DuBose Porter hammered home his evolution from gay marriage bigot to advocate by telling a group of LGBT politicos that as “a bald-headed fat redneck,” the newly minted leader of the state Democratic Party is best positioned to sell marriage equality across the state.
Porter's frank confessional about his gay marriage evolution came during a Saturday meeting with the LGBT Caucus of the state Democratic Party. He responded when pushed by state Rep. Karla Drenner, a lesbian who fought a measure in 2004 — supported by Porter as a state House leader — to ban gay marriage in the state.
“It is better to have somebody from there,” Porter says, which you can watch in the video above. “You know, you need a bald-headed fat redneck. I think I can help take that message better, in a way that when we communicate than just having someone from Atlanta talking about it. Because I believe in it and I am not afraid to talk about it.”
During the hour-long meeting, Porter repeatedly asked the LGBT caucus to help educate him on issues, including HIV, hate crimes and employment discrimination. He also discussed how his messy divorce in 2011 and a first cousin who is gay helped change his position on same-sex unions.
“The commitment they have is stronger than what I thought I had,” Porter says about his gay cousin, who lives in DeKalb, comparing it to his troubled marriage with ex-wife Carol. The pair ran together in 2010 — him for governor, her for lieutenant governor — and neither supported gay marriage or other critical LGBT issues during their campaigns.
The session on Saturday included a briefing from Jeff Graham, Georgia Equality's executive director, about public attitudes across the state on LGBT issues. For gay marriage, it's improving but still needs old people to die, especially old Republicans, before the state's ban is reversed.