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NFL teams pass on Michael Sam

Sep. 2, 2014 - , NFL teams over the weekend had an opportunity to pick up Michael Sam, the NFL's first openly gay player to be drafted, but none elected to do so.

According to ESPN, after the St. Louis Rams cut Sam from their roster on Saturday, teams had 24 hours to sign him.

The 24-year-old defensive end still has a chance of making it into the NFL this year by joining a practice squad.

"The journey continues," a hopeful Sam tweeted to his more than 183,000 followers on Saturday.

Rams head coach Jeff Fischer told reporters Saturday that he had been "pulling for" Sam and that the decision to release him was "a football decision."

Fischer said Sam was never a distraction: "There were no issues, that's the thing. No issues in the team meeting room, on the field, anyplace."

But the likelihood of Sam joining the Rams' 10-player practice squad is small. That's because the team's defensive line, Sam's position, is its strongest unit.

In a joint editorial, Outsports.com co-founders Jim Buzinski and Cyd Zeigler said Sam deserved a shot in the league.

"Sam has proven he can play in the NFL. ...[H]e's played well or very well in each of his three preseasons games," they wrote.

(Related: Bryan Fischer: Michael Sam firing shows bakers can discriminate against gays.)

Gay teen rejected by family: I lived in fear of coming out
Sep. 1, 2014 - , David Pierce, the gay teen who filmed an "intervention" organized by his family to "pray away the gay," says he lived in fear of coming out.

In his first nationally televised interview since his YouTube video went viral – more than 4.6 million views as of Sunday, Pierce said he lived in fear of coming out to his family.

The 19-year-old Georgia college student explained to HLN's Dr. Drew Pinsky that he had come out to his parents almost a year ago and that he was aware that his family was preparing to confront him.

In the 5-minute clip, Daniel's grandmother says he's being disowned, his mother physically assaults him and his father calls him a "disgrace."

"It was expected," he said. "There was some suspicious phone calls within the few minutes leading up to it that gave me the impression that that's what was going to happen."

"You mean that there was going to be an ambush of some type?" Pinsky asked.

"I feared something was going to happen."

"Had they been so vocal in their condemnation of you before this?"

"My dad has," Pierce answered."There were indirect comments made [on] the topic in general, but never towards me."

"And so, you knew they were not happy with having a gay young man in their family. Did you ever think about not coming out to them?"

"Oh yes," Pierce replied. "I lived in fear of coming out to them."

A GoFundMe.com campaign to help Pierce with an initial goal of $2,000 has raised nearly $95,000 in just 3 days.

Pierce said he planned to give a portion of the money back to "the cause."

"I want[ed] to bring awareness to this. That this is still happening. If it saves one kid the misery of what I went through, I will be satisfied," he added. 




 
Reagan appointed federal appeals judge: Gay marriage bans are 'a tradition of hate'
Aug. 27, 2014 - , Arguments used by lawyers defending gay marriage bans in Wisconsin and Indiana received a cold shoulder on Tuesday from a 3-judge panel of the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago.

Both states are defending marriage bans struck down by lower federal courts in June.

According to the AP, more than 200 people showed up to witness arguments in the legal challenges.

Judge Richard Posner, a Ronald Reagan appointee, scolded Wisconsin Assistant Attorney General Timothy Samuelson's assertion that such bans were based on "tradition."

"It was tradition to not allow blacks and whites to marry – a tradition that got swept away," Posner said. Laws excluding gay couples from marriage, he said, are "a tradition of hate ...and savage discrimination."

He also asked Indiana Solicitor General Thomas Fischer what benefits to society could possibly outweigh the damage the bans inflict on the children of gay and lesbian couples.

"All this is a reflection of biology," Fischer answered. "Men and women make babies, same-sex couples do not ...we have to have a mechanism to regulate that, and marriage is that mechanism."

Also considering the challenges were Judges Ann Claire Williams, who was appointed to the bench by Bill Clinton, and David Hamilton, who was appointed by President Barack Obama.

Panel members were kept under wraps until Tuesday. And when they were announced, marriage equality advocates cheered, with progressive blog ThinkProgess.com declaring that supporters had "just won the lottery."

While rulings in two other appeals courts considering similar challenges have been split, all three Seventh Circuit judges appeared to express skepticism over arguments presented in support of the bans.


 
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