Aussie basketball star calls for marriage equality
Recently retired Australian basketball and WNBA star Tully Bevilaqua has put her voice behind the campaign for equal marriage rights, saying she is planning to wed her female partner in the US later this year.
Originally from Merredin in Western Australia, Bevilaqua now resides in the US state of Indiana following a 14-year career in the WNBA – widely regarded as the world’s best female basketball league – during which she scored more than 1,900 points and is one of only four players to record 800 career assists and 500 career steals.
A member of the Australian Opals 2006 World Championship winning squad and a silver medallist at the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, the 170cm guard also spent two decades in the WNBL where she played for the Perth Breakers, Perth Lynx, Canberra Capitals and West Coast Waves.
Though same-sex marriage remains illegal in largely conservative Indiana, Bevilaqua said she was inspired to marry her long-term partner, Lindsay Seifert, after politicians in Britain overwhelmingly decided to support marriage equality last week.
The couple already has a two-year-old son, conceived with assistance from an anonymous sperm donor, while Seifert has also taken on Bevilaqua’s surname.
“In our eyes, we’re getting married,” Bevilaqua told The Weekend West. “We’re law-abiding citizens and probably more so than some people who get the rights.
“That’s extremely frustrating and it’s so hard not to get equal billing even for simple things like being able to file our tax together.”
Bevilaqua, 40, was previously married to former cricketer Dirk Bevilaqua for 12 years before their divorce in 2005.
In 2010, Bevilaqua publicly acknowledged for the first time that she was gay and in a relationship with another woman and has since also spoken about her experience with depression from hiding her sexuality.
Image: Lindsay and Tully Bevilaqua (Supplied)