Why does it Matter if Michael Sam, college football star and top NFL prospect, says he’s gay?

Michael_Sam_final_Mizzou_home_game(CNN)Michael Sam, an All-American defensive lineman from the University of Missouri, publicly revealed that he’s gay Sunday, creating the possibility he’ll be the first openly gay player drafted by the National Football League.

“I came to tell the world I’m an openly proud gay man,” he said in an interview with ESPN.

He said he told his Missouri teammates in August and suffered no repercussions. He said he was surprised to discover many people in the media already knew he was gay.

“I understand how big this is,” Sam said in the ESPN interview. “It’s a big deal. No one has done this before. And it’s kind of a nervous process, but I know what I want to be … I want to be a football player in the NFL.”

Why does it matter?

This interesting perspective was found on Facebook:

I have a three-step exercise that makes the point clear. If you say you’re cool with gay people but you don’t see why they need to make it public, try this:

1. Hide your wife/girlfriend/husband/boyfriend’s picture at work and never acknowledge they exist. If friends ask whether you’re married or dating, tell them it’s none of their business. Do this repeatedly for months and always tell them it’s your private life and you don’t talk about it. Believe me, they’ll fill in the gaps in their own way.
2. When you’re out with your wife/girlfriend/husband/boyfriend, remind him or her that they can’t act affectionate in any way. No whispering, hand-holding, fond looks or knowing glances. If someone walks up and greets you, make sure you refer to your wife/husband as “a friend” and make sure she/he knows to nod in agreement. And don’t forget to ask for two beds or separate rooms while you travel.
3. Those things straight people love to make public – their engagements, weddings, kids’ births, etc. That’s flaunting your lifestyle, and you’ll need to keep that to yourself and off the Internet and out of the paper. You’ll need separate memberships at Costco, and if someone sees you there together, make sure you have a good cover story about why you’re shopping with your “friend” on a Saturday afternoon.

“The truth is, our personal lives aren’t private,” the writer contends. “They never have been. And to expect an NFL player to live any kind of regular, ordinary life as a gay person, everyone around him – and thus everyone in the world – is going to know that aspect of his life. It’s going to be made public one way or another: in the National Enquirer riddled with bad reporting or in The New York Times where he can tell his own story. The fact that he can tell it in The Times shows how far the world has come.”

As a child, Sam watched his older brother die from a gunshot wound. Another older brother has been missing since 1998, and his other two brothers are both in prison. Sam also had an older sister, who died in infancy.

Michael notified his Missouri teammates in August 2013 that he is gay, which resulted in their supporting him after his announcement. On February 9, 2014, Sam announced that he is gay in an interview with Chris Connelly on ESPN‘s Outside the Lines, becoming one of the first openly gay college football players. If he is drafted in the 2014 NFL Draft or signed by an NFL team as an undrafted free agent, he will become the first active openly gay player in NFL history. Though he was projected as a third- or fourth-round pick in the NFL Draft, anonymous NFL executives told Sports Illustrated that they expect Sam to fall in the draft as a result of his announcement.

RELATED READING: The NFL’s Big Test Is the NFL ready for an openly gay player?


We’ve been asking that question for a while, but after draft prospect Michael Sam’s brave coming out on Sunday night, there’s a face at the center of the discussion. Opinions are mixed as to the answer, but one thing’s clear: We’re going to find out very soon.

“Unfortunately, this is a lot more okay in society than it is in lots of locker rooms. Some locker rooms are still stuck in the ’50s.” —NFL scout

“A team with strong leadership at coach and in the locker room, like New England, I would imagine, would be okay. … But without that strong leadership, I could see it being divisive, and I could see a team saying, ‘We don’t need this.’ ” —NFL scout

Marriage Is Not a ’24/7 Sleepover Party’

Marriage is in trouble. According to a 2011 Pew study, barely half of American adults are married, a record low. Nearly a quarter of Americans believe marriage is becoming obsolete. Many members of the millennial generation (18- to 29-year-olds) believe being a parent is more important than being married.

So it makes sense that people who believe marriage is good (and I am one of these people) would feel compelled to defend the institution. “People need to start being more honest and vocal about the virtues of marriage,” writes Steven Crowder in a recent Fox News column called “A man’s top 5 reasons to grow up and get married.” I agree: It is worthwhile and necessary to talk about what makes marriage better than cohabitation, or single parenting, or other marriage alternatives. Unfortunately, however, Crowder’s article doesn’t do much to advance the truth about marriage’s goodness. Instead, it perpetuates a bunch of myths about marriage—myths that are just as destructive as outright negativity toward the institution.

Crowder’s strategy is first to appeal to his readers’ self-interest. In his list of reasons to get married, he promises: “You’ll be richer,” “You’ll have more sex… A LOT MORE SEX,” “You won’t be such a pathetic sloth,” and “Don’t die sick, miserable and alone.” His sole reason that is not selfishness-oriented is a reminder that children who grow up with married parents have significant advantages in life.


Afterthoughts on Pocatello’s ordinance decision #gay #LGBT #lesbian #homosexual

By H. Wayne Schow

At the outset of Thursday’s Pocatello City Council meeting, everyone stood and repeated the “Pledge of Allegiance.” At meeting’s end, the Pledge’s concluding words, “with liberty and justice for all,” seemed to hang hollowly, hauntingly, in the air.

The dramatic 4-3 outcome makes a statement about our city to outsiders. It says we will not be in the vanguard with progressive cities like Sandpoint, Boise, Moscow, Ketchum, Salt Lake City and numerous others in fighting for equal justice. It says that, for the time being at least, the majority of our elected representatives would rather continue with the status quo.

Council members Nye (who moved to accept the motion), Bray, and Moore made abundantly clear that they recognize the existence of too much unfair treatment in our community directed against LGBT persons. Revealing, heartfelt testimony from the previous hearing had powerfully established that. They argued that the proposed ordinance could help to address that bias in the areas of housing and employment and ought to be adopted. Moore said his yes vote was an easy decision for him. Bray said that the proposed ordinance, if not perfect, was nonetheless a carefully considered first step, and subsequent adjustments could be made if needed.


From the comments:

ike says:


“It’s time for a new mayor.”

Replaced by who? I disagree with his decision (as you do), but as I’ve met with him on a couple of different occasions and know a number of people who interact with him rather intimately, I’m convinced that you Pocatellans have one hell of a mayor – this latest decision notwithstanding.

LFerro says:

Ike, Blad will have to “prove” that he’s a good mayor to me because all I’ve seen to date, is the opposite, a lot of talk, no action.

Disgusted Reader says:


He has to prove it to the electorate and not you. One man one vote, not on PC things and the religious can’t vote on it type of thing. Idaho went through that back in 1884 and it appears didn’t learn much since.

When action is counter productive then the only thing you can do is talk. DUH! Making things worse is not helpful, ever. But the perps in Boston were so innocent, just ask their mother and aunt.

I suspect your lack of backing him up will result in him being elected by a bigger majority next time around. Thanks for the compliment.

He could replace the mayor of Austin in a heartbeat and a huge bunch would be pleased down here.

We’re in the process of getting rid of a drunk D.A. and a bad judge here at present. One bad one at a time.

She tested .239 but says she wasn’t drunk but pleaded guilty anyway, the D.A. is now in jail serving a 45 day sentence for DUI. Dashcam videos were rather damning against her.

We’ve had a number of people yell, discrimination and when the videos came out they ended up being the perps. Get ready for Poky to be covered by thousands of cameras, which aren’t cheap to prove just who is the one with the problem. Isn’t technology expensive but helpful in showing things are just like most people thought they were and not what a few allege but can’t prove so they do the “bad law” route?

Never learn, do we?

Pocatello Grapples with Gay Clergy Issue

Small towns can be remarkably resistant to change. New ideas that rock the foundation of long established cues, values, morays, and perceptions are not easily tolerated.

Pocatello is no exception.

Some have said that the gate City has never progressed past the 1950s, which is the reason for the area’s lack of economic growth when compared to cities of similar size.

Others hail Pocatello’s warm and friendly social climate (after all it is the smile capital of Idaho). They say that its Normal Rockwell traditional American flavor, low crime, beautiful countryside, and lack of urban sprawl and crass-commercialism are what makes the town great.

But change is inevitable, even in a land seemingly suitable for a Leave it to Beaver episode.

In August, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America announced it would open the ministry to gay and lesbian pastors and other professional workers living in committed relationships, the Idaho State Journal reports.

The topic has been a hot-button issue during the past decade. Among Pocatello’s faith-based communities, opinions also vary. While the ELCA represents 4.9 million Lutherans in the U.S., it does not reflect the sentiments of all Lutherans in the Gate City, said Jonathan Dinger, pastor at Grace Lutheran Church on Baldy Avenue .

According to Journal reporter Debbie Bryce, Grace Lutheran, part of the Lutheran Church — Missouri Synod, maintains that homosexuality is still a sin. “In this area, I think it’s fair to say most of us are opposed to this,” he told the Journal. “For us the question is what is sin and what isn’t.”

“Anyone with a repentive spirit is welcome,” Dinger said. “We don’t claim that we are without sin, but the Bible is pretty clear on this issue. Homosexuality activity is outside of the word of God.”

Dinger clarified the church’s position during a recent sermon that was well received by the congregation. “You need to strike a balance between being faithful to the Bible and gracious to the community,” Dinger said. “Christ’s message was I forgive you, now stop sinning.”

Pocatello has strong numbers of members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. A quote from late President Gordon B. Hinckley says the church’s opposition to same sex unions should not be interpreted as hatred or intolerance of homosexuals:

“As I said from this pulpit one year ago, our hearts reach out to those who refer to themselves as gays and lesbians,” Hinckley said. “We love and honor them as sons and daughters of God. They are welcome in the Church. It is expected, however, that they follow the same God-given rules of conduct that apply to everyone else, whether single or married.”

On the flip side, the story also quotes Pastor Janie Gebhardt at the First United Congregational Church of Christ as saying their church is an “open and affirming” denomination, which has been welcoming gay and lesbians to the ministry for the past 25 years.

“To me, you receive the whole person,” Gebhardt said, adding that the church has also been ordaining women since the late 1800s. In response, on the Idaho State Journal website, “Biblical Lutheran” wrote:

“Notice how Janie Gebhardt and Michael Blaess (pastor of Good Shepherd Lutheran, who said in the Journal story that opinions among his members vary) don’t want to deal with what the Bible says on this issue. Both of them are out of God’s will and have no place preaching the Bible to other people. They put their opinions above the Word of God, thus they are false shepherds who only tell the people what they want to hear. God does offer forgiveness to all sinners, no matter what sin they are practicing. God’s love extends farther than Michael and Janie want to believe. Their ministry is only hurting homosexuals. They preach tolerance in the name of ‘love,’ but really they are intolerant of what God says about the issue. ”

What do you think?

See: Locals and gay pastor issue