Best gay blog. Towleroad Wins Award

Missouri Hub


Missouri Football Star Michael Sam Says He's Gay, May Be First Out NFL Player: VIDEO


University of Missouri defensive lineman Michael Sam has come out of the closet in an interview with the NYT:

Michael_samCoaches at the University of Missouri divided players into small groups at a preseason football practice last year for a team-building exercise. One by one, players were asked to talk about themselves — where they grew up, why they chose Missouri and what others might not know about them.

As Michael Sam, a defensive lineman, began to speak, he balled up a piece of paper in his hands. “I’m gay,” he said. With that, Mr. Sam set himself on a path to become the first publicly gay player in the National Football League.

“I looked in their eyes, and they just started shaking their heads — like, finally, he came out,” Mr. Sam said Sunday in an interview with The New York Times, the first time he spoke publicly about his sexual orientation.

Watch his (updated: extended) interview with the NYT, AFTER THE JUMP...

Sam, who was named a first-team all-American and the defensive player of the year in the Southeastern Conference, as well as Missouri's MVP (as voted by the players) will likely become the first openly gay player in the NFL. He is eligible for the draft in May.

Sam also gave an interview to ESPN.

Espn_samSaid Sam to ESPN:

"I knew from a young age that I was attracted to guys. I didn't know if it was a phase ... I didn't want to say, 'Hey, I might be gay. I might be bi.' I just didn't know ... I wanted to find who I was and make sure I knew what was comfortable. So I didn't tell anyone growing up. I endured so much in my past: seeing my older brother killed from a gunshot wound, not knowing that my oldest sister died when she was a baby and I never got the chance to meet her. My second oldest brother went missing in 1998, and me and my little sister were the last ones to see him ... my other two brothers have been in and out of jail since 8th grade, currently both in jail...Telling the world I'm gay is nothing compared to that."

"I just want to go to the team who drafts me," he said, "because that team knows about me, knows that I'm gay, and also knows that I work hard. That's the team I want to go to."

He added:

"I told my mom and dad last week, and they just pretty much said, 'We knew and we love you and support you.' I'm their baby boy. I'm the first to go to college. I'm the first to graduate college. Something like this is just another milestone...And I love my hometown. I think when this story breaks, I think they're just going to love me even more for who I am."

Watch his interviews with NYT and ESPN, AFTER THE JUMP...

The NFL released a statement:

"We admire Michael Sam's honesty and courage. Michael is a football player. Any player with ability and determination can succeed in the NFL. We look forward towelcoming and supporting Michael Sam in 2014."

Outsports has a behind-the-scenes story on how Sam came out:

Saturday afternoon, I sat with Sam and grilled him in a practice interview at Bragman's house. The next day he would be sitting down with ESPN and The New York Times. Bragman, Weiss and Barkett were the audience, critiquing Sam on his answers. When the topic was football he knew what to say, sharing playing experiences and his love of defense (he'd rather be the one hitting than being hit). When asked about his childhood, he opened up sharing intimate details about enduring abuse from his brothers, experiencing the pain of losing three siblings, and finding solace in football. He is the first person in his family to graduate from college. When questions turned to gay issues in that mock interview, Sam worked through the answers.

Saturday night, Bragman held a coming out party for Sam at his home in Los Angeles. It was a powerful collection of guests. Dave Kopay, the gay former NFL running back who blazed a trail when he came out publicly in 1975, was in high spirits. Former NFL players Chris Kluwe, Brendon Ayanbedajo and Wade Davis, plus former Major Leaguer Billy Bean — the former San Diego Padre who came out over a decade ago — had come to lend their support. Outsports' Jim Buzinski and I were also in attendance.

Continue reading "Missouri Football Star Michael Sam Says He's Gay, May Be First Out NFL Player: VIDEO" »

Missouri Lawmaker to Seek Impeachment of Governor for Accepting Tax Returns from Gay Couples

Missouri Rep. Nick Marshall (R-Parkville) wants to impeach Governor Jay Nixon for signing an executive order accepting joint tax returns from gay couples married in other states, among other things, the AP reports:

MarshallNick Marshall, of Parkville, referred to the governor's executive order directing officials to accept joint tax filings from same-sex couples who are legally married, the release of the names of concealed gun permit holders to a federal agent and driver's license procedures.

Marshall says he believes the governor's administration has violated the law and that his motivations are not political gain or attention. He has not spoken to House leaders.

Wrote Marshall on his Facebook page:

I will seek Articles of Impeachment against the Governor. He has openly disregarded the laws and Constitution of the State of Missouri and allowed his administration to do so on multiple occasions. If we are to live under the Rule of Law, he cannot be allowed to remain in office...Anyone that knows me and my voting record knows I don't give a rat's tail about party affiliation when it comes to the Rule of Law. The Governor and his administration broke Missouri law by disclosing the CCW holder information en masse to the federal government and by cooperating with the Department of Homeland Security in the development of Real ID. The Governor's use of executive order yesterday to violate the Missouri Constitution is just another example of his willful disregard of the confines of the law.

At the same time he issued the executive order on Friday, Nixon made clear his personal views on same-sex marriage:

“Many Missourians, including myself, are thinking about these issues of equality in new ways and reflecting on what constitutes discrimination. For me, that process has led to the belief that we shouldn’t treat folks differently because of who they are.”

Missouri Governor Jay Nixon Says He Supports Gay Marriage; State Will Take Tax Returns from Gay Couples

Some rather big news out of Missouri on Thursday.

NixonGovernor Jay Nixon announced that he supports gay marriage in a press conference announcing that the state will accept joint tax returns from gay couples married in other states, the Columbia Tribune reports:

In an executive order, Nixon directed the Department of Revenue to accept the combined returns as a reaction to the June ruling from the U.S. Supreme Court striking down the federal Defense of Marriage Act. That law barred same sex couples who were legally married from receiving any marriage-based federal benefits, such as tax exemptions and Social Security payments. Under state law, couples who file a joint federal return are required to file a combined state tax return. The executive order clarifies that the law applies to all couples, Nixon said.

Nixon also made clear his personal views:

“Many Missourians, including myself, are thinking about these issues of equality in new ways and reflecting on what constitutes discrimination. For me, that process has led to the belief that we shouldn’t treat folks differently because of who they are.”

Missouri Couple Organizes 'Marriage Equality Bus' Trips to Iowa: VIDEO


Marriage equality has historically been seen as a liberal, coastal development: same-sex couples can now drive through the Northeast from Maine to Washington, DC without leaving a marriage equality state, and California allowed same-sex couples to wed early--albeit briefly--in 2008.  But since 2009, there has been one unusual, non-coastal exception: Iowa, which was joined by Minnesota this May and Illinois just last night as the only states in the Midwest to provide equal marriage rights.

Thanks to the U.S. Supreme Court decision this summer invalidating the Defense of Marriage Act, which prohibited married same-sex couples from obtaining federal benefits, couples in non-marriage equality states in the Midwest--say, for example, Missouri or Wisconsin--have been able to wed in nearby marriage equality states to access at least some of the benefits of marriage.  As Al Jazeera America reports, Scott Emanuel and Ed Reggi of Missouri have become a pair of unexpected heroes on that front:

The St. Louis pair organizes buses that take area couples to Iowa to tie the knot. To date, they have put together 14 trips that have taken 150 couples to get married. Emanuel and Reggi were the first. Brandi and Kate Davis were the 142nd.

Dubbed the Marriage Equality Bus, the project was born from Emanuel and Reggi’s own love story. They were surprised when the Iowa Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriages in that state in 2009, and the decision offered an opportunity. Iowa had become an unexpected solution to a unique problem facing LGBT couples in the Midwest.

“We found a few friends who wanted to go and get married too,” he said. “Then it expanded. Then we had more than a van.”

Emanuel and Reggi ended up chartering a bus with 16 other couples. After the first bus trip, word spread, and they haven’t stopped since.

“It’s the first time a lot of couples see their names on a document together,” Emanuel said. “That’s significant.”

With Illinois days away from becoming the 15th state to allow same-sex couples to marry (Gov. Pat Quinn has said he will signed the legislature-approved bill into law sometime this month), couples in Missouri and other nearby states without marriage equality will have a new, closer option than Iowa where there can get married.  For couples in Missouri, a state with deep red majorities in both houses of the legislature and no laws prohibiting employment discrimination against LGBT people, that's a very good thing, indeed.

Check out a short film about Emanuel and Reggi's Marriage Equality Bus, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Missouri Couple Organizes 'Marriage Equality Bus' Trips to Iowa: VIDEO" »

Partner Of Slain Missouri Trooper Denied Survivor's Benefits

Glossip Engelhard

Because when you're in a 15-year committed relationship, you're just friends or something. The Missouri Supreme Court has been working on a case regarding whether Kelly Glossip is entitled to survivor's benefits from the death of his partner, Missouri State Highway Patrolman Capt. Dennis Engelhard who was killed. According to a report from Ozarks First, they reached a 5-2 decision that Glossip is not entitled to benefits. But it's not because they were gay; no, it was because they weren't married.

"Glossip was denied survivor benefits because he and the patrolman were not married, not because of his sexual orientation," the ruling document stated. "If Glossip and the patrolman had been of different sexes, Glossip would have still been denied benefits no matter how long or close their relationship had been. The result cannot be any different here simply because Glossip and the patrolman were of the same sex. The statute discriminates solely on the basis of marital status, not sexual orientation."

This astoundingly disingenuous ruling neglects to mention Missouri Statute 451.022 which states "A marriage between persons of the same sex will not be recognized for any purpose in this state even when valid where contracted," so Glossip's claim would still have been denied even if they had been legally married.

School Disciplines Gay Student After Homophobic Knife Threat from Roommate

A student at the University of Central Missouri in Warrensburg received a letter of discipline from the school for reporting that his roommate threatened him with a knife because he's gay, Fox4 Kansas City reports:

Worthley18-year-old Alex Worthley of Sedalia said his dormitory roommate threatened him with a knife because the other student didn’t like having a gay roommate.

“He was like, ‘I do have a knife and I’ll use it if I have to,’” said Worthley.

Worthley told FOX 4 that at one point he asked the roommate to turn down his music.

“And that’s when he repeated that and he was like ‘I don’t like gay people,’” Worthley said.

Worthley said he reported the threat to the Office of Student Housing. An investigator agreed to put the two students in separate dorm rooms, but Worthley said he was shocked when he received a letter of discipline just like his accuser.
“Made it feel like because I’m gay that it was my fault that those threats were made,” said Worthley.

In the letter, the school blamed Worthley for being threatened:

“There seems to be a strong possibility that some of your own actions and comments were part of the reason this situation escalated from jesting to threatening.”

Worthley said the problem could have been solved before it even began by not putting the students together. Worthley said his roommate told school officials that he didn't want a gay roommate but the school says it "does not make room assignments or reassignments based upon sexual orientation, race or other university protected status.”

It also won't comment to the news about the incident.

Watch FOX4's news report here.


Towleroad - Blogged