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Nation’s Oldest Gay Magazine Names Pope Francis ‘Person Of The Year’

by David Badash on December 16, 2013

in Civil Rights,News,Politics,Religion

Post image for Nation’s Oldest Gay Magazine Names Pope Francis ‘Person Of The Year’

The Advocate, America’s oldest and reportedly largest gay magazine, has just named Pope Francis I Person of the Year.

The pontiff, who was elevated from Cardinal in March of this year, was chosen by the Advocate’s editors over nine other finalists as “the single most influential person of 2013 on the lives of LGBT people,” apparently in large part for his “Who am I to judge?” comment.

The other finalists chosen by The Advocate include DOMA hero Edie Windsor, Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy, the popular rapper Macklemore, Proposition 8 plaintiffs Kristin Perry and Sandy Stier, and Paul Katami and Jeff Zarrillo, WNBA star Brittney Griner, Blue Is the Warmest Color actresses Léa Seydoux and Adèle Exarchopoulos, fired for being gay Russian TV anchor Anton Krasovsky, Colorado trans teen Jane Doe, teen cancer scientist Jack Andraka, and lastly, “The Bisexuals.”

In their cover story today, editorial director Lucas Grindley seemed defensive of the magazine’s choice.

Pope Francis is leader of 1.2 billion Roman Catholics all over the world. There are three times as many Catholics in the world than there are citizens in the United States. Like it or not, what he says makes a difference.

While Edie Windsor, for example, is among the list of finalists, she is not Person of the Year. Windsor is a hero to LGBT Americans for taking the final punch in the fight against the discriminatory Defense of Marriage Act, and section 3 is no more.

Edie Windsor is a hero, one well worth recording in history books that retell the story of DOMA’s demise. But she is not the Person of the Year. She couldn’t possibly be, not for The Advocate, where we celebrate the work of so many who contributed to that landmark Supreme Court victory.

The most influential person of 2013 doesn’t come from our ongoing legal conflict but instead from our spiritual one — successes from which are harder to define.

And Grindley notes that in “the same way that President Obama transformed politics with his evolution on LGBT civil rights, a change from the pope could have a lasting effect on religion.”

But if Grindley sounded defensive in his profile of the pontiff, on social media, he was forced to defend the choice point blank:

What are your thoughts?

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{ 3 comments }

tgflux December 17, 2013 at 2:17 am

When President Obama was given the Nobel Peace Prize in 2009, there were many who said 'Too soon".

This is waaaaaaay SOON-er than that! O_o

Huntercgo December 17, 2013 at 7:49 am

Pope Francis has changed the tone of the Church toward LGBTs (slightly), not the substance. And there's no sign that he intends to go farther.

The Advocate blew it. Of course, it could be Stockholm Syndrome.

Snark aside, I can see Time magazine picking Francis as POY — he's already had a major influence in pushing the Church toward a more pastoral focus on poverty, hunger, war — the things Christians are supposed to be concerned with. The Advocate is, at best, premature in this — Francis hasn't done anything to materially affect the Church's position on equal civil rights for LGBTs, and I don't expect that to happen anytime soon, if ever. (Well, OK — maybe in 400 years.) The American bishops just sent a letter to Congress opposing workplace protections for LGBTs, for crying out loud. If this is Francis' influence working, I got back to my original statement — The Advocate blew it, big time.

JeffFeldman December 17, 2013 at 11:38 am

Between their op-eds by porn producer Michael Lucas and now this blasphemy, I am done with The Advocate. It has become a joke and an embarassment to our community.

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