Tennis legend Martina Navratilova said Thursday that the United States lags "far behind" Europe when it comes to gay rights and that the Bush administration offers little hope for progress. Speaking to reporters at a Hong Kong exhibition tournament, Navratilova, who is openly gay, said, "Things are moving in the right direction in Europe, but in the States we are still far behind." She said she wants to see same-sex unions legalized in the United States, but added, "Under the current administration, we are certainly not going to get ahead." Responding to a recent ruling by the Massachusetts supreme judicial court rejecting the state's same-sex marriage ban, President Bush said last month that he could support a federal constitutional amendment prohibiting gay unions.
Navratilova, 47, decried what she called the "inequality" between gay and heterosexual couples. "You have straight couples, who when they get married it happens overnight. They immediately have more rights than we have in a committed relationship," she said. Navratilova was born in Czechoslovakia and defected to the United States in the 1970s.