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Michael Sam Says He's 'Confident' He'll Be Playing Football Somewhere This Year: VIDEO


Michael Sam says he's confident he'll be playing professional football somewhere this year — whether it's in the NFL or the Canadian Football League.

After a somewhat disappointing performance at the NFL's Veteran Combine on Sunday, Sam was swarmed by the media. 

ESPN reports:  

"As long as I still have that will, as long as I'm still healthy and can play this game, you will continue to see me fighting to get in this league," he said. ... 

"I am very confident that I will be playing football this year somewhere," Sam said. "So we'll leave that at that."

Sam was asked to clarify if the CFL was still an option. "If that's an opportunity, then I will take it," he said.

Cyd Zeigler at OutSports reports that no one asked Sam about being gay — which Zeigler says is a sign of progress. One reporter did ask about Sam's appearance on Dancing with the Stars — to which Sam replied, "Next question."

Sam's time in the 40-yard dash on Sunday was less-than-stellar, at 5.07 seconds, but he's never been known for his speed. 

Sam became the first openly gay player to appear in an NFL game last year, after he was drafted by the St. Louis Rams and before being cut. Sam later joined the Dallas Cowboys' practice squad before being cut again. 

Some have speculated that Sam — the former SEC co-defensive player of the year — isn't on an NFL team because he's gay. 

Hopefully, an NFL team will sign him again and give him another chance to prove himself in the preseason. 

But if not, or if he gets cut again, it sounds like Sam will be playing in the CFL. And if he becomes a star north of the border, questions about why he's not on an NFL team will become even more difficult for coaches and general managers to answer.  

Watch ESPN's report, AFTER THE JUMP ...

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Texas Attorney General, Lt. Governor To Join Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore At Anti-Gay Hate Rally


Texas' attorney general and lieutenant governor will join Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore for an anti-gay rally at the Capitol on Monday afternoon. 

The US Pastor Council reports that Attorney General Ken Paxton (above right) and Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick (above left), both Republicans, will speak at the event, called the "Defense of Texas Marriage Amendment Rally." 

Moore.RoyIn addition to Moore, other speakers will include anti-gay pastors Rick Scarborough and David Wilson, as well as GOP Rep. Cecil Bell and Sen. Charles Perry, who've both filed legislation seeking to prevent Texas from issuing same-sex marriage licenses. 

Paxton's participation is hardly a surprise, considering that he's suing the Obama administration to prevent gay employees from taking unpaid leave to care for sick spouses, and seeking to void the marriage of a 30-year lesbian couple — one of whom has ovarian cancer. 

Patrick, meanwhile, believes God speaks through Phil Robertson of "Duck Dynasty," and has slammed Houston Mayor Annise Parker for traveling to California to marry her partner of 23 years.  

The rally is the second anti-marriage rally at the Texas Capitol in as many months. In February, anti-gay lawmakers cut hate cake to celebrate the 10-year anniversary of the state's marriage amendment (even though it didn't pass until November 2005). 

The Austin American-Statesman notes that today's rally is scheduled for the same day as Equality Texas' Family Advocacy Day:

“There will be people outside screaming about biblical marriage. Inside, we’ll have real Texas families having a conversation with lawmakers about how current policy affects people’s lives,” said Chuck Smith, executive director of Equality Texas.  

Gay Man Brutally Beaten In Possible Hate Crime In Mississippi


Police in Mississippi are investigating a brutal assault that may have been an anti-gay hate crime.

Devin Norman (above) suffered a broken cheek bone and other serious facial injuries when he was attacked in the parking lot of a Walmart in Corinth, Mississippi, on Friday afternoon. 


ScottInvestigators said James David Scott (right), 23, of Tishomingo County, confronted the victim, Devin Norman, 26, of Corinth, about an alleged post made on social media.

"The alleged Facebook post was apparently sexual in nature," Police Chief Ralph Dance said. "We haven't been able to verify that there was ever a Facebook post made."

After a few words were exchanged between the two, police said Scott threw Norman to the ground and kicked him several times in the face.

Scott fled on foot before being captured, but was later released on bond. He is currently charged with simple assault, but police say the charge will be upgraded to aggravated assault because Norman suffered broken bones. 

Norman and his friends say the incident was an anti-gay hate crime, but police haven't confirmed that, according to WTVA-TV: 

They are, however, investigating to see if there's a possible hate crime. 

Dance also said the Federal Bureau of Investigation has been contacted by members of the community, and it's currently being investigated.

"We've heard from several people, including the victim, that the suspect beat him up because he's homosexual," Dance said. "So far, we don't have any proof that's the case."

Mississippi's hate crime law doesn't include sexual orientation, but Scott could face federal charges under the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Act. 

A post about the attack went viral on Facebook over the weekend, and Norman's friends launched a GoFundMe campaign, "Justice For Devin," to help with medical and other expenses. They also staged a rally outside the Walmart on Sunday (below). 

"Devin Norman is a rockstar in our small town in MIssissippi," the GoFundMe campaign states. "Everyone knows him and everyone loves him, so we were shocked and completely heartbroken when he was brutally attacked in a Walmart parking lot. He was completely defenseless as his cowardly attacker relentlessly beat him for being gay. ... Nobody should ever feel this way or be treated this way. Violence is not the answer — love is!"


Idaho House Calls On Congress To Impeach Judges Who Rule In Favor Of Marriage Equality


Idaho Republican lawmakers want to impeach judges who rule in favor of same-sex marriage. 

In a 44-25 vote, the Idaho House on Friday passed a non-binding resolution calling on Congress to impeach judges who go beyond the "original intent" of the U.S. Constitution when it comes to marriage.

Supporters of the resolution believe marriage should be left to the states under the 10th Amendment, and are outraged that the 14th Amendment's guarantee of equal protection is being applied to gay people. 

From The Spokesman-Review

Sheperd“I think somehow, someday we’ve gotta take a stand,” GOP Rep. Paul Shepherd (right) told the House. A sixth-term state representative from Riggins who owns a sawmill and log home company, Shepherd was the author and sponsor of the measure.

“You can’t say an immoral behavior according to God’s word, what we’ve all been taught since the beginning, is something that’s just, and that’s really kinda what this is all about,” he told the House. “We’d better uphold Christian morals. As an example, how about fornication, adultery and other issues.”

More from The Times-News

“The men that wrote the 14th Amendment would be turning over in their graves if they could see it was being interpreted in such a way as to force states to accept same-sex marriage,” said Rep. Linden Bateman, R-Idaho Falls.

Eleven Republicans joined 14 Democrats in opposing the measure. Same-sex marriage has been legal in Idaho since last year, despite Republican Gov. Butch Otter's legal crusade against it. One recent poll showed that 53 percent of Idahoans now support same-sex marriage.

From The Spokesman-Review

McCrostieRep. John McCrostie (right), D-Boise, who is gay, told the House, “Of all the bills that I’ve voted on in the last weeks, HJM 4 causes me the most hurt. … This bill is personal, and it hurts me. … This bill implies that my marriage isn’t worth as much as someone else’s.”

More from McCrostie in The Times-News

“Is my marriage so despicable that a federal judge should be impeached?” he asked.

Since the resolution likely won’t result in any federal judges being impeached, McCrostie said, all it does at the end of the day is give lawmakers something to campaign on while telling gay Idahoans they are worthless.

Another Democratic lawmaker said the resolution would only hurt Idaho's image: 

“This puts us in the Web, this puts us in the news, as a state that is intolerant and does not understand the important separation of powers,” said Rep. Mat Erpelding, D-Boise.

Shepherd, the author of the resolution, said he also would have voted to impeach Chief Justice Earl Warren over the Supreme Court's decisions in the early 1960s ending mandatory prayer in schools.

Given that he supports the "original intent" of the Constitution, Shepherd also presumably would advocate counting African-Americans as three-fifths of a person.   

Read the full resolution, AFTER THE JUMP ... 

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Texas Republican Lawmaker Smacks Down Witness From Anti-Gay Hate Group: VIDEO


The other day we told you how Texas lawmakers have set a record this year for the most anti-LGBT bills in the history of any state. 

As it turns out, more pro-LGBT bills have also been filed in Texas than ever before, and one of them was heard in committee this week. 

House Bill 537 would allow same-sex parents to have both names on the birth certificates of adopted children, which currently can only include the name of one female, the mother, and one male, the father. As a result, more than 9,000 adopted children in Texas who are being raised by same-sex parents don't have accurate birth certificates. 

During Wednesday's hearing, the bill found some unlikely support from a Republican, Rep. Byron Cook (above), who chairs the House Committee on State Affairs. Cook, who has an adopted child, smacked down a witness from the anti-LGBT hate group Texas Values. 

The Texas Observer reports: 

DrennerJulie Drenner (right), of Texas Values, claimed the bill would lead to threesomes adopting, affect all birth certificates and require the state to revise more than 20 forms.

But Rep. Byron Cook (R-Corsicana), chairman of the House Committee on State Affairs, told Drenner he was “struggling” with those arguments, and suggested that same-sex couples have been more willing to adopt special-needs children than “the traditional community.”

“That’s a terrible indictment on one group, to be honest with you,” Cook told Drenner. “In regards to your issue that you have to change the forms, so what? I really don’t understand that argument at all. Right now in Texas, we are struggling. We do not have enough parents who are willing to adopt. Thank goodness for people that will adopt children and give them loving homes.”

The bill's author, Democratic Rep. Rafael Anchia, later noted that a fact-checking service found Texas Values' claims about the bill to be "mostly false."

Cook left the bill pending but plans to call it back up for a vote, saying the state owes it to the adopted children of same-sex parents to give them "peace of mind." 

Watch Cook's smackdown of Drenner, AFTER THE JUMP ... 

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DNC's Openly Gay National Political Director Sounds Off On LGBT Rights: VIDEO


Last March, Democratic National Committee Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz named longtime operative Raul Alvillar as the party's new political director. 

Alvillar, the first Latino to serve in the position, is also openly gay. 

He previously worked for Vice President Joe Biden and served as interim LGBT liaison for the White House for three months in 2011. Alvillar also worked on the Obama campaign in 2008 and for the John Kerry campaign in 2004, according to a story about his appointment in The Washington Blade.  

In an interview with Fox News Latino published Friday, Alvillar — who grew up in southern New Mexico — sounded off on LGBT rights:  

“Growing up LGBT in a small town, you didn’t talk about it,” Alvillar said. “Especially as a Hispanic male, there’s this expectation that you will have a wife and three kids and a minivan … That’s just how I grew up. Not knowing any other folks who were gay, you kind of feel like it’s not a ‘normal’ thing.

“I didn’t come out until I was in college, and even then I only came out to my sister,” he admitted. “I didn’t come out to my mother until I went back to New Mexico for my 10-year high school class reunion. I told her, ‘There’s something I have to tell you because I don’t want you to feel I haven’t been honest.’ She was immediately concerned and then I told her, ‘I’m gay.’ She was like, ‘Oh, okay,’ and was totally relieved. She thought I was going to tell her I was sick.”

But Alvillar notes that even in rural America, attitudes are changing:  

“I think people in Smalltown, USA,” he said, “recognize that there are people who are their brothers and sisters and cousins – people who are important to them, who they embrace, who are everyday people – who happen to be LGBT.”

He added, “Does that mean that the fight is over? No. Have we accomplished everything we need to for full inclusion in this country? No, there’s still a lot that we need to do. But the country is a better place.”

In fact, things have changed so much that Alvillar believes coming out actually helped him professionally. From an interview with Pink News last year: 

“I think for me, coming out was an advantage for me [in my job]. I think that the Democratic Party embraces diversity and is looking for that diversity. It was something that was advantageous to me. Not to say that it was the only reason why I’m in the positions I’m in. I’ve always said in the past that I’m Raul, I’m not gay Raul and I’m not Hispanic Raul. I’m just Raul. I’m here, I’m doing my job and we’re doing our jobs to get Democrats elected, whatever ethnicity or whatever sexual preference you might be.”

Watch a White House video of discussing his first job, AFTER THE JUMP ... 

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