UPDATE, 8:22 p.m.: In an exchange of messages on Facebook this evening, I asked Rasberry to clarify whether her statement of support for “civil rights” for gay couples means she now supports marriage equality. I also offered to do a phone interview to clarify her position.
“I’ve always said I supported civil rights for gay couples. That’s not something new,” Rasberry responded.
I then asked again whether supporting civil rights for gay couples means that she supports the legal recognition of same-sex marriages. I suggested that she might have meant “civil unions” instead of “civil rights.”
“After the public slaughtering I endured for saying what I believed, I’d rather not revisit this issue again,” Rasberry responded.
I told Rasberry it seemed too late for that, as I had already blogged about her tweet. I said I interpreted her tweet to mean that she now supports marriage equality, and asked her to correct me if I’m wrong. She has not yet responded.
Rasberry’s statements generated a huge backlash from LGBT listeners and others. We also posted Rasberry’s response to those critics, in which she noted that she’s hardly an anti-marriage activist, and said she loves her gay friends and might very well evolve on the issue (at the time, President Barack Obama was still evolving).
Up until then, Rasberry had been an occasional celebrity guest at Gaybingo, the fundraiser for Resource Center Dallas, and other LGBT events. But her opposition to marriage equality also came against a backdrop of borderline homphobic content on the show over the years — such as when the late Kidd was criticized for using a lisp to mock gay men in 2011.
Which brings us to last week, when gay North Texas resident Clint Harris said he tuned in to Kidd Kraddick in the Morning the day after Prison Break star Wentworth Miller came out. Harris claims that during that broadcast, Rasberry asked fellow co-host J-Si if he had something in common with Miller after J-Si indicated that he liked ‘N Sync. Harris said he found that to be “quite rude and insensitive.”
“The show regularly makes jokes mocking gay men,” Harris said today in a message to Instant Tea. “Usually half the time I tune in there are comments … mocking gay men or questioning sexuality of Kidd, Big Al, or JC [sic]. Others that I have discussed this with have noticed it too and most have quit listening as well.”
Last week, Harris took his concerns to Twitter, where he called Rasberry a “bigot” and declared that he would never listen to the show again. He now says his use of “bigot” was “not nice and inappropriate.” But in any case, Rasberry responded to Harris’ tweet by saying she didn’t know what he was talking about and sarcastically thanking him for tagging Kidd because “he should be informed.” Harris responded by tagging Dallas Voice and noting our story about Rasberry’s comments on same-sex marriage. Then came this from Rasberry:
— kellierasberry (@kellierasberry) August 23, 2013
I’ve sent messages to Rasberry seeking to confirm that by “civil rights for gay couples,” she meant marriage equality, but it sure sounds like it to me. If so, we’re thrilled that she’s evolved, but we’d also suggest that maybe it’s time for the content of the show to catch up with her.