According to USA Today, Equal Marriage Florida has received support from an unlikely source in their effort to get a constitutional amendment legalizing same-sex on the state ballot in 2014: former NBA start Tim Hardaway. Hardaway was the ceremonial first signer of a petition crafted by the group; Equal Marriage Florida must receive over 680,000 signatures to have the opportunity to be the state ballot. The proposal to legalize same-sex marriage would overrule a ban on gay marriage passed by Florida voters in 2008.
The move represents some personal growth for the former Miami Heat point guard, who made headlines back in 2007 when he openly discussed his homophobia and dislike of gay marriage in an interview with a Miami radio station. His comments at the time were openly hostile:
I hate gay people, so let it be known. I don’t like gay people and I don’t like to be around gay people. I am homophobic. It should not be in the world or in the United States.
To his credit, Hardaway took to heart the negative attention his comments generated and has made a concerted effort to reform his views. In 2011 he called out anti-gay marriage group El Pasoans for supporting the stances he once espoused, saying the group needed to “grow up and catch up with the times” as he had.