice.' And it is. And you should treat other human beings even if you disagree with them, even if you dislike who they are, in a respectful way. The justice was disrespectful to me and my family. And that doesn't further my understanding him better, or him understanding me better."

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Gay Student Who Confronted Justice Scalia Speaks Out: VIDEO

Hosie

Princeton University Student Duncan Hosie '16, who confronted Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia about why he equates laws banning sodomy with those barring man-on-animal sex and murder, appeared on MSNBC's The Last Word on Tuesday night to talk about the confrontation and what he thought of Scalia's response

Hosie said he was nervous about asking the question:

"I wanted to ask him are those things really necessary to make his point...he didn't really address that question....I thought the response in the room was excellent...I think he was polite and cordial in how he responded. I don't think his response was accurate...I think his response was absurd in many aspects."

Professor Jonathan Turley also appeared on the segment, calling Scalia's commentary "troubling" considering the cases before the court.

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...

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