Bio: Mitcham won gold at the 2008 Olympics. When fellow Australian Olympians Russell and Lauryn Mark of the shooting team complained that they couldn’t stay together in the Olympic village, saying it was anti-heterosexual descrimination and that gay couples could stay together, Mitcham spoke out against them on Twitter. “Since there were only 11 out gays across all nations [in 2008], I’d hardly consider that a ton. Known couples are split anyway.” He followed it up with, “The last thing I need is a sexually frustrated breeder with a shotgun being cross with me. No comment, thank you very much!!” So he’s pretty funny. Also he loves memes.
Age: 35 (turns 36 next week)
Bio: Arndt is a two-time Olympic medalist (Bronze in 2000 and Silver in 2004) and has won multiple international cycling championships as well as national championships in Germany. Her and her partner, fellow cyclist Petra Rossner, have been together for over fifteen years.
Bio: The field hockey star is a South African native, who began representing the Netherlands after a move to Holland. Agliotti was a member of the 2008 Olympic gold medal team, and is an outspoken advocate for more openness about the homosexuality in her sport.
Bio: Péon is an accomplished triathlete, who will be competing in her second Olympics in London. She is dating fellow French Olympian Jessica Harrison.
Bio: Lisa Raymond is one of the best doubles tennis players in the world. She’s won 6 Doubles Grand Slams and 5 Mixed Doubles Grand Slams, and is currently a part of the number one ranked pair in the world. She’s been romantically connected to fellow Tennis star and former doubles partner Rennae Stubbs in the past, but the two are no longer together.
(Steffen Andritzke/The Epoch Times)
Age: 36 (turns 37 next week)
Bio: Duplitzer was a part of the German Women’s Epeé fencing team that won a silver medal at the 2004 Olympics. She has the best official website ever.
Bio: Gal and his current horse, Moorlands Totilas, are dominant in the international dressage world. At the 2010 World Championships they won three gold medals and are expected to fare well in London. Gal is in a long term relationship with Hans Peter Minderhoud, another equestrian from the Netherlands.
Bio: Born and raised in England, Harrison became a naturalized French citizen to help her realize her dream of making the Olympics. In 2008 she did, coming in 12th at the Beijing Olympics. She’s dating fellow French Olympian, Carole Péon.
Bio: Paumen is among the best field hockey players in the world. Along with Marilyn Agliotti, she was on the 2008 Netherlands team that won gold at the Olympics. Paumen was named the 2011 Player of the Year at the Champions Trophy field hockey tournament in Argentina.
Bio: Augustus is a WNBA Champion, Finals MVP, three-time All Star, and former Rookie of the year. She played her college ball at LSU, where she led the Tigers to three straight Final Fours. She is currently engaged to marry her girlfriend, LaTaya Varner.
Bio: Cook has long been one of the most accomplished beach volleyball players in the world. She won a bronze medal at the 1996 Olympics and a gold at the 2000 games. She’s married to Canadian beach volleyball player, Sarah Maxwell.
Bio: Landström scored a decisive goal in the 2011 Women’s World Cup against Columbia, but spent most of the team’s run to third place coming off the bench. The London Olympics will be her first.
Bio: London will mark Lecrabére’s second Olympics, she was on the French team in China that failed to medal. She came out in Hand Action magazine last November.
Bio: A member of the 2011 US Women’s Soccer Team that nearly won the World Cup, Rapinoe created one of the team’s signature highlights when she set Abby Wambach up with a beautiful desperation cross that led to the US’s 122nd minute goal against Brazil to keep the US’s World Cup hopes alive. Rapinoe came out of the closet earlier this month and revealed that she’s been in a three-year relationship with an Australian soccer player.
UPDATED: We missed a few in the initial version of this list. We’ve since added those that have been brought to our attention If you know of anyone else who is missing, please let us know in the comments.
Bio: Hester rode for the British dressage team that won the gold at the 2011 European Dressage Championship. He is one of the top riders in the world.
Bio: Pessoa is a top goalkeeper in the world of handball. She plays professionally in France.
Bio: Lindahl is a tok goalkeeper in Sweden’s professional women’s soccer league. She’s played internationally for almost 10 years. She was on the Swedish team that won Silver at the World Championships in 2003.
Bio: Dirkse van den Heuvel is an up and coming field hockey star in the Netherlands. London will mark her first Olympics as she teams up with fellow out bringing a second straight gold medal to the Netherlands.
Bio: Rikke Skov was a member of the 2004 Olympic handball team that won gold for Denmark. She’s won many awards for her play on both the international and club levels. In 2009 she retired from the sport, before changing her mind, and returning to the national team.
Bio: Dahlkvist is a young midfielder for Sweden. She played on their 2011 World Cup team. She’s been out since 2008.
Arguments about the constitutionality of California’s voter-approved ban on gay marriages will not be reheard after the motion failed to secure enough support among judges.
In February of this year, the Ninth US Circuit Court of Appeals had decided 2-1 to uphold the decision by Judge Vaughn Walker that Proposition 8 violated due process and equal protection clauses of the US constitution.
A challenge had aimed to have the appeals court’s decision examined again by a panel of 11 judges before any supreme court hearing.
If the en banc hearing had gone ahead, it would have delayed the final decision on Proposition 8 by a year. However, the requisite 13 of the court’s 25 active judges could not be found to support the motion to rehear the case, clearing the way for an appeal to the US Supreme Court.
Evan Wolfson, founder and President of Freedom to Marry said yesterday’s decision “brings committed same-sex couples in California one step closer to being able to marry”.
He added: “It’s now been three-and-a-half years since the freedom to marry was stripped from from loving and committed same-sex couples. It is long past time for this ‘gay exception’ to marriage in California to come to an end. Freedom to Marry calls on all Americans to join us in continuing to make as strong a case in the court of public opinion as legal advocates are making in the court of law.”
The announcement is the latest of many decisions regarding marriage equality and the courts in California. In May 2008, the state’s supreme court had ruled that Proposition 22 passed in 2000 and other statutes that limited marriage as being between a man and a woman violated the equal protection clause of the state constitution.
By June of 2008, the ballot measure Proposition 8, designed to overturn the ruling, had received 1.12 million signatures in support. On the same day as Barack Obama was elected, just over seven million Californians voted in favour of banning same sex marriage, compared to six and a half million voting to retain it.
During the time that gay couples were allows to marry, more than 18,000 did so. In 2010, following a lengthy public trial, Judge Vaughn Walker ruled that the voter-initiated Proposition 8 was unconstitutional.
Judge Walker ruled that the measure violated the equal protection clause in the United States constitution by revoking the right of gays and lesbians to marry a member of the same sex.
Until a Supreme Court decision, which could be made next year, the ban on gay marriages in California effectively remains in force as a result of stayed rulings.
Inca and Rayas are now proud PAPAS!
The same sex penguin couple was getting depressed each time they built a nest and an egg never came to fruition.
Now, the Madrid Zoo has given them a chance at fatherhood!
Inca has taken on the mother role, incubating the egg that is due to hatch in June. Rayas plays the dad role, shooing away potential thieves and gawkers.
Caretaker Yolanda Martin explains the rationale of giving Inca and Rayas an eggs of their own:
We wanted them to have something to stay together for – so we got an egg.
Otherwise they might have become depressed.
So CUTEz!!! Congrats to the new parents!
On Friday, California Secretary of State Debra Bowen granted a gay rights group permission to move forward with a petition seeking to reinstate same-sex marriage in California.
The initiative was instigated by Los Angeles groupLove Honor Cherish. The group must gather 807,615 signatures — or 8 percent of the total votes cast for governor in the 2010 gubernatorial election — in order to qualify the measure for the ballot, and all signatures are due by May 14, 2012.
The initiative would amend the California Constitution to read that, “marriage is between only two persons and shall not be restricted on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, gender, sexual orientation, or religion.” It would also clarify that the initiative “shall not be interpreted to require any priest, minister, pastor, rabbi, or other person to perform a marriage in violation of his or her religious beliefs.”
The initiative comes on the heels of Perry vs. Schwarzenegger, the so-called Prop. 8 trial — a federal lawsuit that challenges the constitutionality of Proposition 8. The decision of that trial could be handed down as early as this month, but Love Honor Cherish says the group is not waiting for the lawsuit to unfold.
“Obviously we are hoping that case succeeds in overturning Prop. 8,” said Love Honor Cherish interim Executive Director Eric Harrison to The Huffington Post. “But we need to be prepared to put this on the ballot in case the court case doesn’t go well. We are approaching this with an offensive strategy and sending a message that we’re not just going to be reactive anymore.”
Love Honor Cherish is talking to firms that specialize in signature gathering, and has hired Harrison to focus specifically on the ballot measure.
“When we first approached this in 2010, we relied solely on volunteers,” said Harrison. “And now, although we’ve always had tremendous community support, we don’t have any illusions about what we need to do, and we know that we need people devoting their time and energy to this entirely. It’s too important.”
Proposition 8, the initiative that amended the California constitution to read that only marriages between a man and a woman would be considered valid, was passed with a 52 percent vote in 2008 — just five months after the state Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriage. The proposition’s passing surprised many Californians, and opponents immediately launched repeal campaigns,investigations and even a musical mocking support groups.
“Life is tragically short,” said Harrison. “And every day that gays and lesbians aren’t allowed to marry is another day that we are denying equality. That sends a message not only to those who aren’t allowed to marry, but to everyone — to our children. It’s time for us to seize the day and claim our rights.”