Latino celebrities have joined the
chorus of Hollywood stars taking sides on Proposition 8 –
California's ballot initiative that seeks to ban gay marriage in the
state once again.
The most controversial endorsement
comes from Mexican soap hunk Eduardo Verástegui,
who favors banning gay marriage in the state.
Verástegui recently contributed
his talent to a Spanish-language commercial in support of the gay
marriage ban. In the video, the devout Catholic star says he
supports Prop 8 because there is “no greater gift for sons than a
home full of love next to his mother and father.”
The ad ends with a female announcer
saying, “Protect your sons and traditional marriage. Vote yes on
It should be noted that “sons”
could be a metaphorical reference to children.
Verástegui has appeared in
numerous soap operas for the Mexican broadcaster Telemundo, which
were viewed by over 10 million people across the United States.
People en Espanol has voted him one the fastest rising Latino
stars and one of the 50 “most beautiful people” in the world.
Gay activist in Mexico quickly
condemned Verástegui's anti-gay position, saying he was
promoting homophobia, reports Mexico's El Universal.
In contrast, the Latino stars of ABC's
Ugly Betty have recorded their own commercial, where America
Ferrera, who plays Betty Suarez, Tony Plana and Ana Ortiz give a
heartfelt appeal in defense of gay marriage.
The Spanish-language commercial
features the three ABC stars speaking directly to California voters.
“For Latinos, the family is very
important,” says Plana, who plays Ferrera's father on the show.
“For that reason, we're against
Proposition 8,” adds Ferrera.
“Prop 8 discriminates against our
families and friends by eliminating their right to civil marriage.
Laws should not be used to discriminate against anyone.”
“Don't believe the lies, Prop 8 has
nothing to do with religion or schools.”
“It attempts to eliminate a human
right,” says Ortiz, who plays Ferrera's sister on the show.
“Unite with us. Vote no on Prop 8.”
“It's bad law and It's unfair,”
The three Latino stars represent a
diverse Latin American geography. Twenty-four-year-old Ferrera was
born in Honduras, but her family immigrated to the United States in
the mid-1970s. Plana, who plays Ignacio Suarez on the ABC dramedy,
is Cuban-American. And Philadelphia native Ana Ortiz comes from a
Puerto Rican family.
Ugly Betty has become a huge
Latino hit since its 2006 premiere. Latino audiences who had become
accustomed to watching Latino stars from Latin American broadcasting
giants like Telemundo, thrilled at the idea of seeing themselves
during mainstream prime-time television. Additionally, the ugly
duckling story was plucked directly from a Colombian soap opera
titled Betty La Fea and adapted for an American audience.
Verástegui has also endorsed
Proposition 4, an initiative which would require parental consent for
minors seeking an abortion. And more recently, he starred in a video
where he urged Hispanic voters to reject Democratic Senator Barack
Obama for president because of his pro-choice stance.