Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Dodger Stadium 'Kiss Cam' Features Two Men: How Far Have We Come?

Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Dodger Stadium 'Kiss Cam' Features Two Men: How Far Have We Come?

Article excerpt

History was made again at a major league baseball game on Saturday night in Los Angeles.

No, it was not a repeat of last Wednesday's record-setting zero attendance figure in Baltimore. Instead, two fans' love was celebrated on the Dodger Stadium "Kiss Cam." It just so happened that this couple was gay, the Huffington Post reported. The world didn't stop spinning and the sky didn't fall. Instead, it was like any other night at the ballpark, with the crowd erupting in cheers to voice their support.

This kiss cam moment made history because 15 years ago, Dodger Stadium was the flashpoint of a serious low in America's acceptance of gays and lesbians. On August 8, 2000, Dodger fans complained to stadium security that Danielle Goldey and Meredith Kott, a lesbian couple, were kissing in the stands and this prompted security guards to escort the couple out of the stadium, according to SB Nation's Outsports blog.

The organization apologized to the couple and they were given seats behind home plate to make up for the ejection after a lawsuit was threatened. The Dodgers also responded by giving away 5,000 tickets to gay-rights groups. One month later, the Dodgers hosted "Gay and Lesbian Night at Dodger Stadium," which was reported as the first "gay night" at a professional baseball game.

The 15-year evolution in Dodger fans' attitude towards gays and lesbians mirrors that of America's changing stance on gay rights nationally. According to the Pew Research Center, since 2001 Americans' opinion on gay marriage have basically flipped. In 2001, 57 percent of Americans opposed gay marriage, with only 35 percent in support. Today, 52 percent of the country supports gay marriage and 40 percent opposes. This is due, in part, to younger generations like millennials' - children born after 1981 - acceptance of gay rights, with 67 percent of the generation in support.

With some predicting that the US Supreme Court might shoot down gay marriage bans later this spring, it will be more incumbent on the culture of sports in general to be more inclusive to homosexuals. Homophobic language and attitudes still manifest themselves inside of team locker rooms from high school up through the professional ranks, as the sports world lags behind mainstream society in acceptance of homosexuals. …

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