Amendment 1, which bans gay marriage and civil unions in the state of North Carolina, has passed as of this writing; with about 60 percent of the vote. But if you go high-fiving yourselves over your win, traditional marriage supporters, realize that action is one that may have been started by a man from the very group you’ve just oppressed with your cruel Amendment.
That’s right. The action that we all do as a universial congrats or job well done; from sports figures to office workers to kindergartners is something that may very well have been started by a gay man. From ESPN:
It was the last day of the regular season, and Dodgers leftfielder Dusty Baker had just gone deep off the Astros’ J.R. Richard. It was Baker’s 30th home run, making the Dodgers the first team in history to have four sluggers — Baker, Ron Cey, Steve Garvey and Reggie Smith — with at least 30 homers each. It was a wild, triumphant moment and a good omen as the Dodgers headed to the playoffs. Burke, waiting on deck, thrust his hand enthusiastically over his head to greet his friend at the plate. Baker, not knowing what to do, smacked it. “His hand was up in the air, and he was arching way back,” says Baker, now 62 and managing the Reds. “So I reached up and hit his hand. It seemed like the thing to do.”
What most people didn’t know was that Burke was gay. Following his retirement in 1980, he became the first major leaguer to come out. Even though he tried to keep his sexuality a secret during his playing days, there had been rumors in the clubhouse. And as the 2010 television documentary Out: The Glenn Burke Story revealed, Dodgers executives scrambled to squash those rumors at all costs: In the off-season of 1977, team VP Al Campanis offered Burke $75,000 to get married. (The Dodgers executive later explained the offer not as a bribe but as a “helpful gesture” to pay for Burke’s honeymoon.) According to a friend, Burke rejected the marriage deal with a mix of wit and rebelliousness. He told Campanis, “I guess you mean to a woman.”