Fighting Homophobia in Sports

Today, the sports world is still a struggle for gays. While studies show that society’s perspective is evolving-approval of same sex marriage has gone from 11% in 1988 to 46% in 2010-there is still a perception that homosexuality and sports do not mix. In  fact, more often than not, homosexuality is ignored in sports. Yet there are a few athletes that are taking grand steps to change that.

Brendon Ayanbadejo, a linebacker for the Baltimore Ravens, and Matt Jarvis, a professional European soccer player, have both stepped up to advocate for gay rights and are fighting homophobia in sports.

Ayanbadejo joined Athlete Ally, a program designed to challenge homophobia in sports through athletes speaking to management, coaches, and players. Ayanbadejo stated, “Athlete Ally is about respect and ensuring people the opportunity to be themselves. There’s nothing more fundamental than that when it comes to football.”

Jarvis, a married and well known soccer player, stood up for gay rights by posing on the cover of Attitude, the best-selling gay magazine in Britain. He discussed the fear that a gay footballer would have and yet affirmed that there would be a large amount of support for anyone that did come out.

Hopefully, this is just the beginning of athletes taking a stand for equal human rights. Read more from the full article on Ayabbadejo in Outsports, Or learn more about Jarvis from The Independent, in the full article here.

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Tammy Baldwin Sworn In – Becomes First Openly Gay Senator

Tammy Baldwin was sworn in today as a senator from Wisconsin, making her the first openly gay person to serve in the senate.

Chuck Wolfe of the Gay and Lesbian Victory Fund said: “LGBT Americans have finally broken through a glass ceiling that held firm for more than two centuries.”

Baldwin previously served in the congress along side other LGBT legislators Barney Frank of Massachusetts, David Cicilline of Rhode Island and Jared Polis of Colorado (my rep!)

The 113th congress, which begins today, does so without Frank, who retired after the last term. There are four more LGBT members joining Polis and Cicilline: Mark Pocan, who won his bid to fill the 2nd Congressional seat being vacated by Baldwin, Kyrsten Sinema, of Arizona, becoming the first openly bisexual member of Congress, Sean Patrick Maloney, of New York and
Mark Takano, of California, becoming the first openly gay Asian-American in Congress. Takano’s newly created 41st Congressional District includes the Inland Empire, a region located east of Los Angeles.

Our momentum just keeps building!

Watch: ESPN Airs Pro Bowler Scott Norton Kissing His Husband

 

Jim Buzinski from Outsports posted this video yesterday of professional bowler Scott Norton kissing his husband after winning the PBA Chameleon Championship in Las Vegas.  The competition took place in November, but was aired this past Sunday.

According to Jim, this is the first time ESPN has aired a same sex kiss.  Not only that, but the announcers treated the champion’s relationship as a non issue.  They simply referred to the Scott’s husband as “husband” and “spouse” interchangeably

The best way to show progress is to have our relationships acknowledged without explanation or fanfare.  It just “is”.

Read Jim’s entire post here.

Macklemore Same Love

As the year comes to an end we look back at all of the leaps and bounds marriage equality has had. One of the best illustrations of progress is the Hip Hop culture. Previously labeled as homophobic, we are seeing an evolution of minds and perspectives.

Top Hip Hop artist Frank Ocean admitted this year that his first love was a man and rapper, Macklemore, currently at #10 on the Billboard Hot 100 with his hit Thrift Shop, has embraced same-sex marriage and gay rights with his song, Same Love.

In 2013, we know that things are only going to get better. If you have not watched Macklemore Same Love yet, well, you don’t know what you are missing.

 

A Year in Review – Marriage Equality in 2012

Marriage News Watch’s Matt Baume brings us full circle as 2012 draws to a close. He takes us back through the year to review the progress the country has made towards marriage equality in 2012. With the amazing strides made in one year we are excited to see what 2013 brings in our movement to full marriage equality and equal human rights.

Richard Adams, an Early Fighter for Gay Marriage, Dies

Richard Adams, pushed for gay marriage forty years before it reached the national attention is has today. Adams passed on December 17th after a brief illness at the age of 65 in his home with Tony Sullivan, his partner of 43 years.

In 1975, four years after they met, the couple heard about a country clerk in Boulder, Colo., Clela Rorex, who was granting marriage licenses to gay couples after learning that there was no Colorado law that directly forbade it.

The two were among the first couples to come to Colorado to marry before Clela Rorex was ordered to stop. After their marriage they sought residency for Sullivan, an Australian. The response was less than desirable, reading “ ”You have failed to establish that a bona fide marital relationship can exist between two faggots.”

Adams fought the courts and filed a the first federal lawsuit seeking gay marriage recognition.

The couple is a subject of the upcoming documentary, ”Limited Partnership,” and before Adam’s death they were actually working on a challenge to the federal Defense of Marriage Act.

Adams was an early fighter for gay marriage and a true pioneer. Read more about this story in the original article on Mercury News.

U.S. Marine’s Proposal is First Ever Engagement of a Gay Couple at The White House

A U.S. Marine’s recent proposal to his boyfriend made history as the first ever engagement of a gay couple at the White House. U.S. Marine Corps captain Matthew Phelps proposed to his boyfriend Ben Schock when they were visiting the monument. The event was not only historical but also heartfelt when Ben said “Yes!”

Historical White House Engagement

Afterward, Phelps posted on his Facebook:

Such a special night surrounded by wonderful people in an amazing place, and the best is still yet to come with Ben Schock. Thanks for all the wonderful greetings and messages, and thanks to Barack Obama and Michelle Obama for lending us your home for the occasion! 

This wonderful engagement illustrates the progress we are making.  The repeal of the military’s don’t ask, don’t tell, same-sex marriage is legal in a few states, and the President has voiced his approval of marriage equality.

There is still a ways to go but we are headed in the right direction. Read more about this great story in an article by Madeline Davies, here.

Last Minute Marriage Equality Legislation

Lawmakers in Oregon and Indiana are separately working on last minute marriage equality legislation. See more from Mariage News Watch’s video here:

 

The 50 Most Powerful Coming Outs of 2012

Andy Towle’s blog Towle Road is an amazing resource.  If you don’t subscribe to it, you should.  This morning, Andy featured 50 significant coming out stories of 2012.  Take a minute and read through each one.  Every person that comes out is important, but public figures help educate people that the stereotypes and lies spread by the religious right and other bigots are wrong.  We are people.  We live among you.  We deserve equality and ask for nothing more.

As Andy said in his post, “All in all, though, 2012 shows that gay people who break down that closet can have it all.

Here is the list.

Same-Sex Marriage Supporters Nervous over Prop 8

The Supreme Court is scheduled to hear two cases in early 2013 on the legality of same-sex marriage. Supporters of gay marriage are just as nervous as they are excited. There is concern amongst supporters that while the court may rule that marriage is a constitutional right for same-sex couples, they may also rule in favor of Proposition 8. This is the ability for each state to make the ultimate ruling and even ban same-sex marriage despite the federal court, which is what happened in California in 2008.

Read more on the story from Liz Goodwin at Yahoo! News.

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