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Congratulations to Pro Bowler Scott Norton
Posted by: Claude J. Summers on 01/02/13
Last updated on: 01/03/13
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Congratulations to professional bowler Scott Norton, who won the 2012 PBA Chameleon Championship in Las Vegas in November. A sign of progress is that when ESPN broadcast the event on December 30, 2012, the network did not censor the kiss the new champion shared with his husband Craig Woodward. The commentators throughout the broadcast explained Woodward's presence at the event by describing him interchageably as Norton's husband or spouse.

As Jim Buzinski at OutSports explains, "In what might be a first, ESPN this weekend showed an openly gay male pro athlete kissing his husband and they did not shy away from describing the relationship."

Norton won the championship by defeating Jason Belmonte. Upon realizing he had won, he broke down and cried in memory of a friend who had died. He was then shown kissing his husband, Craig Woodward, as they exchanged affectionate words. During the telecast, ESPN's announcers referred to Woodward as Norton's husband or spouse.

Norton was the 1999 U.S. Junior National Bowling Champion and won a World Youth Championships gold medal in 2000. He joined the PBA Tour in 2010 and was named Rookie of the Year after winning the Chameleon Championship in 2010-11.

As Norton told Michelle Garcia of The Advocate in 2011, it is important for him to be openly gay on the tour so he can serve as a role model for fellow gay athletes.

"I am very proud and happy with who I am and who I have become as a person," he added, "and I would hope that this will empower other gay athletes--past, present, or future--to come to terms with the truth about who they are and love themselves for who they are."

He wrote on the PBA website in 2011 that his experience on the tour "surpassed nearly everything I could hope for in terms of acceptance."

In addition to being a professional bowler, Norton also works as an attorney. His husband is a health care executive.

The kiss may be seen in the video below.

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