Richard Chamberlain: Gay Leading Men Should Remain Closeted

The one-time leading man tells the Advocate:

Rc You were a wildly successful closeted actor during a period of time when coming out was unheard of, but the climate of acceptance has significantly changed in recent years. How do you feel about gay actors who still remain closeted as we near 2011?

"It’s complicated. There’s still a tremendous amount of homophobia in our culture. It’s regrettable, it’s stupid, it’s heartless, and it’s immoral, but there it is. For an actor to be working is a kind of miracle, because most actors aren’t, so it’s just silly for a working actor to say, “Oh, I don’t care if anybody knows I’m gay” — especially if you’re a leading man. Personally, I wouldn’t advise a gay leading man–type actor to come out."

When can a leading man come out — when he’s 69 and promoting a memoir?

"I have no idea. Despite all the wonderful advances that have been made, it’s still dangerous for an actor to talk about that in our extremely misguided culture. Look at what happened in California with Proposition 8. Please, don’t pretend that we’re suddenly all wonderfully, blissfully accepted."

Chamberlain was outed by French magazine Nous Deux in 1989 but only publicly came out in his 2003 autobiography, Shattered Love, at the age of 69.


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Richard Chamberlain: ‘I Wouldn’t Advise A Gay Leading Man-type Actor To Come Out’

It’s complicated. There’s still a tremendous amount of homophobia in our culture. It’s regrettable, it’s stupid, it’s heartless, and it’s immoral, but there it is. For an actor to be working is a kind of miracle, because most actors aren’t, so it’s just silly for a working actor to say, “Oh, I don’t care if anybody knows I’m gay” — especially if you’re a leading man. Personally, I wouldn’t advise a gay leading man-type actor to come out.

—Richard Chamberlain, who came out publicly in his 60s and is only semi-separated from partner Martin Rabbett, still doesn't think Hollywood is safe for openly gay actors [via]


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Watch: David Brock and Richard Socarides Discuss Conservative and Political Opposition to LGBT Equality

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David Brock and Richard Socarides of Equality Matters appeared on Hardball last night to discuss opposition to lgbt equality.

Said Brock: "I was in the right wing then and I knew what they were doing then and I know what they're doing now. It's a phony wedge, culture war issue for the right wing. For their base. They exploit gay people and they exploit the fear of gay people to gin up their base. That's what they do…It's a totally cynical thing. I know, I was in the right wing, so that's what's going on here."

Brock, a former Republican, also said it was "self-loathing" that contributed to his political views at the time.

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP


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Quote Of The Day – Richard Cohen

“The Marines of today know that virtually the entire Republican Party stood up for bigotry. The Corps knows that some important senators – John McCain and Jon Kyl, to name two – furiously fought to retain the status quo, always in the sainted cause of unit cohesion. (Kyl said repeal could “cost lives.”) Marines know, too, that in surveys, those on the front lines are least supportive of having gays among them and they are also aware that their brass fought to keep “don’t ask, don’t tell.” The issue for me, as for Gen. Amos, is unit cohesion. That’s why he has to go. ” – Washington Post columnist Richard Cohen, calling for the dismissal or resignation of USMC Commandant James Amos.

Joe. My. God.

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The Mysterious Hanging Suicide Of Lottery Winner Richard Lang

Lottery winners all too often find themselves with hangers-on after their new fortunes are announced. But for Richard Lang, who won £867,454 in 2005 drawing and hanged himself in May, the man claiming to be his lover is a complete stranger to Lang's family.

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Richard Burr commits political suicide during tonight’s debate with Elaine Marshall

Republican U.S. Senate incumbent Richard Burr and Democratic challenger Elaine Marshall faced off in a debate on PBS broadcast from UNC-TV studios in Research Triangle Park.

Democratic challenger Elaine Marshall accused Republican incumbent Richard Burr in their last television debate Thursday night of having views on homosexuality that are “wrongheaded and discriminatory.” But Burr said she wasn’t listening to him and that she was trying to inject race into a discussion of gay rights.

Marshall said that being gay or lesbian is a genetic matter and not a matter of choice. Burr said he didn’t believe the science was conclusive on the issue.

Well one thing is clear — Burr’s another one hung up on the soap dropping in the shower as you will see below. The DADT question starts at 36:43. Judy Woodruff starts off with a side question of whether being gay is a choice. Watch it –

Moderator: We’ve talked about the military. Right now there’s a battle underway in the courts of this country, the federal courts, and in Washington, over what to do about the military’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy against gays in the military. I’d like you to comment on that but I also have a very straightforward question, and that is: do you believe that being gay is–or lesbian–is it a matter of genetics, of biology or is it a matter of choice?

Marshall: Well Judy, it’s a… your last question is the most important. I don’t believe it is a matter of choice. I believe that it is a biological occurrence, specifically beyond that I don’t have the scientific knowledge to say, but I don’t really believe its choice. I do think that if there are people that want to stand up for me and stand up for every American and defend us around the world they should be able to do that. I believe the government policy on Don’t Ask Don’t Tell needs to be repealed. As to the judge and the courts – this is a law that Congress made, it is something that Congress needs to fix. The president has recommended it, the highest of brass has recommended it, and it is time that that takes place. It should have taken place but it hasn’t taken place, and now we’ve gotten judges from the Ninth Circuit who, a judge, who has jumped in on this, probably because Congress didn’t act, but it really needs to be decided by Congress and not the judiciary.

Moderator: And Mr. Burr, respond on the Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, and also the question on whether being gay and lesbian is a matter of genetics, biology or a matter of choice.

Burr: Well, Judy, let me just say I’m not sure that any of us know whether its genetic or by choice, and I’m not sure that’s even relevant. If somebody chooses that lifestyle and how it might then impact our policies. Don’t Ask Don’t Tell has worked. Now personally I don’t see a reason to reverse it. But that’s a personal opinion. I think the country should have a debate. And what we should do is we should wait until the Department of Defense has gotten back the survey of those individuals who serve. That survey’s back in December. This is not too far off. I agree with Secretary Marshall. This is not an issue for the courts to decide. This is a law of the country and only Congress can in fact address it. But I’m confident of this – that this is the wrong time to change this policy. We’ve got hundreds of thousands of troops deployed. We don’t yet know what we might have to do, from a standpoint of changing the accommodations for troops if the policy changed. Now I’m not scared to have the debate, I welcome the debate, but I’m also very confident that we should time this in a way that makes as little impact on those troops that are deployed as we possibly can.

Moderator: And so the research that has shown, that indicates that gay/lesbian is a matter of biology, you would say…

Burr: I would only say that I’m not sure there has been conclusive evidence of what the result is.

Moderator: A rebuttal.

Marshall: I would respond to that by saying there is ample evidence that it is biological and Senator Burr obviously believes its by choice. That is wrong headed and discriminatory. We shouldn’t be judging people by the color of their hair, the color of their eyes, the color of their skin, or other factors that they have no control over. That’s wrong in America, and what you’re talking about is governmental discrimination for something that’s outside of somebody’s control

Burr: Secretary Marahall, I’m not sure that I referred to anybody’s skin color, or to their hair color. This is a very specific group of individuals, and I made it very clear what my position was. But don’t bring race into this.

Marshall: It is because of who they are by factors that they have no control over. Gender is another one of those. This country has been replete with discrimination based upon things that folks have no control over, and its time in 2010, this century, that we end that.

Let’s just say it goes downhill from there — it’s hard to recover after Sen. Burr says  our ‘founders’ wrote the 14th amendment. That comes after the above statements about DADT. FAIL-O-RAMA.

Donate to Elaine Marshall’s campaign.
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Olbermann talks the hurdles facing DADT repeal with Richard Socarides

Keith talked about tomorrow’s vote on the Defense Authorization bill and the Lady Gaga rally. Richard Socarides explained what’s going on with DADT repeal and the forces working against it. Their strategy is stall and delay. If we don’t succeed, he said, “it will be a horrific fraud on the American people and really a massive failure of leadership at the Pentagon, at Congress and even at the White House because they waited too long.” Yep. Massive failure.

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Oh, the White House did issue statement supporting the Defense bill today. Chris Johnson at the Washington Blade got it:

“The National Defense Authorization Act is a good bill that is important for the overall health and well being of our forces, especially given the ongoing campaigns in Iraq, Afghanistan, and around the world,” White House spokesperson Shin Inouye said in a statement. “This legislation received bipartisan support in the House and in the Senate Armed Services Committee and the President hopes it receives similar bipartisan support in the Senate.”

You might have thought something of this import, you know, the Defense Authorization bill while we’re fighting two wars, would warrant a statement from the President. Nope. Shin took care of it. Actually, from what I’ve been able to glean, that statement is pretty much the entire lobbying effort from the White House on the Defense bill and DADT repeal. Massive failure.

UPDATE @ 10:39 PM: Shortly after I wrote this post, I was informed by someone involved with this process that the White House is not lobbying fence-sitting senators to reach the magic 60 votes. Here’s what I was told:

As we all know, without a fierce effort and person-to-person advocacy from Obama himself (or at least his senior-most staff), Senators have little reason to change their minds and support debating the Defense Authorization bill. Never did I think I’d see the day when Lady Gaga would do more to advocate for repeal of DADT than our president who campaigned on equality.

It’s stunning really. And, they wonder why the base is depressed.




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Mike Manning Provides Cover for Richard Simmons

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Real World D.C.'s Mike Manning tweeted this photo over the weekend, right before he started sweating to the oldies with his new trainer.


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Oops, Richard Socarides Again Forgot to Mention He Was a Party To Creating DADT

There are two things we should all be insisting on from President Obama and Attorney General Holder right now. We all need to be united about this as a community. One, there is no excuse, and there can be none, for the continued enforcement of the Don't Ask, Don't Tell policy, even in a scaled down version. The president says he's against it, the American people are against it, it hurts our national security, and now a federal court has ruled it violates our sacred constitution. This insanity must end now. There must be a complete and immediate end to all DADT discharges. Second, there is no valid legal (or political) reason to pursue an appeal. There is no legal obligation to continue to defend a law declared unconstitutional by a sitting federal judge. We must insist on an unequivocal statement from the president that he will allow the ruling to stand, because it is in accordance with his long held view, but more importantly, because doing so is consistent with our constitution. We must expect and demand no less from him. No appeal. Let this ruling become the law of the land.

—Richard Socarides, the former Clinton LGBT adviser described by Americablog as somebody who is "often on tv and is widely quoted on LGBT issues," as if that's a litmus test for being respectable, continuing to ignore his own personal involvement in CREATING DON'T ASK DON'T TELL as he pleas with President Obama's attorneys not to appeal the ruling that branded the law unconstitutional.

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