Photos: Top ten stars for and against boycotting "hate state" Colorado twenty years ago
Today, the Supreme Court will consider arguments for and against the Defense of Marriage Act -- a hearing that recalls the court's part in tossing out 1992's Amendment 2, which prevented bodies in Colorado from recognizing gays and lesbians as a protected class. The passage of Amendment 2 led to Colorado being branded the "hate state." A boycott against visiting the state was subsequently called for by numerous high-profile stars -- but not all of them. Who was for and against the boycott? Check out the ten most notable celebrities who took a stand below. Barbra Streisand: For boycott -- sort of
Streisand was the celeb who got the boycott ball rolling after suggesting in a post-election speech that Hollywood types steer clear of Colorado "if we're asked to." But days later, the Associated Press quoted her as saying, "There are many citizens in Colorado who did not vote for the amendment. I support the organizations and people who are challenging its validity."
This statement was read by former tennis star Chris Evert, who was living in Aspen at the time with her husband, skier Andy Mills.
Cher: Against the boycott
According to a 1992 Associated Press article, Cher argued that boycotting the state, and particularly Aspen, was the wrong way to go. "In a boycott of Aspen, you are actually steering business away from a town that supports human rights for all," she said, adding, "Aspen wants to take the lead in Colorado to overturn this amendment, and for that the community needs your support." Continue for more of the top ten stars for and against boycotting "hate state" Colorado twenty years ago. Liza Minnelli: For boycott -- or not?
A January 1993 Rocky Mountain News article listed Minnelli as being pro-boycott. But a New York Times piece from the previous month suggests some ambiguity. An excerpt:
George Hamilton, whose Gothic family photograph adorns a wall in the exclusive Caribou Club [in Aspen], begged Liza Minnelli not to withdraw from a benefit concert for Undo 2, a local organization trying to have the amendment repealed. Ms. Minnelli pulled out anyway -- a decision that some here called a valiant act of conscience and that others called mindless pandering to the politically correct.
Jack Nicholson: Against Boycott
At the time of Amendment 2's passage, Nicholson had two homes in Aspen -- one of which he just sold within the past week. The aforementioned New York Times article quotes him as calling the boycott "rubbish." Continue for more of the top ten stars for and against boycotting "hate state" Colorado twenty years ago. Whoopi Goldberg: For boycott
According to a Rocky Mountain News article, Goldberg was the second major Hollywood star, after a certain Ms. Streisand, to add her voice to a boycott call. Martina Navratilova: Against boycott
This excerpt from a November 1992 Sports Illustrated article makes Navratilova's disgust with Amendment 2 clear:
Throughout the tournament Navratilova was a walking paid political announcement. She lectured tirelessly on Colorado's Amendment 2, which repealed gay-rights legislation in that state. Amendment 2 has become the target of an American Civil Liberties Union lawsuit, to which Navratilova has added her name as a plaintiff. A resident of Aspen, she has said she will move if the amendment is not found unconstitutional. Last week she was writing an opinion piece for USA Today on the Colorado controversy, and she has been outspoken on the right of gays and lesbians to serve in the military. "Wouldn't you want me on the front lines?" says Navratilova.
Nonetheless, Navratilova didn't advocate a boycott of Colorado. Far from it: A November 1992 Associated Press article said she "suggested people send money to Aspen for the fight." Continue for more of the top ten stars for and against boycotting "hate state" Colorado twenty years ago. James Coburn: Against boycott
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A major action star in his day, Coburn was caught on the slopes of Aspen by a wire-service reporter during the early days of the boycott call. He admitted that he'd taken some flak from fellow famous people for heading to Colorado, but he offered no regrets.
"It's a stupid law, and it will probably be taken care of by the gay and lesbian community in their own way," he said. "It's a very old-fashioned law, and they don't have to worry about it because it will be overturned. I'll do anything I can to help. Sure, I got trouble for coming. I take care of my life, and they take care of theirs."
John Denver: Against boycott
The New York Times quotes Denver as saying people calling for a Colorado boycott were "hypocrites." Continue for more of the top ten stars for and against boycotting "hate state" Colorado twenty years ago. James Taylor: For boycott
The Rocky Mountain News reported that Taylor decided not to perform at the 1993 Telluride Bluegrass Festival, which he had headlined the previous year, as a protest against Amendment 2. Madonna: For boycott
Madonna was among those who signed on with an organization called Boycott Colorado. Other notables included director Jonathan Demme, writer Nora Ephron and comedienne Joan Rivers.
More from our Follow That Story archive: "Photos: Ten famous same-sex couples who've tied the knot."
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