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Barrios Martin Can Bridge Gays and Latinos

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Jarrett Barrios, president of the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation, toasts singer Ricky Martin, the latest major celebrity to come out, in a column for The Huffington Post.

Despite some who have been dismissive or cynical about Martin's announcement, Barrios said that for many fans, especially Latinos, this provides a more tangible meaning of what it means to be gay. Barrios also points out that the reverberations of Martin's coming-out will be significant at the ballot box.

"In California, Latinos were 20% of the vote on election day in 2008 -- the day a majority of California voters took the right to marry away from gay and lesbian people," he wrote. "By 2012, Latinos will make up a hugely significant percentage of the voting public. For all the advocates looking to build support among those Latinos who voted for Proposition 8 in 2008, Ricky Martin puts a face on the gay community in a whole new way and will spark the types of conversations that build common ground."

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