Wedding bells for top Australian basketballer Penny Taylor and WNBA star Diana Taurasi
Australian Penny Taylor and American Diana Taurasi, possibly the best female basketballers in their respective countries, have been a couple for a long time.
Their private life was kept private despite their celebrated careers in the WNBA, the Olympics and other major competitions.
But spend enough time in the sport and you would eventually hear about it.
Most people loved it, a few didn't, and most didn't have a problem unless Team USA tried to steal Penny away.
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Last weekend the pair got married in Phoenix, Arizona.
In America and many other Western countries they are a married couple but in Australia they are not. And this is what has caused Taylor to speak out, not just for Diana and herself but for countless other same-sex couples who have overseas marriages or are waiting to get married in their native land.
"I felt like it was important for me to say that I've been a valued member of the community," Taylor said.
"I've contributed to my country, I've always done my best to represent Australia in the best way possible and I've been congratulated by politicians and the public.
"But in this one area I am not treated as an equal, I'm not given the same rights as anyone else and there are many other people who are in my shoes that aren't treated as equals in this issue.
"So I felt it was important for me to take a stand and to voice something that people take for granted.
"In many ways Australia is so progressive and I love my country yet in this one area we have fallen behind, quite frankly."
The wedding was a closed affair with a single picture of the beaming couple given to media outlets.
Taylor, 36 next week, retired from playing last year and is working as player development director for her long-time WNBA club Phoenix Mercury but Taurasi, 34, is still at the top of her game so she suited up for the Mercury's opening game against the Dallas Wings in Phoenix on Monday [Australian time], just a day after the wedding.
Taylor called on Australian politicians to make same-sex marriage legal and her calls come the same week as AFL and AFLW players signed a petition supporting same-sex marriage.
AFLW and Opals star Erin Phillips and her American wife Tracy Gahan and their twin babies were a celebrated story during the AFLW season but they faced the same issue as Taylor and Taurasi.
"Australia has always been a melting pot, we have included everyone who has come here and we are in an environment where we work towards the greater good," Taylor said.
"Yet in sexuality it has been ignored. We haven't demanded enough of our elected representatives and they are supposed to represent the people and it's time to take a stand and represent the thoughts of the public.
"I've always been cheered on by the public, I've always been accepted and embraced and I hope in this issue the public is way more advanced in this issue than the politicians are."
Like so many other weddings, months of planning was thrown out by the WNBA moving up the start of the season to this week - usually it starts two weeks later and this was the assumption the couple made when inviting their loved ones from around the world.
Taylor said she wanted Australian children, like her nieces and nephews, to grow up in a more tolerant country.
"In having my nieces and nephews grow up and have a better understanding of the world, you want to have a future where they don't see a difference and there isn't a difference under the law in Australia," she said.
Taylor said her family and friends knew about her relationship from its early stages and she had received nothing but "love and affection" since her marriage was made public.
"As much as we are private about our lives, our family and friends have known since the beginning and always super supportive and that's what matters to us the most," Taylor said.
"I feel like I am someone who has done my country proud and I should be treated exactly the same as everyone else."
One issue Australian basketball fans have discussed is whether any future Taylor children would play as Americans or Australians.
"That's easy. It's Australia," Taylor said.
"But this is the other issue. Would my children be seen as Australian citizens? Are they treated the same? There is all these underlying issues that go towards the legality of the marriage."
Sydney Morning Herald