By Jase Peeples
Originally published on Advocate.com July 06 2013 3:33 PM ET
Former Miami Heat star Tim Hardaway was the first person who signed a petition to place an equal marriage constitutional amendment on the ballot in Florida, reports NBC Miami.
"If you’re married you're married – you should see your significant other in the hospital, make choices for your significant other if you need to make those choices,” Hardaway said on July 3 at an event supporting a ballot measure which would amend Florida’s state constitution to define marriage in the state as a “union between two persons.”
Hardaway’s views on LGBT civil rights have greatly evolved since a 2007 radio interview in which he said, “I hate gay people. So I let it be known. I don't like gay people. I don't like to be around gay people. I'm homophobic.”
The former NBA player now says he understands those comments were, “truly, truly wrong” and credits his gay cousins and relatives for opening his mind by having “heartfelt” conversations with him about his homophobic views.
Since the infamous 2007 interview, Hardaway has tried to make amends by volunteering at various LGBT youth organizations.
Equal Marriage Florida chairperson Vanessa Brito said she found Hardaway’s change of heart touching and was impressed that he not only owned up to his previous mistakes, but has since become a vocal supporter for LGBT civil rights.