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Back to Section One | Back to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, June 4, 2010 - Volume 38 Issue 23
Portuguese soccer star supports marriage equality
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Portuguese soccer star supports marriage equality

by Mike Andrew - SGN Staff Writer

Star soccer forward Cristiano Ronaldo of Portugal endorsed his country's new same-sex marriage law in a May 30 interview with Publico newspaper.

Ronaldo made his reputation with Britain's Manchester United, but left Man U in 2009.

He is also captain of the Portuguese national team, and is reportedly the most expensive soccer player in history. The deal that allowed him to transfer from Man U to his present team totaled $132 million.

Ronaldo now plays for Spain's Real Madrid club, and most of the interview dealt with his frustration with the Spanish team. News of his unhappiness with Real Madrid was enough to make headlines in the world's sports sections.

But the Publico reporter also asked him whether he follows current events in Portugal, including the same-sex marriage law enacted by the Portuguese president on May 17.

Blabbeando blog's Andres Duque translates Ronaldo's reply:

"The Portuguese man that I am, I try to keep informed about what is happening in my country. I know the law was passed and the comment it deserves is that we must respect the choices made by anyone, because, after all, all citizens should have the exact same rights and responsibilities."

Blabbeando features English-language reports on Spanish, Portuguese, and Latin American LGBT news.

LGBT issues have taken on unexpected prominence in the soccer world lately.

On June 3, the Western Bulldogs Australian Rules soccer team suspended its star player, Jason Akermanis, for saying that Gay players should stay in the closet. Akermanis will be banned from his next two games.

In May this year, Barcelona CF player Zlatan Ibrahimovic made headlines when he angrily denied he was Gay at a news conference.

"Come to my house and you'll see if I'm a fag, and bring your sister as well," he sneered to a woman reporter.

In March, retired German soccer coach Rudi Assauer also made headlines when he said Gay soccer players should stay in the closet.

"'If a player came to me and said he was Gay, I would say to him: 'You have shown courage.' But then I would tell him to find something else to do," Assauer said.

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