Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Sally Ride comes out — posthumously; her sister on gay marriage opponents: 'stubbornly ignorant; Who cares about them, really?'

Ride, aboard a space shuttle (NASA)
Although Sally Ride didn't conceal her 27-year-relationship with her female partner, it was never officially acknowledged either — until today's posthumous statement from Sally Ride Science indicating that the first US female astronaut was survived by "Tam O'Shaughnessy, her partner of 27 years." Ride died of pancreatic cancer at 61.
     Her sister, Bear, minced no words about gay marriage opponents: "Who cares about them, really? There are those who are stubbornly ignorant, and if they want to continue in that, God bless them, but probably best not to talk to my family."
     Ride was not the first woman or civilian in space. That distinction belongs to Russia's Valentina Tereshkova, now 75, who rocketed into history on June 16, 1963 and piloted Vostok 6 by herself for three days, encircling the earth 48 times. While Sally Ride held four degrees, Tereshkova dropped out of school at 16 to work in a textile factory. Later, she took correspondence courses.

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