During an interview last Friday, Juan Pablo Galavis, star of The Bachelor, was asked his opinion on having a gay or bisexual bachelor on the popular reality program. You can read his comments here. ABC, The Bachelor Executive Producers and Warner Horizon Television responded via a statement: "Juan Pablo’s comments were careless, thoughtless and insensitive, and in no way reflect the views of the network, the show’s producers or studio."
Saturday night, Juan Pablo spoke with GLAAD and also spoke out on his Facebook page. He also told Monica Trasandes, GLAAD's Director of Spanish-Language and Latino Media, via phone today:
"I have heard from many gay Latinos today who are hurt because of what I said and I apologize. I know gay parents and I support them and their families. They are good parents and loving families. I am a father and I know the feel of being a father, why wouldn't I want my gay friends to also be happy parents?
I also want gay and lesbian youth to know that it is fine to be who you are. Gay or straight, Black or White, Latin or American, what matters here is to respect who we are.
I look forward to meeting with gay and lesbian families as well as Monica and Wilson from GLAAD. Gay and lesbian people, and the children they are raising, wrongfully face discrimination and I want them to know that I'm on their side."
Juan Pablo will be meeting in Los Angeles this week with LGBT Latinos and families including Monica Trasandes, a gay mom from Uruguay who leads GLAAD's Latino and Spanish-Language Media Program, and GLAAD's Wilson Cruz, who played TV's first gay teen on ABC's My So-Called Life and currently works with GLAAD to advocate for more LGBT-inclusive television programs and films.
Trasandes responded to his apology:
"At a time when Latino support for gay and lesbian people and our families is growing, we look forward to continuing the conversation with Juan Pablo and working with him to help educate his fans about who gay and lesbian parents are. Study after study shows that young people raised by gay parents are as happy and healthy as other young people."
Many recent studies have found growing Hispanic support of the LGBT community. A 2012 Pew Hispanic Center study showed that 59% of Hispanics/Latinos agree gay and lesbian people should be accepted and a 2013 poll by the National Council of La Raza found 54% support of same-sex marriage among Latino populations compared to 53% support by the general population.
Additionally, the Williams Institute at UCLA found that 1.4 million or 4.3 percent of Latino/a adults identify as LGBT and 29% of Latino same-sex couples have children
(Editor's note: This post originally appeared on SDGLN content partner GLAAD.)