Top Chef judge Tom Colicchio spoke out this week for gay marriage, saying that gays and lesbians are not seeking “special treatment, just equitable treatment.”
In his blog this week on bravotv.com, Colicchio shares his views on gay marriage, prompted by one contestant’s discomfort with this week’s wedding challenge.
“I’m going to go out on a limb and say a few words about same-sex marriage,” Colicchio writes. “First of all, part of the problem with the issue is that it is framed by opponents as a discussion of whether gay people should get special rights. This is specious – yes, special legislation or court decisions grant them the right to wed in a particular state, however this is done to ensure that they share equal protection under the law by finally being able to avail themselves of the same rights as everyone else. They are not seeking special treatment, just equitable treatment.”
During the challenge, gay contestant Ashley Merriman repeatedly took issue with cooking for, and celebrating, the event when gays and lesbians are still denied marriage rights in most of this country and the world. The contestants had to cater bachelor and bachelorette parties.
While not agreeing with Merriman’s position that the show should not have hosted the challenge, he sides in favor of full marriage equality.
“The idea that religious leaders are continuing to shape state law is just wrong,” he adds. “The institution of marriage should be available to all. The idea that you can have a life-long partner and not make decisions for them in a hospital, not share in insurance benefits, not automatically have parental rights unless you are the birth parent, is just flat-out wrong.”