The Advocate, America’s oldest and reportedly largest gay magazine, has just named Pope Francis I Person of the Year.
The pontiff, who was elevated from Cardinal in March of this year, was chosen by the Advocate’s editors over nine other finalists as “the single most influential person of 2013 on the lives of LGBT people,” apparently in large part for his “Who am I to judge?” comment.
The other finalists chosen by The Advocate include DOMA hero Edie Windsor, Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy, the popular rapper Macklemore, Proposition 8 plaintiffs Kristin Perry and Sandy Stier, and Paul Katami and Jeff Zarrillo, WNBA star Brittney Griner, Blue Is the Warmest Color actresses Léa Seydoux and Adèle Exarchopoulos, fired for being gay Russian TV anchor Anton Krasovsky, Colorado trans teen Jane Doe, teen cancer scientist Jack Andraka, and lastly, “The Bisexuals.”
In their cover story today, editorial director Lucas Grindley seemed defensive of the magazine’s choice.
Pope Francis is leader of 1.2 billion Roman Catholics all over the world. There are three times as many Catholics in the world than there are citizens in the United States. Like it or not, what he says makes a difference.
While Edie Windsor, for example, is among the list of finalists, she is not Person of the Year. Windsor is a hero to LGBT Americans for taking the final punch in the fight against the discriminatory Defense of Marriage Act, and section 3 is no more.
Edie Windsor is a hero, one well worth recording in history books that retell the story of DOMA’s demise. But she is not the Person of the Year. She couldn’t possibly be, not for The Advocate, where we celebrate the work of so many who contributed to that landmark Supreme Court victory.
The most influential person of 2013 doesn’t come from our ongoing legal conflict but instead from our spiritual one — successes from which are harder to define.
And Grindley notes that in “the same way that President Obama transformed politics with his evolution on LGBT civil rights, a change from the pope could have a lasting effect on religion.”
But if Grindley sounded defensive in his profile of the pontiff, on social media, he was forced to defend the choice point blank:
What are your thoughts?
We invite you to sign up for our new mailing list, and subscribe to The New Civil Rights Movement via email or RSS.