New Zealand Olympian comes out

by Rex Wockner

International News Briefs

New Zealand speed skater Blake Skjellerup, who competed in the recent Vancouver Olympics, came out in the Australian gay magazine DNA in early May.

"Back when I was 18, and becoming serious about my sport and my Olympic goals, if I could have seen an athlete like myself out there ... my journey would have been a lot easier," the 24-year-old told the magazine.

"I can't personally relate to (American figure skater Johnny) Weir or (out Welsh rugby star Gareth) Thomas, and nor will many other young gay athletes out there," he said. "But maybe some of them will see something in me to relate to."

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Revealing Bigotry: Taking On Gary Glenn

In a Sept. 27 op-ed in the Detroit News, conservative Republican columnist Nolan Finley raised serious concerns about three Republican candidates running for the state house Nov. 4. Todd Courser of Lapeer, Cindy Gamrat of Plainwell and Gary Glenn of Midland -- all correctly identified by Finley as a "trio (who) seeks tea party tyranny." Nolan describes Glenn and Courser as "extremely anti-gay (who) would turn the Republican Party into a fundamentalist denomination of the Christian Church if given the chance." Finley warned that the trio's narrow views on the Legislature could cripple the government and its ability to work across the aisle to move the state forward. Their agenda also includes killing any expansion of the Elliot-Larsen act to include LGBT protections.

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