Even though the U.S. now has gay marriage, the fight continues elsewhere in the world, including Australia, which has stubbornly resisted recognizing same-sex unions. One rugby star Down Under, Thomas Burgess of the Rabbitohs, is an outspoken straight allies for LGBT couples.

"It's ignorant and old-fashioned [to think] if you're male you can only love a female," Burgess told the Sydney Morning Herald. "Nowadays, anyone can love anyone. And people just need to get over it."

Burgess, 23, is one of four pro rugby-playing brothers, who grew up in England. His parents were good friends with a lesbian couple that the brothers cared so much for they called them "aunties." "We always thought it was normal," Burgess says. "They were really helpful in our growing up and we loved them."

Australia's National Rugby League is one of the 400 organizations who signed a letter in support of gay marriage. Other major sport organizations who have done so are the country's soccer federation and the governing body of Aussie Rules Football.

Burgess was one of several high-profile Australian athletes speaking out against homophobia in sports. He said his support for gay marriage is in part because he doesn't want to see his gay friends be unhappy. Allies are important in the push for gay equality and we need more athletes like him.

Hat tip to Australian reader Noel for alerting me to Burgess' comments.

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