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Tuesday, April 20, 2021

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Robbie Rogers becomes the second openly gay athlete in US Men's Professional Sports as he joins Galaxy, the US team with whom he has been training.

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Rogers officially ended his retirement Friday and joined the LA Galaxy of Major League Soccer, after the Chicago Fire traded his contractual rights to LA in exchange for midfielder Mike Magee, according to multiple reports. Rogers announced he was gay in February, at which time he also said he was retiring.

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 In the New Zealand Parliament, they were singing. Yes, singing in celebration of the vote to legalise same-sex marriage. A century-old Maori love song, no less. Can you picture anything like that happening in Canberra? My boyfriend of 14 years and I sat on the couch with our dog Oscar in our apartment on Wednesday night and watched the news. We could only imagine. Pokarekare Ane is thought to have been composed some time around World War I. It's been translated into English and is often played at ceremonies involving both New Zealand and Australia: My poor pen is broken, my paper is spent / But my love for you endures, and remains forever more. / Oh my beloved, come back to me, my heart is breaking of love for you.

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Around the same time as the New Zealand Parliament super-sized its legalised civil unions to same-sex marriage, they were burying the former British prime minister royally in London. In the late 1980s, Thatcher's Conservative Party introduced Section 28, which forbid the "promotion" of homosexuality. She danced an oppressive pas de deux with US president Ronald Reagan across the Atlantic. He couldn't even mention the words AIDS.

Click Here for More On Marriage Equality Around the World

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At her old school, 16-year old Katie Johnsen says she couldn't walk down the hallway without someone calling her a "dyke." After she cut her hair off, things just got worse. Johnsen is now a student at Arts and College Preparatory Academy, a Columbus charter school where about a third of the students identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender.

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The school had gained a reputation as a place welcoming to gay students, and to other students who don't quite fit in. It offers classes in gay history, and students write and perform plays about tolerance. Founded in 2002 with about 60 students, Arts and College Preparatory Academy, or ACPA, now has 240 students and an"A" rating from the state for its academic performance. The school is expanding. And students and school leaders alike say that's a good thing.

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"The fact is, I'm gay." Anderson Cooper's long-awaited announcement sums what it meant to come out in 2012. Again and again we heard the same sentiment — from pop singer Mika's equally anticipated confirmation, "If you ask me am I gay, I say yeah," to actor Andrew Rannells casually remarking about relating to a gay character, "I am gay in real life, so I definitely get it." — proving that coming out today is in many cases a non-event, and certainly secondary to other achievements.

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Yes, a lot has changed in the 15 years since Time magazine ran that cover of Ellen DeGeneres declaring, "Yep, I'm Gay," and even in the six since Lance Bass told People, "I'm Gay." Entertainment Weekly published a cover story this summer called "The New Art Of Coming Out," concluding, "The current vibe for discussing one's sexuality is almost defiantly mellow." Yet most of this positive change has happened in familiar territory.

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The Supreme Court has struck down the Defense of Marriage Act providing equal rights to same sex marriages in more than one thousand federal government programs including taxation and health care.  The Court also ruled Against Proposition 8 on the basis that they can not take the challenge to California's Proposition 8 making same-sex marriage legal once again in California. The highest Court decisions on both cases represents a major step forward in the fight for equality in the United States where same sex marriage is legal in 13 states (including California) and the District of Columbia.
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The Defense of Marriage Act, the law barring the federal government from recognizing same-sex marriages legalized by the states, is unconstitutional, the Supreme Court ruled Wednesday by a 5-4 vote. "The federal statute is invalid, for no legitimate purpose overcomes the purpose and effect to disparage and to injure those whom the State, by its marriage laws, sought to protect in person-hood and dignity," Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote in the majority opinion. "By seeking to displace this protection and treating those persons as living in marriages less respected than others, the federal statute is in violation of the Fifth Amendment."