This morning, Queer Town reported that wealthy folks in Los Angeles County weren't donating as much as they could to fight Proposition 8. Karen Ocamb, news editor of In and Frontiers magazines, also wrote a top notch story about A-list gays missing from action. But now actor Brad Pitt may have changed the course of that apathy with a $100,000 contribution to defeat the anti-gay marriage ballot measure.
“Because no one has the right to deny another their life even though they disagree with it, because everyone has the right to live the life they so desire if it doesn't harm another, and because discrimination has no place in America, my vote will be for equality and against Proposition 8,” Pitt wrote in a prepared statement.
The donation to the “No on 8” campaign shouldn't be surprising. Pitt formed a close friendship with openly gay rock star Melissa Etheridge early in his acting career. He has also been vocal in the past about his support for same sex marriage. Chad Griffin, a political strategist for “No on 8,” said Hollywood should now follow the actor's lead.
“The entertainment industry should view this contribution as a challenge,” Griffin said in a press release. “It is our hope that others in the entertainment industry will step up and match Brad Pitt's heroic commitment to equality and defeating Prop. 8.”
Ted Johnson, managing editor of Variety, also has interesting coverage of how Hollywood hasn't been fully engaged in the Prop. 8 battle, which gay and lesbian activists and politically active fundamentalist Christians see as a national fight over same sex marriage and gay rights in general.
Interestingly, another powerful straight man in Los Angeles, billionaire Ron Burkle, who's close friends with Bill and Hillary Clinton, has reportedly offered his support to the “No on 8” cause by promising to hold a fund raiser at his landmark Beverly Hills estate, Green Acres. Burkle also gave a big check to fight Prop. 22 in 2000. That ballot measure successfully banned same sex marriage in California, but it was overturned by the California Supreme Court this past May.
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