Everyone on the planet (and Harry Potter readers in the asteroid belt) has heard by now that Ms. Rowling has publicly declared that Dumbledore was gay. While this does in fact show some amount of support for GLBT issues, it does not, after all, do near as much as if she had shown the character as gay in the books themselves.
Here’s a particularly good analysis by Columbia Law Professor Michael Dorf at Findlaw linking the intention of fiction authors to the intentions of the Framers of the Constitution:
These principles may seem obvious enough when considering the relation of a fiction writer’s intentions to her text, but they are highly contentious when it comes to legal documents. In the balance of this column, I will explain why James Madison is no more of an authority on the meaning of the U.S. Constitution, than J.K. Rowling is on Dumbledore’s sexual orientation.
In the end, though, an author of a work of fiction is, at best, first among equals in interpreting that work. Her intentions do not control the meaning of the text.
Just in case anyone wonders. Every character I ever wrote in my books is gay. Also handicapped. And a woman. No matter what the books say.
And finally, from Andy Borowitz at the Huffington Post:
Just days after Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling revealed that the popular professor character Albus Dumbledore was gay, President George W. Bush told the nation that he would seek a ban on fictitious gay weddings.