In the News

Jason Collins, N.B.A.’s First Openly Gay Player, Retires
source: The New York Times
posted: 11/19/14
Jason Collins, who last season became the first openly gay player in the N.B.A., announced his retirement from basketball on Wednesday in a news conference at Barclays Center.

Collins, 35, said that he made the decision over the summer and that he would focus on his work supporting organizations devoted to promoting diversity and inclusion.

“The past 18, 19 months have been incredible,” said Collins, who did not sign with a team after finishing the 2013-14 season with the Nets. “I’ve grown


Moment Resonates, Quietly, at UMass
source: The New York Times
posted: 11/14/14
As Derrick Gordon’s name was announced during the introduction of the Massachusetts basketball team’s starting lineup Friday, a spotlight swung around the arena, and cheerleaders waved their pompoms. The Who’s “Baba O’Riley” played. There was a loud cheer at the sound of Gordon’s name. Yet nothing signified the occasion as anything extraordinary.

At 7:05 p.m., the ball was tipped at UMass’s Mullins Center, and Gordon became the first openly gay athlete to play a game in Division I men’s baske


Same-Sex Couples Petition Supreme Court on Right to Marriage
source: The New York Times
posted: 11/14/14
Gay and lesbian couples filed a petition on Friday asking the Supreme Court to decide whether there is a constitutional right to same-sex marriage. It arrived eight days after the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, in Cincinnati, upheld bans on same-sex marriage in Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio and Tennessee.

The fast pace of the filing was an effort to ensure that the justices be able to hear and decide a case before the current Supreme Court term ends in late June.

On Oct.


Supreme Court Lets Gay Marriages Proceed in Kansas
source: The New York Times
posted: 11/12/14
The Supreme Court on Wednesday allowed same-sex marriages to proceed in Kansas, lifting a temporary stay issued Monday by Justice Sonia Sotomayor.

The two-sentence order was similar to recent ones from the court, which has repeatedly declined to intercede in the legal battles over same-sex marriage. But there was one difference: The earlier orders had apparently been unanimous, while this one noted that Justices Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas would have granted the stay.

In urging the


Tim Cook, Apple’s Chief Executive, Says He Is ‘Proud to Be Gay’
source: The New York Times
posted: 10/30/14
Timothy D. Cook, Apple’s chief executive, said he was “proud to be gay” in an essay published early Thursday, becoming by far the most prominent executive of a public company to come out.

“Let me be clear: I’m proud to be gay, and I consider being gay among the greatest gifts God has given me,” Mr. Cook wrote in the essay, published by Bloomberg Businessweek.

Mr. Cook, 53, has never spoken publicly about his sexual orientation in the many years he has worked in the spotlight at Apple.

I


Taiwan Shines as Beacon for Gays in Asia
source: The New York Times
posted: 10/29/14
Waving rainbow flags and banners demanding same-sex marriage, the revelers set off from Taiwan’s presidential palace, drawing cheers and thumbs-ups from spectators along the way. For the 13th year in a row, the gay pride march took over the streets of the capital on Saturday in a boisterous, freewheeling demonstration of how far Taiwan has come in the two decades since multiparty democracy replaced martial law and authoritarian rule.

But the loudest applause rose up when a Malaysian flag or a


Cowboys Release Michael Sam From Practice Squad
source: The New York Times
posted: 10/24/14
Michael Sam, the first openly gay player to be drafted by the N.F.L., was released by the Dallas Cowboys on Tuesday after spending seven weeks on their practice squad.

Sam has not appeared in a regular-season game. He was drafted in the seventh round by the Rams but cut in training camp before being signed to the 10-man practice squad for Dallas on Sept..3.

The team announced the move on its website, explaining that it was intended to open a spot for linebacker Troy Davis, a second-year pl


Unable to Marry Gay Couples, Some Italian Mayors Rebel
source: The New York Times
posted: 10/23/14
The crowd at an ornate room in Rome’s City Hall erupted in applause as the mayor entered, wearing his formal green, white and red sash, and clapped in turn. The brides and grooms bent forward to sign an official registry. Guests hoisted babies, snapped pictures and dabbed away tears.

While the ceremony on Saturday had all the trappings of a traditional civil wedding, it was a wedding in spirit only. All the couples had previously been legally married before, though not in Italy, where same-se


Alaska and Arizona Are Latest to Clear Way for Gay Marriage
source: The New York Times
posted: 10/17/14
Alaska and Arizona on Friday became the latest states to allow same-sex marriage, bringing the number of states that let gay and lesbian couples wed to 31.

Alaska joined that group after the Supreme Court refused to block a ruling that struck down the state’s ban on same-sex marriage. The Supreme Court’s order was terse and gave no reasons.

On Wednesday, a three-judge panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, in San Francisco, entered a brief temporary stay, giving


Megachurch Pastor Signals Shift in Tone on Gay Marriage
source: The New York Times
posted: 10/17/14
The pastor of one of the more influential global megachurches has declared that his church is in “an ongoing conversation” about same-sex marriage — saying that it is appropriate to consider the words of the Bible alongside the changing culture and the experience of people in the pews.

The comments by Brian Houston, the senior pastor of Hillsong, immediately attracted concern from the right and applause from the left, coming as many Christian denominations and congregations are struggling wit