Congrats to Derrick Gordon and Seton Hall. This young athlete's character and spirit are a joy to behold. Good luck to him in the coming year.
Another image from the GLAAD Media Awards.
There are not three finer men than Jason Collins, Derrick Gordon, and Michael Sam. Thank you guys for finding your strength and thereby helping so many others.
Marshall University running back Steward Marshall jumped out of a car and assaulted a gay couple. He might have gotten away with it, but there was video.
Advocate reports on Steven and Rick Simone-Friedland, the husbands featured on the kiss cam at Dodger Stadium on Saturday, a video which has gone viral. The crowd cheered.
Orioles game, closed to public, is under way. pic.twitter.com/dThcReZvcl— The Baltimore Sun (@baltimoresun) April 29, 2015
A Camden Yards empty of fans provided an eerie backdrop for today's Orioles game against the White Sox.
The Chief Operating Officer of the Baltimore Orioles, John Angelos, made an eloquent statement on racial and economic injustices in his city. Keith Olbermann explains.
What a remarkable outpouring we have seen of LGBT-affirming statements in response to Gov. Pence's signing of an anti-gay law disguised as a defense of religious freedom.
I love this story.
Advocate reports on the quick and harsh reactions to Indiana Governor Pence signing what is in fact a religious supremacy bill, not a religious freedom bill--unless you mean the freedom to discriminate and split apart our diverse society.
My God is not a bully. I will not worship a god who is a bully. I will not obey a bullying god. I will not attend a bullying church. I will not respect bullying clergy. I will not remain silent as religious bullies seek to impose their beliefs on others in the guise of "religious freedom" bills. I live in a religiously and culturally diverse society, where faith-based discrimination in the public square undermines the civic order and social cohesion. I will fight the bullies. I will demand that editors and reporters call religious supremacy what it is, and not let them swallow the right-wing spin about religious freedom. Please join me in this recognition and this fight to uphold secular American values.
Anti-gay crusader David Benham testifies:
We had so many people from the gay community reaching out to us and one man in particular from the city of Chicago reached out -- and he said things to me that made me lose my appetite. But I simply responded in love.
After a little conversation back and forth, I found out he loved baseball... and I got him tickets to a Cubs game. He shot me a Facebook post and said, 'I was not expecting that -- and I've been thinking a lot about this. I've chosen to walk away from my lifestyle'... What God needs most is a simple voice for truth.
OMG, I am sorely beset by homosexual demons. Quick, someone send me season tickets to the Nats to drive them out! I promise not to stare at the players' butts!
(Hat tip: John M. Becker at Bilerico)
Recently Sam said he would continue to pursue his dreams of playing with the NFL. Someone asked if this latest news means a change to that. Don't know. We'll have to see.
SB Nation reports.
Sherman also did not take part in the brawl. While many of us were still in shock at the idiocy of the call that lost the Seahawks the championship, this guy had the presence of mind and the class to show his respect to a victorious opponent. Also noteworthy: standout players Malcolm Butler of the Patriots and Chris Matthews of the Seahawks were undrafted. Butler's reaction to his big moment was quite moving.
In related news, every SB XLIX player, ranked by the quality of his butt. Who wants to see this vulgar crap?! Marshawn Lynch and Richard Sherman are ranked 14th and 15th, btw.
Coca Cola describes this Super Bowl ad:
Michael Sam has experienced firsthand how the Internet has grown increasingly negative. Watch as he channels this negativity into positivity and provides great advice for how to #MakeItHappy.
On this Super Bowl Sunday, a look back twenty-four years to the memorable rendition of the Star-Spangled Banner by Whitney Houston before the 1991 Super Bowl. As Tom Sherwood said in sharing it, "This is how you do it." Amen.
PS: Best wishes for her daughter Bobbi Kristina Brown's healing.
Michael Sam proposed to Vito Cammisano in the dome of St. Peter's Basilica. In the background you can see Bernini's Colonnade and St. Peter's Square. What a marvelous locale, tacitly challenging the Church's denigration of our families. Early reports indicate that St. Peter's did not collapse.
Congrats to Michael and Vito, and best wishes for their happiness.
In August, during a preseason game between the St. Louis Rams and the Cleveland Browns, rookie Michael Sam sacked Johnny Manziel twice in the 4th quarter. Cyd Zeigler of OutSports reported. Sam showed in this and other preseason games that he has the stuff to play pro football. As Zeigler wrote:
Sam is in unique territory, the only player in years in his position who was not with a team at this point in the season. He isn't on an NFL roster right now because he came out as gay and because NFL team front offices don't want him there. It's a disgusting commentary on the true state of the decision makers on NFL teams that none of them have signed Sam this late in the season.
My year-in-review is now up at the Washington Blade. Here is an excerpt:
Military and international. The transition to openly gay military service has gone so smoothly it has generated little news. The fight to end discrimination against transgender service members continues; two dozen have been discharged in the past two years. The First Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that a lawsuit by Sexual Minorities Uganda against Scott Lively for crimes against humanity can proceed. In diplomatic news, Ted Osius III joined a growing list of openly gay envoys when he was sworn in as ambassador to Vietnam.
Health. Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) led 80 senators and House members in urging an end to the lifetime ban on blood donations by men who have had sex with men, calling for science to replace stereotypes. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention called for wider use of Pre-exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) for HIV prevention, despite strong opposition by Michael Weinstein of AIDS Healthcare Foundation. There have been no new HIV infections among more than 500 Kaiser Permanente customers using PrEP. New York and the District of Columbia adopted rules forbidding health insurers from denying medically necessary treatment to transgender people. D.C. joined California and New Jersey in passing legislation banning "ex-gay" conversion therapy for minors.
Media. Schadenfreude was rampant after Sean Eldridge failed in his bid to buy a congressional seat and husband Chris Hughes provoked a mass walkout at The New Republic by sacking top editors. Hughes was faulted for wrecking a century-old magazine in his effort to create a "vertically integrated digital media company," that is, a word salad. Former TNR writer Jamie Kirchick at The Daily Beast dubbed them "America's worst gay power couple," but their youthful hubris and confusion of wealth for wisdom transcend sexual orientation.
Portuguese footballer Cristiano Ronaldo, star of Real Madrid, posed beside a bronze statue of himself in Funchal on the island of Madeira. This has gone viral. What is it about this statue that has people so impressed?
(Photo by Getty Images)
Cleveland Browns wide receiver Andrew Hawkins defended his wearing a "Justice for Tamir Rice" shirt during warm-ups before Sunday's game against the Bengals.
"My wearing of the T-shirt wasn't a stance against every police officer or every police department," Hawkins said. "My wearing of the T-shirt was a stance against wrong individuals doing the wrong thing for the wrong reason to innocent people."
Hawkins made the statement the day after Cleveland police union president Jeff Follmer called Hawkins' shirt "pathetic" and said Hawkins should stick to playing football.
Bravo, Mr. Hawkins.
13-year NBA veteran Jason Collins announces his retirement in a typically classy essay. The day after he came out, he was on ESPN with Shaq and Sir Charles, and they were talking to each other and kidding each other like the longtime colleagues they were. I couldn't stop smiling. We could not possibly have gotten a finer representative to make the breakthrough move that he did. Nothing but kudos and respect for you, Mr. Collins. A lot of other people need to step up, including people in the front offices of professional sports franchises; but your courage and grace made a difference. Thank you.
Above are video highlights of game 7 of the World Series, in which Giants pitcher Madison Bumgarner got his third win of the series and won MVP. Slugger Pablo Sandoval made the winning catch to defeat the Royals. There was edge-of-your-seat excitement to the final moment.
Yahoo! Sports reports.
Michael K. Lavers at the Blade reports on the unhappy news from Dallas. I have no reason to think this is anything but a football decision, as the Cowboys defense situation has changed since Michael Sam was signed. He is the picture of grace in his comments on Twitter:
I want to thank the Jones family and the entire Cowboys organization for this opportunity, as well as my friends, family, teammates, (1/3)— Michael Sam (@MichaelSamNFL) October 21, 2014
and fans for their support. While this is disappointing, I will take the lessons I learned here in Dallas and continue to fight for an (2/3)— Michael Sam (@MichaelSamNFL) October 21, 2014
opportunity to prove that I can play every Sunday. (3/3)— Michael Sam (@MichaelSamNFL) October 21, 2014
Derek Jeter wins the game with a walk-off single in his final at-bat in Yankee Stadium. As he hugged his teammates, several past greats waited to greet him: Mariano Rivera, Andy Pettitte, Jorge Posada, Bernie Williams, Tino Martinez and former manager Joe Torre. Below, Derek walks off the field for the last time. (Meanwhile, the New York Giants beat the Washington Football team.)
NFL Player Devon Still gives his daughter a pep talk before her cancer surgery. Watching this did my heart a lot of good. (Follow link for video.)
Update: "After a 5hr 50min surgery the surgeon was able to remove ALL of her tumor and all of her lymph nodes and her right adrenal gland where it all started from."
From September 16, the Washington Nationals clinching the 2014 NL East division title. Go Nats!
Gatorade and Derek Jeter make a classic.
My column this week looks at indecency. Here is an excerpt:
It is amazing what indecent things some people say and do in the name of decency.
If your Christian parents throw you out of the house for being gay, and they cite Scripture, it is probably St. Paul, specifically 1 Corinthians 6:9-10, "Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God."
Regarding the reference to homosexuality, Bible Gateway explains, "The two Greek terms translated by this phrase refer to the passive and active partners in consensual homosexual acts." But let's not quibble over translations, nor scour the Bible Concordance for the precise connection between God's kingdom and kicking out children. The point is that some people really believe this crap, and it's causing harm, and it's time we stopped being shy about it.
After organizers of New York's St. Patrick's Day Parade decided to allow an NBC-affiliated LGBT group to march, the Catholic League's Bill Donohue envisioned gay marchers masturbating in the street. Father Charles Pope, blogging for the Archdiocese of Washington, called the parade an "anal sex" celebration. These gentlemen are quieter about the papal nuncio to the Dominican Republic fleeing to Rome to avoid justice for abusing shoeshine boys.