Coming Out Day For CNN’s Don Lemon, NBA Executive Rick Welts

The day is only half over….

Today is a big day for gay people working in fields where coming out of the closet is not the norm. First, NBA executive Rick Welts comes out of the closet in a profile in the New York Times. Welts, the president of the Phoenix Suns, said he did so because living a secret life had been an immense and damaging burden for many years. (Though when he told the very supportive Suns point guard Steve Nash that he was gay, Nash’s first response was that he thought everyone already knew.) Welts is one of the highest-ranked professional sports executives to come out of the closet.

Meanwhile, CNN weekend anchor Don Lemon has also come out of the closet.

Lemon is coming out with a memoir called Transparent.  Lemon told NPR this morning that he’s been in a relationship for four years, and that he’s nervous about the repercussions his admission will have on his career. (MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow and Thomas Roberts are the only newscasters of a similar stature who have discussed being gay on the air.) “I’m scared,” he told the Times. “[But] I abhor hypocrisy. I think if you’re going to be in the business of news, and telling people the truth, of trying to shed light in dark places, then you’ve got to be honest. You’ve got to have the same rules for yourself as you do for everyone else.”

CNN Poll Finds Gay Marriage Has Majority Support

Keep in mind however as you read this latest poll result about gay marriage gaining national support that the House of Representatives, led by Republicans, has agreed to pay a law firm up to $520 per hour to defend the Defense of Marriage Act banning federal recognition of same-sex marriage, according to a contract posted by Politico

The Defense of Marriage Act, the 15-year-old federal law that defines marriage as being between one man and one woman, is currently facing a legal challenge in New York. Traditionally the federal government defends challenges to federal law, but not in this case – after defending it for two years, the Obama administration announced in February it would no longer defend the law because it believes it is unconstitutional.

I have asked on my blog which taxpayer wants to pay the legal fee for the House of Representatives to act in a homophobic fashion.

It is time to wake up and smell the coffee.  Anti-gay bigotry should no longer be in vogue politically, and there is more and more evidence that the public agrees.

Now to the poll…

”Do you think marriages between gay and lesbian couples should or should not be recognized by the law as valid, with the same rights as traditional marriages?”

Should be recognized as valid: 51%

Should not be recognized as valid: 47%

No opion: 2%

Results of a survey conducted for CNN. The poll was done by phone of 824 adults from April 9-10, 2011. (CNN)

The respondents split along age, gender, income, education and political lines — women, Americans under 50, Democrats, college educated, and those making over $50K per year all supporting gay marriage. Men, older Americans, less educated and lower income earners remained mostly opposed. “White and non-white” responses were nearly the same

Pictures: Famous Faces At Wisconsin Capitol Union Protest Rally

James and I were scoping out the crowd and mood of the protestors inside the Madison Capitol.  We had made our way to the second floor of the rotunda when just to our immediate right were some famous faces.

The first that caught our eye was CNN reporter Ted Rollins.  Loving CNN, and what they do for broadcast journalism I naturally moved closer to the action.  I swear to God the thing that went through my mind was the famous line “All right Mr. De Mille, I’m ready for my close-up.”  ( I bet my friend Brad is smiling…..)

Next we noticed a television star from one of my favorite series, “The West Wing.”  Bradley Whitford, who played Josh Lyman, was standing about four feet away.  The series is so loved in this home that we are watching it all over again.  Some of the best writing and tightly constructed acting that television has ever broadcast  took place on that series.   We are at Season Five, Volume 2…..and are serious fans. 

This was not the first time that we interacted with Whitford.  When Al Gore ran for the White House in 200o Bradley was also a strong voice for our Democratic values.  Madison thanks him for always returning home and helping out!  He was raised in Madison and graduated from East High School.

There was another star of television on the second floor of the Capitol today, one that James spoke with for a couple of minutes.  Robert Newman, who played Joshua Lewis on the “Guiding Light, spoke with James about some of the children of other stars of the soap who had attended a New Jersey school.  James had taught those kids years ago and never fails to tell funny stories when parent teacher conferences would take place and really familiar faces would show up!

CNN’s Anderson Cooper To Be Traded For CBS’s Katie Couric?

If America can have our first black American president, why can’t we also have our first gay anchor during an evening news broadcast at a major TV network? 

The savvy and much admired Anderson Cooper from CNN is rumored to become the face of CBS News.  Cooper has proved his journalistic credentials over the years at CNN, and will bring a new and rejuvenating energy with him to CBS. 

Katie Couric never had the needed ‘heft’ and creditably for the job as anchor.  She will do much better in an interview format, which she has proved to be highly skilled.

I can only hope these rumors prove to be true.  And soon.

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