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Thursday Toppers: Brian Boitano comes out, New Mexico joins gay marriage states

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"I am many things: a son, a brother, and uncle, a friend, an athlete, a cook, an author, and being gay is just one part of who I am," said figure skater, Brian Boitano, as stated on www.usatoday.com.

Boitano, a 1988 gold medalist, came out as gay this morning. Boitano was just recently asked to be part of the U.S. opening ceremony delegation at the 2014 Sochi Olympics, duties he will share with tennis star Billie Jean King.

While Boitano has told the media that he prefers to keep his private life reserved for his family and friends, Boitano’s statement may instill courage in other gay individuals who desire to come out, including LGBT teenagers, parents, and professional athletes.

Coming out in the sports world is not easy, very few athletes having felt safe enough to do it. It has only been eight months since NBA star Jason Collins became the first active professional athlete to ever come out in basketball, hockey, football, or baseball.

Now, Boitano, a San Francisco resident, can add himself to that short list of athletes who have come out.

Was Boitano’s public news somewhat inspired by the SF Gate’s slip earlier this week that Boitano is a “prominent gay athlete?” Whatever the reason, Boitano coming out as gay is perfect timing, coinciding with another state that has legalized same-sex marriage.

Today, New Mexico became the 17th state to allow gay marriage, the state’s highest court handing down the final ruling: it is unconstitutional to prohibit licenses to LGBT couples who desire to tie the knot.

Said Justice Edward L. Chavez, "Accordingly, New Mexico may neither constitutionally deny same-gender couples the right to marry nor deprive them of the rights, protections and responsibilities of marriage laws, unless the proponents of the legislation — the opponents of same-gender marriage — prove that the discrimination caused by the legislation is 'substantially related to an important government interest,'" as stated on www. https://news.yahoo.com.

New Mexico had somewhat of a head start, clerks in several of the state’s counties having already granted license to same-sex couples earlier this year. Fortunately, all of those weddings will be recognized under the state’s new law.

LGBT advocates and supporters of gay marriage are happy about the decision, including Freedom to Marry’s spokesperson Thalia Zepatos.

In a recent Chicago Tribune article by Cindy Carcamo, Zepatos expressed her feelings about New Mexico’s new LGBT legislation, saying, “The clarity of today’s ruling ensures the freedom to marry, and the protections that come along with it, are guaranteed for loving and committed same-sex couples in the Land of Enchantment.”

Is figure skater Brian Boitano next in line to join that “Land at Enchantment”? While no reports of Boitano having a current partner have surfaced, the former “What Would Brian Boitano Make?” star can now get married in 17 states. Perhaps, Boitano will someday enter the land of gay fatherhood, walking in the footsteps of Neil Patrick Harris and Clay Aiken.

Only time will tell.

Readers, how do you feel about Brian Boitano and New Mexico’s latest gay news? Share your comments on my page.

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