After the U.S. team won the Women’s World Cup final on Sunday, a joyous Abby Wambach—who has scored more goals than any other soccer player, male or female, in U.S. history—spotted a friendly face in the crowd. It was her wife, Sarah Huffman! Wambach ran toward Huffman and the jubilant couple kissed—all on national TV.
This moment marks the first time an openly gay U.S. world champion in a major sport has celebrated with her spouse since the Supreme Court made marriage equality the law of the land in June. It’s also a really cool reminder of how far gay acceptance has come in the United States. Not so long ago, gay kisses on television were strictly verboten. The first kiss between a TV gay couple on didn’t air until 1991—and it was just a brief peck. The first mildly passionate kiss between lesbians didn’t air until 1997. And the first passionate kiss between gay men didn’t air until 2000.
When those kisses aired, same-sex marriage was legal in zero states—and homosexuality was illegal in more than a dozen states. Today, marriage equality is legal in every state in the union. And images of same-sex couples are so commonplace that a national broadcast of a major sports event does not cut away when a woman kisses her wife. The fight for gay rights was never about anything more than letting gay people live their lives with honesty and integrity. This is what victory looks like.
Want to hang out with Outward? If you’ll be in or near New York City on Monday, July 13, join June Thomas, J. Bryan Lowder, and Mark Joseph Stern—and special guests Ted Allen, of Queer Eye and Chopped fame, and marriage-equality campaigner extraordinaire Evan Wolfson—for a queer kiki at an Outward LIVE show, hosted by City Winery. Details and tickets can be found here.