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40 years ago, a gay couple applied for a marriage license. She approved it.

This is what it's like to be on the right side of history.

In June, the U.S. Supreme Court made history when it ruled that gay and lesbian couples should be allowed to marry.

Ever since, getting married has been as simple as heading on down to the local county clerk's office, filling out a bit of paperwork, and picking up your license — or rather, that's how it's supposed to be.

However, as recently as this week, more than two months after the ruling, a Kentucky county clerk has been denying couples marriage licenses on the grounds that it goes against her personal religious beliefs. Even after being rebuked once again by the Supreme Court, she kept fighting on.


It seems like folks like her might be giving clerks a bad name. So instead, let's focus on one of LGBTQ history's unsung heroes: former Boulder County Clerk Clela Rorex.

All photos from Independent Lens.

In 1975, Rorex was serving as the Boulder County clerk when two men asked about applying for a marriage license.

Rorex was just three months into her term as clerk, but she was about to make a judgment call that would ring throughout history.

In 2014, Rorex stopped by StoryCorps to explain her response to the then unusual request.

"The couple came in; they asked for a marriage license. It's the first time I met openly gay people. I said, 'I don't know if I can do this.' At that point, I went to the district attorney, and he said the Colorado marriage code did not specify that marriage had to be between a man and a woman. And therefore I did it."

After issuing that license (and licenses for five other same-sex couples), Rorex faced intense backlash.

As it turns out, the idea of gay folks having the same rights as their straight counterparts didn't fare too well 40 years ago. Shocking, I know.

Her decision to issue a marriage license to the couple got national attention and was featured in the The New York Times.

Rorex received angry letters, newspapers printed harsh articles about her, and people even harassed her family.

"I honestly did not anticipate the degree of hate," says Rorex. "It was threats — people needed to kill me for doing this and that kind of stuff. And I had entire church congregations writing me that it would be Sodom and Gomorrah in the area."

"Thank goodness I made that decision because it would be so hard for me to look myself in the mirror today if I had not made the decision then." — Clela Rorex

Keep in mind that this was the type of treatment a straight woman was receiving simply for following the law to its letter. It's scary — though not entirely surprising — that newspapers seemed content to print things like "the penalty for homosexual acts is death" in its letters to the editor.

Ultimately, and unfortunately, Colorado's attorney general voided the six same-sex marriages.

Even so, there's something to be said about being on the right side of history. Rorex didn't finish her term as clerk, and the marriages ultimately weren't valid in the eyes of the law, but generations to come would prove her right.

"I just was this young woman in this place at this point in time," she says. "And thank goodness I made that decision because it would be so hard for me to look myself in the mirror today if I had not made the decision then."

For more information about Rorex's moment in the gay rights spotlight, check out this feature by Independent Lens.

"Freddie Mercury" by kentarotakizawa is licensed under CC BY 2.0.

Fans are thrilled to hear Freddie Mercury's iconic voice once again.

Freddie Mercury had a voice and a stage presence unlike any other in rock music history. His unique talents helped propel the band Queen to the top of music charts and created a loyal fan base around the world.

Sadly, the world lost that voice when Mercury died of AIDS at age 45. For decades, most of us have assumed we'd heard all the music we were going to hear from him.

However, according to Yahoo! Entertainment, remaining Queen members Roger Taylor and Brian May announced this summer that they had found a never-released song they'd recorded with Mercury in 1988 as they were working on the album "The Miracle."

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Community

Hotel is giving away 10 all-expense-paid trips to help rebuild Patagonia hiking trail

Post your video entry by March 15 for a chance to do some good while exploring one of the world's most stunning ecosystems.

Las Torres Patagonia

Torres del Paine National Park

In the far southern reaches of South America, Patagonia beckons adventurers with its striking landscape. Rugged mountain peaks, deep valley vistas, pristine lakes, virgin forests, coastal cliffs and more combine to make this semi-arid land a paradise for nature lovers and photographers alike.

If you've ever seen a photo like this…

hiking trail next to a lake in patagoniaHiking trail at Torres del Paine National Park in PatagoniaLas Torres Patagonia

…and thought, "I have to go see that turquoise water for myself," now's your chance. Las Torres Patagonia is offering an all-expense-paid trip (including airfare) for 10 lucky winners to travel to Torres del Paine National Park in Chile and stay at the all-inclusive Las Torres Patagonia hotel for five days.

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We all know that Americans pay more for healthcare than every other country in the world. But how much more?

According an American expatriate who shared the story of his ER visit in a Taiwanese hospital, Americans are being taken to the cleaners when we go to the doctor. We live in a country that claims to be the greatest in the world, but where an emergency trip to the hospital can easily bankrupt someone.

Kevin Bozeat had that fact in mind when he fell ill while living in Taiwan and needed to go to the hospital. He didn't have insurance and he had no idea how much it was going to cost him. He shared the experience in a now-viral Facebook post he called "The Horrors of Socialized Medicine: A first hand experience."

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Lamb Chop and Mallory Lewis are creating nostalgia in Mellennials

"Lamb Chop's Play Along" taught a whole generation so many meaning for things. The little sock puppet taught kids things like manners, kindness and a really annoying song that doesn't have an ending. It'll probably be difficult to find a Millennial that doesn't know "The Song that Doesn't End" by Shari Lewis who voiced Lamb Chop.

The kids show aired from 1992 to 1997 on PBS, with Shari passing away just a year later. But turns out everyone's favorite squeaky voiced lamb wasn't done bringing people joy. Shari's daughter Mallory Lewis has taken up her mom's throne as Lamb Chops handler and the internet couldn't be more thrilled to see the duo.

Mallory has the same fiery red curly hair that her mom did and has brought Lamb Chop, Charley Horse and Hush Puppy back out to play. To the delight of Millennials, the sassy lamb is still just six years old and gets Mallory into some tricky situations when trying to explain things to the puppet.

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Validation and Hope vs. Toxic Positivity

A Helpful Chart to Explain the Difference Between Support and 'Toxic Positivity" was originally published on The Mighty.

There's no denying that positivity can be powerful. I know when I'm struggling with anxiety and negative thoughts, if I can hold onto an ounce of hope — that I'll make it through, that I'm not defined by my thoughts, that I'm not as bad as my brain is making me out to be — I can cope a little better.

The positivity we hold within ourselves, when we can manage it, makes it a little easier to get by.

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Family

How 5 diabolical parents called their kids' bluff in hilarious ways

The next generation is in great, if diabolical, hands.

Photo by Phuong Tran on Unsplash



Recently, blogger Jen Hatmaker had a funny conversation with a friend about parenting:

"My girlfriend told me the greatest story. Apparently her 11-year-old also wanted to be a grown up this week and, in fact, not only did he treat his siblings like despised underlings, but when asked what he wanted, he said: 'I want the authority to be in charge of them and tell them what to do, because they deserve it!'


Well. My girlfriend and her husband are NOT AT ALL MESSING AROUND with parenting. Calmly, evenly, they granted his request to be a grown-up for a week by pulling him out of camp (the underlings still got to go, because they are 'such children') and sending him to work ALL DAY EVERY DAY with his dad. He has to get up early and shower and make breakfast for everyone. He has to kiss the underlings before he goes to work and tell them to have a great day and that he loves them. He has to work on a typing project during his office hours. He only gets to eat what his dad eats, because eating like a grown-up is not nearly as fun as eating like a kid.


Want to be an adult? Fine."

Photo via iStock.

Hatmaker's post went viral, with thousands of parents chiming in with their own stories of tough love, both giving and receiving.

The responses were hilarious, poignant, and a sign that the next generation is being parented by extremely capable, if not a little bit diabolical, hands.

Here are five of my favorite stories from the comments about parenting-gone-absolutely-right:

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