Don Lemon Defends Johnny Weir

Yesterday Bilerico editor John Becker and CNN anchor Don Lemon tangled over whether Johnny Weir has a responsibility to denounce Russia’s treatment of LGBT people.

Lemon stood up for Weir and argued that just because he’s gay doesn’t automatically mean he has to be vocal about gay rights all the time. John Becker took a decidedly different position, saying that just because someone is gay “doesn’t automatically make you an expert on LGBT rights,” and slammed Weir’s “ludicrously offensive” downplaying of just how bad the situation is for gays in Russia. Nicholas Benton, a friend of Weir’s, defended him and said he’s making an “important statement” not by speaking out, but through his behavior and his flamboyant attire. Lemon said Weir shouldn’t have to speak out. He argued, “It doesn’t make him a gay activist, nor should he have to be a gay activist because he’s gay.” That being said, Lemon did opine a bit about the idea of a “gay minstrel show” that doesn’t exactly help the cause either.

Becker: “Silence in the face of that law is tacit agreement with that law.” Exactly. Watch the clip.