BigGayNews from Missouri:
NFL Prospect Michael Sam Proudly Says What Teammates Knew: He’s Gay
The New York Times reports that the defensive lineman from the University of Missouri spoke publicly about his sexual orientation and could become the first openly gay player in the National Football League.
Michael Sam revealed his sexuality to teammates and coaches during a team building exercise at preseason practice last year, and his supportive and accepting team kept his secret throughout the year until Sam decided to open up publicly on Sunday in an interview.
Sam is considered to be a third-to-fifth round draft choice in the NFL draft in May, which would make him the first openly gay active player in any of the major league sports leagues.
BigGayNews from the United States:
Coke Features First Gay Family To Appear In A Super Bowl Ad
The Today Show’s Money webpage reports that in the second quarter of the Super Bowl, Coke became the first advertiser to show a gay family in an ad for America’s big game.
The advertisement, which featured a variety of different families, individuals, and ethnicities set to “America the Beautiful”, included the two male partners roller-skating with their daughter.
GLAAD President and CEO Sarah Kate Ellis applauded the ad, stating: “Coca-Cola has demonstrated to corporate America that being GLBT-inclusive is good for business, but as the world turns its attention to Sochi for the 2014 Winter Olympics, it’s time for sponsors of the Olympics like Coca-Cola to show the whole world how beautiful GLBT families are.”
BigGayNews from Minnesota:
Centennial Student Gets Death Threat After Coming Out On Facebook
MyFox9.com reports that six weeks ago, a Centennial high school student opened up about being gay, and on Tuesday, he found an anonymous threatening letter in his English class that’s prompting a police investigation.
Ryan Eichenauer, a senior at the Circle Pines, Minnesota high school, finally decided to come out to his family and classmates, but said that he had no idea of the hatred and vehemence that would follow his revelation.
Eichenauer said that the second note that he received stated, in part: “I can’t wait for the day that I get to walk over your grave and if you don’t put yourself there, I will be glad to, Just do us all a favor and do it soon. Kill yourself already.”
BigGayNews from Maryland:
Pascal Tessier, Gay Maryland Teen, Achieved Eagle Scout Milestone
The Huffington Post reports that change is coming quickly to the Boy Scouts of America.
The 17-year-old Tessier achieved the highest rank in the scouting organization after over a year of speaking out to end the ban on gays in the Boy Scouts of America.
Scouts for Equality, an advocacy group, say that Tessier is likely the first openly gay scout to attain the rank of Eagle.
BigGayNews from Minnesota:
College Football Linebacker Was Openly Gay And Embraced By His Teammates
OutSports reports that Scott Cooper just finished his senior season, and found true acceptance on his Augsburg College football team, which included him being asked by a coach to speak on National Coming Out Day and introducing his partner at Senior Day.
Cooper recalls being introduced as “Senior Linebacker Scott Cooper” and “his partner, Dan” as the two of them walked onto the field together to applause from the crowd, coaches and fellow players.
The athlete says that when his teammates learned of his sexuality, their use of the words ‘fag’ and ‘queer’ dropped off significantly as they became more sensitive to how those words can be hurtful and demeaning, especially to those still in the closet and struggling with coming out and being themselves in a world that is not entirely accepting.
BigGayNews from Scotland:
Scotland’s Parliament Legalizes Gay Marriage
The Wire reports that the Scottish Parliament overwhelmingly passed a bill on Tuesday that will legalize gay marriage in the country.
In a 105 to 18 vote, Scotland became the 17th country in the world to legalize gay marriage, and the third part of the United Kingdom to do so after England and Wales legalized same-sex marriage last summer. The bill passed in spite of opposition by both the Church of Scotland and the Scottish Catholic Church.
Scotland had previously recognized same-sex civil unions, and those couples who were in civil partnerships will be able to convert their unions into marriages as soon as the law goes into effect, possibly in October.
BigGayNews from Finland:
Finnish Olympic Swimmer Ari-Pekka Liukkonen Comes Out As Gay
Advocate.com reports that in an effort to raise awareness of Russia’s anti-gay legislation ahead of the Sochi Winter Games, Finnish Olympic swimmer Ari-Pekka Liukkonen has come out as gay.
The bronze medalist in the 2012 European Championships is the first Finnish athlete to come out while still active in his career.
Currently in training for the 2016 Rio Olympics, Liukkonen would like to see GLBT acceptance in his home country become more commonplace, and hopes that his revelation will help to start more conversation in that direction.
BigGayNews from Senegal:
Senegal Police Arrest Four Over Anti-Gay Violence
ABC News reports that police in a city outside Senegal’s capital have arrested four young men accused of carrying out attacks in a bid to rid their neighborhood of gay people.
According to Mamadou Faye, an official with the police department of the city of Rufisque, the men were accused of targeting five gay men, injuring some as well as destroying property.
Homosexual acts are punishable by up to five years in the African nation, and anti-gay sentiment is rampant.