Array of regulatory changescould be in jeopardy under GOPadministration
By CHRIS JOHNSONcjohnson@washblade.com
As President Obama and Mitt Romney articulatecompeting visions for the future in their presidentialcampaigns, most LGBT rights advocates agree the choicecouldn’t be more stark given the advances the communityhas seen over the past three-and-a-half years and the anti-gay positions espoused by the Republican candidate.On one hand, President Obama has endorsedmarriage equality, capping off a ﬁrst term of efforts at thelegislative and regulatory levels aimed at beneﬁtting theLGBT community. On the other, Romney signed a pledgewith the anti-gay National Organization for Marriage toback a Federal Marriage Amendment and defend theDefense of Marriage Act in court. Last month, he backedoff his earlier stated belief that adoption by same-sexcouples is a right by saying he simply “acknowledges”the legality of such adoptions in many states.Obama has made “forward” the theme for his 2012campaign. The extent to which Romney has adopted anti-gayviews and aligned himself with anti-gay groups raises a keyquestion for LGBT voters: Under a Romney administration,how far “backward” could the LGBT community go?
JUNE 15 2012 VOLUME 43 ISSUE 24 •
OUR COMMUNITY, OUR STORIES SINCE 1969
Former Redskin Davis on closetedlife in professional sports
By MICHAEL K. LAVERSmlavers@washblade.com
Former NFL player Wade Davis spoke about his
decision to come out, his work with LGBT youthand his support of President Obama’s re-election
campaign during an interview at the Capital Pride
Festival on Sunday.The Shreveport, La., native spoke to the Blade less thana week after he publicly discussed his sexual orientationfor the ﬁrst time during an interview with the LGBT sports
website Outsports.com. He said that he has been out to
family members and close friends since he was 26.“At the time I didn’t have the support structurearound me with enough family or friends that I reallythought would support my choice of being out,” headded when asked about why he did not publiclydiscuss his homosexuality with his teammates andothers sooner. “Also just individually I wasn’t strongenough. I didn’t know who I was enough.”Davis, 34, played preseason football for theTennessee Titans, Seattle Seahawks and the
Washington Redskins before an injury forced him toretire from the National Football League in 2004. He
also played for the Berlin Thunder and the BarcelonaDragons in the NFL Europe league.
He told Outsports.com that he had begun to date a
man for the ﬁrst time while playing in the German capital,but he discussed his boyfriend with his teammates asthough he were a woman. Davis also cited rumors hesaid he heard in the Titans locker room about a playerwhom his potential teammates thought was bisexual.
He said at least one of them suggested that he avoid
him to further bolster his chances of making the team.“It increased my level of posturing,” stressed Davis.“I went from being probably a guy that was trying tobe normal to maybe adding a couple extra layers onthat to prove my masculinity, to prove that I was justone of the guys. I would say it deepened my closetingfor lack of a better word.”Davis is among a handful of athletes that includeformer NFL player Esera Tuaolo and former NationalBasketball Association center John Amaechi who havepublicly discussed being gay since their retirementfrom professional sports.Former Titans defensive end Jevon Kearse told
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has adopted several anti-gay positions,including support for a Federal Marriage Amendment.
PHOTO BY GAGE SKIDMORE; COURTESY OF WIKIMEDIA.ORG
The 37th annual Capital
Pride Parade and Festivalwrapped on a steamy Sunday.Photos and more inside.
PAGES 4, 48 & 50
Silverdocs Festival offersLGBT-themed ﬁlms, includingstory of slain Ugandanactivist David Kato.
Would President Romneyundo LGBT advances?Gay in the NFL