Celebs Oppose Prop 8

Timothy Kincaid

November 3rd, 2008

On October 15 I posted an open letter to Madonna… which proved to be one of my least popular posts. Some readers felt that celebrities have no obligation to make any contribution towards keeping discrimination out of the California Constitution, whether or not they live here and have been disproportionately enriched by gay fans. Others felt that Madonna was too busy, that the “tactic” was distasteful, or that gay equality isn’t really her battle to fight.

Certainly few seemed to agree with my decision to base my concert purchasing decisions on whether the artist – who had taken a good deal of money from me and my friends – cared about my equality. And perhaps those who did agree felt that I should not have expressed my intention in quite to direct a manner.

Since that time, several celebrities have stepped up and made contributions, either financially or through public endorsement. Some, like Cher and Eric McCormack, have a significantly gay fanbase and others, like Samuel L. Jackson and John Cho, may not be as closely associated with the gay community. But many do seem willing to put their money and their image to good use in fighting this discriminatory effort.

And now a report from Madonna’s concert on Saturday in Oakland says the following:

Madonna also got in a plug for voting “no” on Prop. 8, and her suggestion was approved by acclimation.

It’s not likely that there were very many of the 20,000 Madonna fans in attendance that night who were planning on voting Yes on the proposition. But if she was able to remind the attendees to vote and to make Prop 8 a priority, then I am very appreciative.

And although Madonna hasn’t given any of her own personal half billion, the company that put on her tour, Live Nation, contributed $50,000 to No on 8 so some of the money flowed back.

Interestingly, Washington Blade’s Kevin Naff, had this to say last week.

There are too many wealthy celebrities out there — Rosie, Kathy Griffin, Madonna to name three — who rely almost exclusively on gay support for their livelihood. It’s time to give something back.

Let’s hope and pray that Tuesday’s vote will endorse equality in California, Arizona, and Florida and it will turn out not to have mattered.


November 3rd, 2008

I agreed at the time that Madonna should have stepped up to help (and I still think she needs to do more — with her wealth, she could have afforded to hold a benefit show and rake in a ton of money), and I could definitely see the logic of not attending her concert. However, I just didn’t think that sending a “guilt trip” letter was wise. I’ve worked for non-profits before, and my partner works for one as well, and I know that the carrot tends to be more effective than the stick when requesting money from wealthy donors, no matter how strongly you think they should donate.


November 3rd, 2008

In one sense, I totally agree with you about celebrities whose bread is buttered by the LGBT community. On the other hand, they also have to be cautious about where/who their money goes to. You want to ensure that the money is used for its intended purpose.

Personally, I like the way Ellen handled it. She put up her own money to produce a YouTube video and spoke out against Prop. 8 on her show. To me, not only did she reach a larger audience, but targeted an entire group of people (her audience) that might not otherwise have given it consideration.

Madonna, with all her wealth could have figured something out…after all that’s what a good publicist is for.

Charles Lanigan

November 4th, 2008

Could she have given but just kept it private?

Timothy Kincaid

November 4th, 2008


No. All contributions are required to be reported.


November 4th, 2008

The anti-abortion “Lifesite” is “outing” Catholics who opposed Prop 8, aka the “homosexualist cause”.


Pretty interesting read.


November 4th, 2008

My issue with your last post on this, and this one, is that you use words in very bad ways. If you don’t then I do disagree. There are no unchosen obligations and you say Madonna is obligated to take a position. You also say silly things such as she “had taken a good deal of moeny from me and my friends.” That is nonsense. She didn’t take anything. She offered you something you wanted and you voluntarily bought it.

You got what you paid for. And then, after the fact, you are claiming she has to provide you with other things which were never stipulated at the time of the exchange. Nothing was “taken”. it was exchange. And while it would be good, and appreciated, for celebrities to stand with the gay community, they are not obligated to do so.

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