US: The NBA’s first woman referee marries long time partner

Katie Dupere August 7, 2014
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An out gay National Basketball Association referee married her long time partner last week.

Referee Violet Palmer married her partner Tanya Stine, a celebrity hair stylist, in Los Angeles last Friday.

The pair have been together for 20 years.

Palmer came out to her colleagues in 2007, 10 years into her career. Since then, she has not kept her sexuality a secret in the league.

Palmer was the first woman to referee a NBA game in 1997. She has since made a career as a NBA and WNBA referee.

Palmer told The Associated Press that she never formally came out in a public announcement because she didn’t want her sexuality to overshadow her career.

She told AP: “I always wanted people to just look at my work. Not look at my personal life, not look at my sexual preference. That doesn’t matter.

“I just wanted people to say, `Wow, she is a pretty damn good referee.'”

In February, basketball star Jason Collins signed a deal with the Brooklyn Nets to officially become the first openly-gay active player in the NBA.

Last week, ESPN released a documentary profiling out gay woman’s basketball player Brittney Griner.

Related topics: Americas, basketball, marriage, married, national basketball association, NBA, referee, same sex marriage, US, wedding

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