Earlier this week, we reported that plaintiffs in the case challenging Utah's ban on same-sex marriage have filed a brief asking the Supreme Court to finally weigh in on the question of whether all citizens have a fundamental right to marry.
Now, the plaintiffs challenging gay marriage bans in Oklahoma and Virginia have similarly followed suit and asked the highest court in the land to review their cases as well, The Advocate reports:
When the justices return from vacation in late September, they'll likely find unanimous agreement from all parties that they should consider a marriage equality case. But which cases the court will pick remains in question.
It's worth noting that the cases would have reached the Supreme Court even if the plaintiffs hadn't filed their petitions. The defendants in the cases — attorneys representing the states — have filed petitions as well.
Previously, the same-sex couples serving as plaintiffs in all three states won major victories at the district court and appellate level. Utah, Oklahoma, and Virginia all enjoyed an unbroken string of victories for the freedom to marry. Ordinarily, the victorious side would oppose a rehearing, as it runs the risk of overturning the decision. But the motivation behind the plaintiffs' briefs boils down to their desire to expand their victories nationwide.
The court has the option of taking up one case, multiple cases, or none at all and could defer a decision until next June.
Early reports are coming in that Michael Sam has failed to make the St. Louis Rams' final cut and will not be on the team's 53-man roster.
Sam was widely seen to be competing for the ninth spot on the defensive line with fellow rookie Ethan Westbrooks.
I want to thank the entire Rams organization and the city of St. Louis for giving me this tremendous opportunity and allowing me to (1/2)— Michael Sam (@MichaelSamNFL) August 30, 2014
show I can play at this level. I look forward to continuing to build on the progress I made here toward a long and successful career (2/2)— Michael Sam (@MichaelSamNFL) August 30, 2014
The most worthwhile things in life rarely come easy, this is a lesson I've always known. The journey continues.— Michael Sam (@MichaelSamNFL) August 30, 2014
Outsports reports that Sam will be available to the other 31 teams for 24 hours.
If he gets claimed, he will have a spot on the roster of that team. If he is not claimed, he can be added to the Rams' 10-man practice squad. This means he can practice with the team but not play, and his salary would be much less than the $440,000 he would get for making the roster; practice players are guaranteed a minimum salary of $6,300 per week for the 17-week season.
All throughout the preseason, Sam had been demonstrating his prowess on the field as defensive end - including an impressive sack of Cleveland Browns quarterback Johnny Manziel ("Johnny Football") during last week match-up.
Earlier this week, Rams' head coach Jeff Fisher praised Sams' performance, saying "I believe he can play in this league"
[photo via Instagram]
A weekly round-up of the best tech, science, and geek-related news from around the web.
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Even video game characters are taking the Ice Bucket Challenge.
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Mourners Pay Respect to Slain LGBT Advocate Kelly Phillips While Murder Suspect Remains at Large: VIDEO
Hundreds of mourners turned out on Thursday for Kelly Phillips, a Minneapolis executive and activist who was gunned down at a gas station by a still-at-large suspect believed to be his former lover and business partner Ty Hoffman, the Star Tribune reports:
Thursday evening, the service at St. Mark’s Episcopal Cathedral in Minneapolis included elected and corporate leaders, such as the chief compliance officer from Boston Scientific, where Phillips was also active in an employees’ group that promoted equality.
U.S. Rep. Tim Walz, D-Minn., and Richard Carlbom, chair of Minnesotans United’s campaign for gay marriage equality, delivered eulogies that spoke of Phillips’ political activism, social work and charitable contributions.
He was long an activist for the LGBT community.
Phillips and his fiancé planned to marry on Saturday. Instead, a nationwide manhunt is underway. It's been two and a half weeks since the Twin Cities businessman who co-founded Lush Food Bar was gunned down at a gas station by his former boyfriend and business partner, Ty Hoffman. During the ceremony, Thunder Bay police momentarily thought they'd be able to answer the prayers of those hoping for Hoffman's arrest; however, they later confirmed that Hoffman had not been found. Currently, there is a $25,000 reward for information that leads to his arrest and conviction. He is believed to be armed and dangerous, and anyone who sees him is urged to call 911.
Watch KSTP's report, AFTER THE JUMP...
Remember those hilariously awful anti-gay marriage ads a few years back? The ones that tried to paint a ominous future for America should we (God forbid!) allow gay couples the same rights as heterosexual couples?
Well YouTube user Michael Rizzi has dug up some of those absurd ads and asked gay couples to watch and react. The results, as you can probably image, are quite entertaining.
"I hurt for your privilege"
Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...
Way before Beyoncé could even dream of slaying the MTV Video Music Awards, another female entertainer had risen to super-stardom from a successful singing trio. When Diana Ross had her first number one single with the Supremes, Bey was still about 17 years from even being born.
Diana Ross and the Supremes are one of the most successful groups from Motown Records. Their polished, feminine act helped make them crossover stars, including becoming the first all-female group to have an album top the Billboard Top 200. In addition to her success with the Supremes, she's also a successful solo artist, as well as an Academy Award-nominated actress. She's one of the few people to have two stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame; one for herself and one as part of the Supremes.
Diana's disco-flavored solo career enshrined her as a gay icon, but she received some pushback for a less than enthusiastic response about gay marriage to The Advocate in 1999: "I just don't think I can speak about this particular issue [gay marriage] because I haven't really given it enough thoughts. It seems like girls, guys, whatever, should be able to live together without a legal contract." This soft answer aside, her music is a staple of pride celebrations across the country and woven into the fabric of gay culture.
Let's revisit some of the ultimate diva's musical high points, AFTER THE JUMP ...
As a member of the Supremes, Diana Ross helped define the 1960s Motown sound. With a string of 10 number-one hits (including "Where Did Our Love Go?" "Baby Love," and "Stop! In the Name of Love") The Supremes produced some of the most memorable songs of all time. They helped cross racial barriers, pioneering mainstream success for black artists, and setting a new standard of glitz and glamour with their gorgeous gowns. “I think because we were so glamorous that it automatically was a great attraction for the gay community," original Supreme Mary Wilson told GayStarNews earlier this year. "They were the ones who were there at the door first.”
Ms. Ross' second solo single in 1980, "I'm Coming Out," peaked at No. 5 on the pop singles chart. Nile Rodgers got the idea for the song after seeing drag queens dressed up as Diana. It was a bold move to release such a flamboyantly disco song in 1980, as Rodgers explained to Billboard Magazine: "You have to put this stuff in context. Now it just sounds like a pop song. This was the summer of disco sucks. When that happened it was because they hated gay people, they hated black people and women. Look at the pictures of who was there at that disco sucks thing. There ain't a gay person in that baseball stadium, there ain't a black person there and it was a sellout, 70,000 people." Now, the song is widely recognized as a gay anthem, but it also could be interpreted as Diana coming out from her Motown background.
Fans -- gay, straight, black, white and otherwise -- came together for a legendary concert featuring Diana Ross in Central Park. Performing through torrential downpours, the charity event was eventually shutdown due to weather. Diana famously promised to return the next day, spending the original proceeds on the second show, and eventually leading to Diana donating her own money to build the Diana Ross Playground in Central Park.
She definitely wasn't discouraging her gay following with her 1982 single, "Muscles," written by Michael Jackson. A straightforward ode to the male physique, it's the steamy soul song equivalent of a Grindr profile. Fun fact: The video featured a young Gil Birmingham (Twilight's Billy Black).
Diana Ross has been an inspiration for many subsequent performers. Her glamour, style and talents have influenced artists like Janet Jackson, Whitney Houston, Mary J. Blige and Rihanna. One notable star who has spoken extensively about Ms. Ross' impact is RuPaul. The legendary diva appeared on The RuPaul Show, and Ru co-starred in Diana's video for her cover of "I Will Survive" (above).
That's just a taste of Diana Ross' career (let's not forget films like Mahogany, Lady Sings The Blues, and The Wiz). Share your favorite Diana Ross highlights in the comments.