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American Television, News  
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Now an American citizen, Kofman came to the United States in 1993 to work as a correspondent in CBS's New York bureau. He joined ABC News in 2001. He has been a notably versatile reporter for ABC, reporting on such domestic stories as hurricanes and other natural disasters, as well as on stories from Latin America and the Middle East.

Kofman may be best known for his extensive reporting from Iraq, Afghanistan, and Pakistan. In July 2003 Kofman reported on the declining morale of U. S. troops in the region as their tours of duty kept getting extended. The story was picked up by outlets around the world when one soldier called on Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld to resign. Attempting to blame the messenger, a conservative columnist, thinking he was discrediting Kofman, "revealed" that he was gay. Inasmuch as Kofman had been openly gay for years, the revelation not only had no effect on his career, but also made the conservative columnist look foolish as well as vicious.

Kofman's work for ABC News has earned him numerous journalism awards, including an Edward R. Murrow Award, a duPont Award, and a share in a special Emmy Award for ABC's coverage of the attacks on September 11, 2001.

Another war reporter is ABC News correspondent Miguel Marquez (b. 1967), who has also reported extensively from Iraq and other areas of the Middle East, as well as on a variety of domestic stories, including the California wildfires. Before signing on at ABC, he worked for CNN and spent a brief time as an anchor on CNN's Headline News channel.

In 2007, Marquez explained to James Hillis that his decision to be open about his sexuality is directly related to the circumstances in which he works. The extreme situations of war zones, hurricanes, and wildfires make reporting "a weirdly intimate business," he said, and being open helps him find a comfort level where he does not have to worry about keeping secrets. Besides, he added, "I'm in a business that's all about truth and honesty, and to some degree I'm responsible to be honest as well."

A similar devotion to honesty has motivated NBC News correspondent John Yang (b. 1958) to be open about his sexual orientation. Yang, who made a reputation as an excellent journalist at the Washington Post, came to television news in 1999, when he accepted a job at ABC News. He covered the 2000 Presidential election and the 2001 terror attack on the Pentagon for ABC News.

In 2003, he was offered a coveted assignment in Jerusalem, as ABC News's Middle East correspondent. He told James Hillis that his being gay may have helped him attain the position. He was offered the job by the late Peter Jennings, who told him that he would bring to the reporting from the Middle East an insight into "people who are marginalized." He is not certain whether Jennings was referring to his being Asian or being gay or perhaps both.

Yang, who joined NBC News in 2007, chooses to be candid about his sexual orientation because, like his racial identity, his sexual orientation is an immutable characteristic. "There are certain things about myself that are immutable, and some of them are obvious," Yang told Hillis. "I'm Asian. I mean, anyone who sees me on the air or hears my last name knows that. . . . . And in a way, I felt that I can't pass as not being Asian, so why should I pass as being straight?"

Manuel Gallegus is a New York-based correspondent for CBS News and CBS Newspath, the network's 24-hour news service for CBS stations and broadcasters throughout the world. He joined the network in 1994 and has reported a wide variety of stories both in the United States and abroad, including the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, the same-sex marriage debate in California, and the shootings at Fort Hood military base in Texas.

Gallegus was initially reluctant to come out on the job. But as he became more secure in his position and met other gay people at CBS, he found the environment in the newsroom an accepting one. "I realized that I had nothing to worry about. And it hasn't been any issue at all," he told James Hillis.

Steve Kmetko (b. 1953) and Jason Bellini (b. 1975) may have had a somewhat less difficult time in coming out as newscasters because they have been identified with entertainment news, rather than--as in the case of Marquez and Kofman--war reporting or politics though both have also done their share of such serious reporting.

Kmetko is best known for his long association with the E! cable network reporting on celebrities, but he had extensive experience as a news anchor in local markets before specializing in entertainment news. He came out on the cover of The Advocate in 1999, then considered a brave if not exactly foolhardy thing to do.

He told Sean Kennedy that he saw no damage to his career as a result of his decision to come out publicly and has never regretted it. "Quite frankly, age is more of a hindrance at this point in my career than being gay," he observed.

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