Former Komen CEO Nancy Brinker Turns to a New Cause: Gay Rights

If one person can be said to be responsible for the inexplicable requirement that professional football players don pink gloves and shoes, it's Nancy Brinker. Through the Dallas-based Susan G. Komen Foundation, she's managed, not quite single-handedly but almost, to turn the fight against breast cancer into a global cause celebre.

Then came the organization's poorly considered decision to cut funding to Planned Parenthood. Komen marches on, but the fallout damaged its reputation and eventually led Brinker to resign as CEO.

Brinker remains involved in the nonprofit, but the extra free time has allowed her to turn her attention to other projects. The Washington Post reports:

Now that things have settled down, mother and son turned in a new direction Thursday when they hosted a reception for Lambda Legal at Brinker's Georgetown home. The gay-rights group is celebrating its 40th anniversary and preparing for Supreme Court arguments on same-sex marriage this spring.

It may look like a bit of PR-savvy outreach to liberals turned off by Komen's actions. But it's also another cause genuinely close to Nancy Brinker's heart: Eric, 37, is gay and talking publicly about it for the first time.

"Having the most supportive mom in the world, I didn't have to twist her arm very hard to get her involved," he told us. He said his sexuality has never been a issue for his family, so "it's very sad to us when we hear stories of people whose parents reject them."

Raising money to expand gay rights certainly won't hurt her public image, but her support for the cause seems genuine enough.

"Basically, I believe in solid, committed family structures," Brinker told the Post. "And family today doesn't necessarily look like what we grew up with in the '50s."

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