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Rugby Player Voted Out Of His Club For Being Gay: VIDEO

Bingham cup 2014

A rugby club in New Zealand has denied claims that a former gay player was voted out because of his sexuality, reports The Sydney Morning Herald.

ClaydonNow based in Sydney, Australia, Jay Claydon says that when his teammates found out that he was gay, they held a vote behind his back to remove him from the club.

Both clubs that Claydon played for at senior level in 2006 and 2007 have refuted the player's claims.  Sources close to Claydon’s family have also backed up one of the club’s assertions and Don Fisher, a former coach at Claydon’s second club, said that there were no issues with the player who was ”a valued member of our club."

Speaking to Fairfax Media, Claydon said he discovered when he moved to Australia in 2008 that homophobic slurs were an accepted part of sporting culture and that he felt compelled to keep his sexuality secret for fear of being ostracised.

"It's such a stereotype, but at most clubs they see a gay guy and think you can't be sporty or masculine. They think that you're weak or you're not as tough as them. Even when they didn't know I was gay I'd hear the word 'faggot' all the time."

The Fairfax Media article also cited a new study, Out On The Fields, which was commissioned by organisers of the Bingham Cup, the gay rugby World Cup, which will be held in Sydney in August.

The reports revealed that 85% of gay athletes had experienced or witnessed homophobic abuse.

Last year, Claydon joined the Sydney Convicts, Australia's first gay rugby union club.

Watch the official Bingham Cup Sydney 2014 video, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Ricky Martin May Have 'Mentored' Ian Thorpe Through His Coming Out Experience

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Australian tabloids are spreading a rumor: that Ricky Martin, currently a judge on the Aussie version of The Voice, mentored professional swimmer Ian Thorpe prior to his coming out this week. The "Thorpedo," as he was called when he swam in the 2000 Olympics in Sydney, told Sir Michael Parkinson that he is gay in a pre-recorded interview for Channel 10. Martin is currently denying any connection to Thorpe.

The Independent reports:

“I am extremely happy that he is talking about his happiness, and that is where I would like to leave it,” Martin apparently told a Daily Mail reporter when asked about the claims as he promoted his The Voice Australia finalist contestant in Melbourne yesterday (15 July)...

Martin was among the first to tweet his support for Thorpe:

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Whether Martin and Thorpe were connected or not, it is heartening to see such support.

Martin recently expressed the joy he felt after his own coming out experience, stating in a radio interview, “I wish I could come out again because that moment felt very blissful. It really feels amazing and then when it happens you realise all your fears were in your head.” Hopefully Thorpe has felt much the same.


More Than 7 Out of 10 Now Support Marriage Equality in Australia: VIDEO

David Leyonhjelm

A survey conducted on behalf of Australia’s Liberal Party shows that support for same-sex marriage and for a conscience vote in the coalition government is at an all-time high, reports The Sydney Morning Herald.

The poll, commissioned by Australian Marriage Equality, found that 72% of Australians want same-sex marriage legalised, while 77% think coalition MPs should be granted a conscience vote.

Marriage equality advocates are expected to now start canvassing MPs to support same-sex marriage.

The poll results come after a recent interview in which Australian swimmer Ian Thorpe confirmed that he is gay and Liberal Democratic Senator David Leyonhjelm’s call to allow MPs a free vote on same-sex marriage.   

Watch Leyonhjelm’s call in support of same-sex marriage, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Australian Judge Compares Homosexuality With Incest And Child Abuse

CourtGavel

Campaigners have attacked a Sydney judge’s comparison of incest and pedophila with homosexuality as “completely unacceptable” and an insult to people who have experienced sexual abuse, reports the Star Observer.

District Court Judge Garry Neilson comments arose in the case of a 58-year-old man who is charged with repeatedly raping his younger sister in the early 1980s. 

Neilson said that in the same manner as homosexuality was once seen as taboo, “a jury might find nothing untoward in the advance of a brother towards his sister once she had sexually matured, had sexual relationships with other men and was now ‘available’”.

He went on to say:

“If this was the 50s and you had a jury of 12 men there, which is what you’d invariably have, they would say it’s unnatural for a man to be interested in another man or a man being interested in a boy. Those things have gone.”

Talking to the Star Observer, New South Wales Gay and Lesbian Rights Lobby policy and project officer Jed Horner said Neilson’s comments made an offensive comparison between being gay and sexual offences and were an insult to survivors of sexual abuse.


Australian Olympian Swimmer Ian Thorpe Comes Out as Gay

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Australian Olympian swimmer Ian Thorpe comes out of the closet in an interview airing tonight on Australian TV, the Daily Telegraph reports:

After years of personal struggle, Olympic hero Ian Thorpe has bravely revealed he is gay.

The 31-year-old confirms his sexuality for the first time Sunday in an exclusive interview on Channel 10, telling all to veteran British interviewer Sir Michael Parkinson.

It’s understood the interview, which Parkinson has described as one of the best he has ever conducted, includes a full admission from Thorpe that he is gay despite having dated women in the past.

In the emotional sit-down shot last month, Thorpe also details the years of depression he has battled while denying his sexuality from the world. Part of that concealment included his own autobiography This Is Me, published in 2012, in which Thorpe wrote that he found questions about his sexuality hurtful.

Thorpe's sexual orientation has been the focus of the media for more than a decade, since the 2000 Olympics. Staying in the closet in the public eye for so long has to be incredibly damaging. Hopefully he's found some peace.

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Ian Thorpe is About to Be Asked for the Nth Time if He's Gay: VIDEO

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Famed Olympic swimmer Ian Thorpe is once again addressing rumors that he is gay. The five time gold medalist rose to prominence at the 2000 Sydney games. Since that time he has been asked if he's gay. 

Next Sunday, Thorpe will be sitting down with Sir Gregory Parkinson for a ‘no holds barred’ interview, in which his sexuality figures prominently. Referring to a promo clip being circulated ahead of the interview, The Daily Mail comments:

In the 25 second clip, Parkinson said to Thorpe: 'You've always said that you're not gay... is all of that true?' 

The scene then cuts to an uncomfortable looking Thorpe, 31, who appears to be nervously finding his words. […]

Parkinson said Thorpe's decision that no question was off limits was brave and says he examines the good times and the bad of the Australian swimming legend.

'His fight against depression offers a unique insight into the darker side of celebrity and success,' Parkinson said in a statement released by Ten.

'What fascinates me most about Ian is that apart from the very beginning of his career, he never seemed to enjoy and celebrate his success.

Two years ago Thorpe commented that he was “annoyed” by the gay rumors. Just months later, Thorpe told a TV interviewer he wasn’t so much offended by the insinuation that he is gay as he was hurt by people not taking him at his word. As for the reasons for the speculation on his sexuality, Thorpe has long held that it is because he does not fit the typical mold of an athlete in the eyes of most.  

Watch the preview clip of the upcoming interview, AFTER THE JUMP…

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