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Michael Sam Responds to Tony Dungy's Remarks with Grace and Humility: VIDEO

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Michael Sam reacted on Tuesday to remarks made by Tony Dungy this week suggesting that he wouldn't have drafted Sam because the Sam's sexual orientation would have been a distraction. Dungy later clarified his remarks and said that Sam should "absolutely" have the opportunity to play in the NFL.

Sam was asked about the remarks by reporters and responded with grace and humility:

Said Sam: "Thank God he wasn't St. Louis Rams' coach. But I have a great respect for Coach Dungy, and like everyone in America, everyone is entitled to their own opinions."

Sam was also asked if he would be surprised "if that pops up from time to time, that somebody disapproves?"

"It is what it is," said Sam. "What you gonna do about it? My focus is on making this team. I'm excited to be back with the guys. Football is fun."

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Michael Sam Responds to Tony Dungy's Remarks with Grace and Humility: VIDEO" »


Differently-Abled Dachshund 'Anderson Pooper' Competes In Weiner Dog Race, Charms Fans: VIDEO

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His fans cheer as he crosses the finish line: "C'mon A-Poop!" "Go Pooper!"

A-Poop? It's short for Anderson Pooper, the name of the adorable, differently-abled dachshund pup who competed in a weiner dog race in Washington last week. Was he a medalist? It won't matter when you hear how excited the crowd becomes while watching this dog-on-wheels.

Check A-Poop out, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Differently-Abled Dachshund 'Anderson Pooper' Competes In Weiner Dog Race, Charms Fans: VIDEO" »


Colorado’s Gay Marriage Ban Expected to Be Overturned Today

A federal judge in Colorado is expected to issue a ruling sometime today striking down the state’s ban on same-sex marriage, the AP reports:

Colorado flagU.S. District Judge Raymond P. Moore indicated that the injunction sought by gay couples declaring Colorado's law unconstitutional is certain to be granted. But he said what he's trying to decide is whether his ruling should be put on hold.

Colorado Republican Attorney General John Suthers is not opposing the injunction, but he wants it to be stayed until the nation's highest court decides the issue. However, the attorney for the gay couples told the judge repeatedly that "justice delayed is justice denied."

"Fundamental rights cannot be stayed," said Mari Newman, one of the attorneys filing suit on behalf of the six couples

Earlier this month, a district judge struck down the state’s ban on gay marriage – leading to some counties to begin issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples. The Colorado Supreme Court later halted the issuance of marriage licenses but a ruiling by Moore in favor of the plaintiffs, without a stay, would open the door to allowing clerks across the state to continue issuing licenses.  


Idaho LGBT Activists Praised by Judge, Ordered To Pay Court Costs

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Twenty-three LGBT rights activists who were arrested earlier this year at the Idaho state capitol for blocking entrances to the statehouse have been sentenced, The AP reports:

Each protester was given a chance to offer a brief statement before being ordered to pay court costs based on how many times they were arrested.

At times, the courtroom became emotional after attorneys called two mothers who both had a child commit suicide after facing discrimination to speak…

Testifying for the state, Idaho State Police Major Steve Richardson said group's peaceful demeanor helped the arrests go smoothly, but they still put a burden on the state's limited staff and resources.

The demonstration was meant to persuade legislators to amend Idaho’s Human Rights Act to include protections for LGBT Idahoans. The protesters wore shirts that read, “Add the 4 words Idaho,” referring to the terms “gender identity" and "sexual orientation” they sought to be added to the human rights act.

The protest cost the Idaho State Police approximately $24,000 according to Major Richardson.  

The presiding judge respected the protesters for how they conducted themselves but also called upon them to accept the ‘consequences’ of their protest:

District Judge Michael Oths said he appreciated the group's approach in its multiple protests. He added, however, that America's history of civil disobedience has involved accepting consequences for breaking the law.

"You put your name on the line, and it's not easy to do that," Oths said. "I think people have been responsible in their approach."


Tony Dungy Clarifies Michael Sam Remarks, Says Sam 'Absolutely' Deserves NFL Opportunity

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Former NFL coach-turned-NBC analyst Tony Dungy released a statement on Tuesday clarifying remarks that made headlines this week in which he suggested that he would not have drafted Michael Sam because of his sexual orientation.

Dungy released the statement to ProFootballTalk which reads, in part:

I was not asked whether or not Michael Sam deserves an opportunity to play in the NFL.  He absolutely does.

I was not asked whether his sexual orientation should play a part in the evaluation process.  It should not.

I was not asked whether I would have a problem having Michael Sam on my team.  I would not.

I have been asked all of those questions several times in the last three months and have always answered them the same way—by saying that playing in the NFL is, and should be, about merit.

The best players make the team, and everyone should get the opportunity to prove whether they’re good enough to play.  That’s my opinion as a coach.  But those were not the questions I was asked.

What I was asked about was my philosophy of drafting, a philosophy that was developed over the years, which was to minimize distractions for my teams.

I do not believe Michael’s sexual orientation will be a distraction to his teammates or his organization.

I do, however, believe that the media attention that comes with it will be a distraction.  Unfortunately we are all seeing this play out now, and I feel badly that my remarks played a role in the distraction.

Read Dungy's full statement here.

Keith Olbermann released a commentary last night ripping Dungy for his remarks and naming him the "world's worst person".


Religious University Requires Sex Reassignment Surgery For Trans Students Seeking Single-Sex Dorm

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Oregon’s George Fox University — the Christian school that used a Title IX religious exemption to bar a trans male student from residing in a men’s dormitory — has revised its policy to let trans students live in the dorms as long as they have undergone sex reassignment surgery.

Noting that the university’s student health plan excludes sex reassignment surgery, Zack Ford from Think Progress points out the other shortcomings of George Fox’s “compromise”:

… many transgender people choose not undergo surgical changes to their bodies, either because they cannot afford it, because they do not wish to sacrifice their reproductive ability, or because they simply do not feel it is a necessary step to realize their gender identities. The National Transgender Discrimination Survey found that at most, a quarter of trans people had already had some form of genital surgery, though many more wanted to someday. In turn, the World Health Organization recently condemned any policy that requires transgender people to undergo sterilizing surgery in order to obtain legal recognition…

Ford has also noted that the school orginally offered to house the student in a single apartment near campus, and that the school's policy defines "common residence halls" as "single-sex, defined anatomically." Makes you wonder if they're checking the bust-size and genitals of everyone who applies.

One year ago, the U.S. Department of Education stated that Title XI granted trans students access to accommodations like bathrooms, locker rooms and dorms. However, the religious exemption allows schools like George Fox University and the Cal Baptist nursing school to discriminate against and even expel trans students under the guise of “religious beliefs.”


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