Cubs co-owner Laura Ricketts discusses coming out, supporting Obama

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Cubs co-owner Laura Ricketts is something of an outlier in the Ricketts family.

Ricketts came out as gay in her early 30s and has been an outspoken supporter of Democrats in a highly conservative family. Her father, Joe Ricketts, is the billionaire founder of TD Ameritrade, her brother Todd runs the GOP super-PAC Ending Spending with their father, and brother Pete is the Republican governor of Nebraska.

Interviewed by New York Magazine this week, Ricketts talked about being the exception to the rule in her family. The story also includes an interview with Joe Ricketts, who typically declines interview requests.

Some excerpts from the article:

-Joe Ricketts on when Laura came out: “It was quite a dramatic time. I had known many people who have been gay, and their lives were tormented — I’m 73, it was a different generation — but the thing that I didn’t want to have happen was for my daughter to be tormented.” (He sums up his views as “Heterosexuals and homosexuals should be treated equally under the law, given the same opportunity and respect. I don’t believe that you can change the definition of marriage.”) “I said she was born that way, a child of God. I told her to keep her head high and demand respect.”

-Laura continues: “You’re a leader,” she says her father told her. “And you can help other young women to come out. You gay people don’t know how to market your cause. You need to do micromarketing — you need to get on the ball!” And then, she says, “He said, ‘You always be proud of who you are. Because I am.’ ” She pauses for a moment, chokes up. “And then he said, ‘If anybody ever gives you trouble you tell me.’ ” She apologizes, dabs her eyes. “I said, ‘Because you’re going to beat them up?’ He was like, ‘Oh, no. I would hire somebody to take care of it.’ ”

-Laura on what her family thinks of her Obama support and raising money for liberal candidates: “I don’t think they like it! … They don’t! Todd and I joke that for some candidates we should just not get involved, because we offset our contributions. He had a fund-raiser for Mitch McConnell, and I was like, Ugh — you know I have to do something for Alison Lundergan Grimes now.”

You can read the full story here.

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