Scoring consecutive victories in state legislatures, at the ballot box and in the polls, gay people have gained national prominence and momentum in the United States even as high-profile men have tightened their hold on the leadership as strategists, promoters, spokesmen and financiers. With money flowing from Hollywood and the high-tech world, members of the gay elite have contributed cash to political campaigns, created foundations and pumped in millions of dollars to transform gay rights into a mainstream movement hoping for another victory at the Supreme Court in June. It is a male dominance; Out Magazine’s annual list of the 50 most powerful and influential gays and lesbians, issued this month, included only 11 women. That’s no surprise: As a rule, women have not made it up the gay ranks or grabbed the media spotlight except perhaps when Ellen DeGeneres or Martina Navratilova came out of the closet (the basketball player Jason Collins upstaged them this week).
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