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Rick Welts, Suns president, reveals he is gay

Posted on: May 15, 2011 4:57 pm
Edited on: May 15, 2011 5:47 pm
Phoenix Suns president Rick Welts reveals he is a homosexual in a New York Times article. Posted by Ben Golliver. rick-welts

Rick Welts, the president of the Phoenix Suns and a long-time NBA employee, publicly revealed that he is a homosexual for the first time in an article in the New York Times on Sunday.

Welts says he lived in secrecy for decades because of the stigma attached to homosexuality in the world of professional sports.
“This is one of the last industries where the subject is off limits,” said Mr. Welts. “Nobody’s comfortable in engaging in a conversation.” reports that Welts' admission makes him a trailblazer, noting that he is "believed to be the first man in a prominent position in men's sports who has declared his homosexuality."
So why, after all these years, did Welts decide to come forward? The Times writes... 
Mr. Welts explained that he wants to pierce the silence that envelops the subject of homosexuality in men’s team sports. He wants to be a mentor to gay people who harbor doubts about a sports career, whether on the court or in the front office. Most of all, he wants to feel whole, authentic. 

Perhaps the most illuminating aspect of this admission is that two prominent NBA figures -- NBA commissioner David Stern and Phoenix Suns All-Star guard Steve Nash -- both were well aware of Mr. Welts' homosexuality but had not discussed it with him directly. In Stern's case, he showed silent, indirect support. In Nash's case, he simply thought everyone already knew that Welts was gay. That both of those reactions existed shows just how complicated living his life in silence must have been for Welts.

While he has risen to the top of his profession, Welts likely still felt like an outsider in a very personal way. Stern commented that he hoped "the world will find this [admission] unremarkable," but clearly this will be a remarkable moment for Welts himself.

It wouldn't be surprising at all if his admission, and the peace of mind it will likely provide going forward, inspires other executives in similar situations to come forward.


Since: Oct 31, 2006
Posted on: May 17, 2011 3:38 pm

Rick Welts, Suns president, reveals he is gay

No, but who cares; keep it to himself. And the sweep thing... that hurts! ;-)

Since: Nov 12, 2006
Posted on: May 16, 2011 6:50 pm

Rick Welts, Suns president, reveals he is gay

Tell that to Mark Foley.

Since: Jul 16, 2007
Posted on: May 16, 2011 3:04 pm

Rick Welts, Suns president, reveals he is gay

Well, I'm not sure about that particular family.  But yeah, there's a reason I left the bible belt as soon as I could.  That brings up a good point.  The main reason I moved to Oregon and a significant factor in choosing... well, first architecture and secondly nursing... as a career is wanting to live in a place and be in a career where it actually IS ok to be gay.  That is one reason I admire Rick Welts for coming out.  He's living in a very conservative place and working in a very closed-minded industry (the professional sports industry).  It actually does take a lot of courage to do that.

Since: Oct 22, 2007
Posted on: May 16, 2011 2:51 pm

Rick Welts, Suns president, reveals he is gay

pt1404: I've seen a hateful family deny a gay man visitation rights to be with his dying partner.

The sad irony is they probably consider themselves Christians.

Since: Jul 16, 2007
Posted on: May 16, 2011 2:25 pm

Rick Welts, Suns president, reveals he is gay

Not all gay people insist on a blanket societal endorsement of gay marriage.  I think most gay people want some sort of societal acceptance that will protect their partner's rights and benefits in life and death the way marriage does for heterosexual married couples.  I work in the healthcare industry and I've seen a hateful family deny a gay man visitation rights to be with his dying partner.  It's not right.  Whatever you call it...  marriage, civil-unions, designated legal guest (how romantic!), personally I think it's clear that there needs to be some legal revisions to the current system.

Since: Oct 15, 2006
Posted on: May 16, 2011 1:52 pm

Rick Welts, Suns president, reveals he is gay

pt1404, let me ask you this as a kind of thought experiment.  I'm just curious what people think.  What if everyone was able to designate one other person as his or her legal "guest" in the same way you get a wedding invitation and it says "John Doe and guest?"  This could apply to married persons, spinster sisters living together, friends who are each single, etc.  The legal rights you outline would be designated for that one person.  Would this mollify the gay community on the marriage thing, or would they still insist on a blanket societal endorsement of gay marriage? 

Since: Oct 15, 2006
Posted on: May 16, 2011 1:42 pm

Rick Welts, Suns president, reveals he is gay

I just googled your link "Homosexual Movement 1987 “Overhauling of Straight America” and it lays out a clear agenda, and it's being played out brilliantly.  People need to remember when they read the article that it was printed in a publication catering to homosexuals over twenty years ago. 

Since: Jul 16, 2007
Posted on: May 16, 2011 1:40 pm

Rick Welts, Suns president, reveals he is gay

Marriage Rights and Benefits

Whether or not you favor marriage as a social institution, there's no denying that it confers many rights, protections, and benefits -- both legal and practical. Some of these vary from state to state, but the list typically includes:

Tax Benefits

  • Filing joint income tax returns with the IRS and state taxing authorities.
  • Creating a "family partnership" under federal tax laws, which allows you to divide business income among family members.

Estate Planning Benefits

  • Inheriting a share of your spouse's estate.
  • Receiving an exemption from both estate taxes and gift taxes for all property you give or leave to your spouse.
  • Creating life estate trusts that are restricted to married couples, including QTIP trusts, QDOT trusts, and marital deduction trusts.
  • Obtaining priority if a conservator needs to be appointed for your spouse -- that is, someone to make financial and/or medical decisions on your spouse's behalf.

Government Benefits

  • Receiving Social Security, Medicare, and disability benefits for spouses.
  • Receiving veterans' and military benefits for spouses, such as those for education, medical care, or special loans.
  • Receiving public assistance benefits.

Employment Benefits

  • Obtaining insurance benefits through a spouse's employer.
  • Taking family leave to care for your spouse during an illness.
  • Receiving wages, workers' compensation, and retirement plan benefits for a deceased spouse.
  • Taking bereavement leave if your spouse or one of your spouse's close relatives dies.

Medical Benefits

  • Visiting your spouse in a hospital intensive care unit or during restricted visiting hours in other parts of a medical facility.
  • Making medical decisions for your spouse if he or she becomes incapacitated and unable to express wishes for treatment.

Death Benefits

  • Consenting to after-death examinations and procedures.
  • Making burial or other final arrangements.

Family Benefits

  • Filing for stepparent or joint adoption.
  • Applying for joint foster care rights.
  • Receiving equitable division of property if you divorce.
  • Receiving spousal or child support, child custody, and visitation if you divorce.

Housing Benefits

  • Living in neighborhoods zoned for "families only."
  • Automatically renewing leases signed by your spouse.

Consumer Benefits

  • Receiving family rates for health, homeowners', auto, and other types of insurance.
  • Receiving tuition discounts and permission to use school facilities.
  • Other consumer discounts and incentives offered only to married couples or families.

Other Legal Benefits and Protections

  • Suing a third person for wrongful death of your spouse and loss of consortium (loss of intimacy).
  • Suing a third person for offenses that interfere with the success of your marriage, such as alienation of affection and criminal conversation (these laws are available in only a few states).
  • Claiming the marital communications privilege, which means a court can't force you to disclose the contents of confidential communications between you and your spouse during your marriage.
  • Receiving crime victims' recovery benefits if your spouse is the victim of a crime.
  • Obtaining immigration and residency benefits for noncitizen spouse.
  • Visiting rights in jails and other places where visitors are restricted to immediate family.

Since: Aug 25, 2009
Posted on: May 16, 2011 1:04 pm
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Since: Mar 8, 2008
Posted on: May 16, 2011 12:58 pm

Rick Welts, Suns president, reveals he is gay

If only the homophobes knew how many pictures of gay athletes they had on their wall during their youth.  But then they wouldn't be ignorant 1890's-thinking fools.

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