"I am completely in favor of the marriages," he said to a number of reporters covering his arrival in Argentina, "I think we all have the same rights, although when it comes to adoption, I don't feel able to give an opinion".
That comes from an article posted online last night and published in today's edition of El Sol ("Manu on gay marriage"), The paper calls him the best Argentinean basketball player ever.
Survey after survey leading to the vote showed that Argentineans, on the whole, were OK with the recognizing same-sex partnerships but did not feel comfortable about granting them adoption rights.
In Argentina, gays can actually adopt children, even before the marriage bill passed, but opponents of the marriage equality bill sought to derail it by offering an "alternative" civil unions bill which would have banned gay couples from adopting. Ultimately that bill never reached the senate floor on the day of the debate due to parliamentary rules.
UPDATED SECTION: I've got my hands on a video of the press conference and Manú Ginóbili's full statement:
Reporter: You've been told, pardon me, about the polarization of the country and, in addition, yesterday there were two protests in the country which have divided society - and different personalities have expressed what they think about gay marriage, yes or no. Do we have your opinion?-----
Manú: I am in favor of gay marriage - eh - specially of the rights - eh - needed by people who are equal before the law - eh - and it doesn't affect the rest of society... it doesn't, if they are gays... yes? let them be and do whatever they want, I am in favor, and it seems to me...
Reporter: What about adoption?
Manú: Adoption is much more delicate, I don't feel I have the qualifications, I don't know which studies have been done, if there is any background info. I know that, I believe - I don't know, as an outside observer, without knowledge of what scientific data there is out there - that it should be better for a baby to be born with two dads than in an orphanage.
What's truly bizarre about this is another internationally renown athlete also spoke to reporters and said almost the exact same thing...
That actually is a clip of the popular Argentinean television soap opera "Botineras" in which actor Cristian Sancho plays a world renown soccer player nicknamed Flaco who falls in love with a teammate and comes out as being gay for fear of being outed. I wrote about the groundbreaking storyline back in April ("Soccer players in love"). This particular episode aired earlier this week just before the senate gave the go-ahead to marriage equality.
The full article is only available on newsstands, but that's him posing for the current edition of the gossipy magazine Caras in which he also graces the cover. Yup, he is wearing a corset.
The cover reads "The leading man of 'Botineras' supports gay marriage and says he now has male and female fans".
Apparently, in the article, he goes into his portrayal of a masculine gay man in one of the most homophobic sports in the world and his attempt at also giving his character some feminine traits. The pull quote from the article?
"You have to be very manly to accept masculine femininity".
For more of Mr. Sancho you can read a post I wrote also back in April about his naked photo shoot for a gay magazine called Romeo.
And, as an extra, I'll also post the groundbreaking scene that ran on the show on April 9th, 2010. It was the first time the two teammates slept together. I find it beautifully handled and erotic, even if a bit NSFW. It does make you wonder, though, how those hair curls stay in place...