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BigGayNews from Las Vegas:
Scott Norton, Gay Professional Bowler, Kisses Husband Craig Woodward In ESPN Broadcast

The Huffington Post reports that ESPN set a new precedent over the weekend by airing what may be the first professionally-shot footage of an openly gay athlete kissing his husband after a victory.

The event was held in November, although ESPN did not air the footage until Dec. 30th, when ESPN’s announcers referred to Woodward as Norton’s husband or spouse.

Norton stated: “It is extremely important for me to come out to show other gay athletes, both current and future, that it is important to come out to show that we are just like everyone else. It’s important to show people that being gay has nothing to do with one’s ability to do anything as a man, least of all compete at the highest level of sports.”

 

BigGayNews from Washington, DC:
Gay Marine Proposes To Boyfriend At White House

ABC News reports that U.S. Marine Corps Capt. Matthew Phelps made history at the home of his commander in chief when the 35-year-old active-duty officer proposed to his boyfriend, Ben Schock, 26, in the Grand Foyer of the White House at the end of a holiday tour.

Phelps told ABC News: “Our first date was to the White House, so I wanted to propose to him there. When I got invited to the holiday tour — six months to the day that we had been there on our first date — it was way too much of a coincidence to pass up.”

It is believed to be the first time two gay men have gotten engaged inside the White House, as well as a first for an active-duty member of the U.S. military.

 

BigGayNews from Maine:
Maine Notaries Can’t Refuse To Marry Gay Couples

Queerty reports that it’s rare we get good news from the National Organization for Marriage, but the anti-equality group’s blog has a pleasing update about same-sex marriage in Maine: Notaries public who officiate weddings can’t refuse to marry same-sex couples.

According to an email from Cathy Beaudoin, who oversees the licensing of notaries for Maine’s Department of the Secretary of State, if they do, they could be subject to discrimination charges under the Maine Human Rights Act.

 

BigGayNews from New York:
Former NY Rangers Agitator Sean Avery The Unlikely Leader In The Fight For Gay Rights In Sports

The New York Daily News reports that Sean Avery figures there is one matter that hasn’t been addressed at the NHL labor negotiations: gay slurs by players.

Avery has been an unexpected advocate for gay rights in recent years as a board member of Athlete Ally, a group of straight athletes devoted to eradicating homophobia in sports, and has even traveled to Albany to lobby Republican state officials on gay marriage rights.

Avery has said: “Maybe it’s because when I was such a bully when I had my uniform on, that when I took it off I felt the need to stand up against the bully.”

 

BigGayNews from South Dakota:
Students View Gender-Neutral Housing As Step Forward

The Volante reports that the Residence Hall Government Association of the University of South Dakota is considering a policy that would enact gender-neutral housing as an option in residence halls.

The decision to pursue gender-neutral housing was expressed publicly at a Student Government Association meeting Nov. 13, when it was stated that currently, a transgender student would have to have a single room.

According to the National Student Genderblind Campaign, some universities, such as Columbia and Ohio University, extend gender-neutral housing to LGBT students as a way to encourage safe-living conditions for these students.

 

BigGayNews from the United Kingdom:
Ben Cohen Proud Of Gay Icon Status

On Top Magazine reports that UK rugby star Ben Cohen says he’s proud of his status as a gay icon.

Cohen posted on his Facebook page a photo of himself donning a rainbow chef’s apron with the words “Gay Icon” on Christmas Day, noting “AND PROUD OF IT” as well.

Cohen, who is straight, retired from rugby in 2011 and launched the Ben Cohen StandUp Foundation to combat homophobia and the bullying of LGBT teens, and is interested in promoting greater acceptance in the world of sports.

 

BigGayNews from Cameroon:
Cameroon Upholds 3-Year Term For Gay Text Message

The Huffington Post reports that an appeals court on Monday upheld a three-year sentence against a man found guilty of homosexual conduct for sending a text message to another man saying: “I’m very much in love with you.”

Activists said the court’s ruling in Yaounde, the capital, marked yet another setback for gays and lesbians in Cameroon, widely viewed as the most repressive country in Africa when it comes to prosecuting same-sex couples.

Jean-Claude Roger Mbede, 32, was provisionally released on bail in July after serving a year and a half in prison, and his lawyer now has 10 days in order to file an appeal to the country’s Supreme Court.

 

BigGayNews from France:
First Baby Born In France In 2013 Has Two Mothers

The Telegraph reports that the first baby to be born in France in 2013 has two mothers, at a time when the country grapples with a controversial bill that would allow same-sex marriage.

Only the birth mother, identified as Maude, has legal rights over the child, named Sacha, since the couple is not married – which would change if the new, “marriage for all” bill passes as expected, following parliamentary discussions beginning later this month. Maude and her partner Delphine hope to marry as soon as it becomes legally possible to do so in the country.

Sacha’s birth mother had to visit a Belgian sperm bank in order to be artificially inseminated, as gay couples are not currently able to do so in France.

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