An Arkansas court strikes down the state’s gay marriage ban and gay couples start getting married.
Then openly-gay Austrian drag queen Conchita Wurst wins the prestigious Eurovision Song Contest, sending a number of former Soviet client states into a homophobic tizzy.
And then openly-gay NFL hopefully Michael Sam gets drafted by the St. Louis Rams, and in a moment of joy shares a kiss with his boyfriend on ESPN, the sports cable network. (They were covered in cake because one of them just fed cake to the other.)
So, first late Friday we get news that a district court has struck down Arkansas’ state constitutional ban on gay marriage. And since the court wouldn’t stay the decision pending appeal, the marriages began on Saturday. And they started up again this morning!
As a result, 15 marriage licenses were issued to gay couples in Arkansas on Saturday, and the locusts did not descend.
The religious right bigots, as always, expressed concern for the poor gay couples getting married, and how the court’s decision would “create confusion” for those couples:
Jerry Cox, president of the Arkansas Family Council, which promoted Arkansas’ ban, said Piazza’s decision to not suspend his ruling will create confusion if a stay is issued.
“Are these people married? Are they unmarried?” Cox said. “Judge Piazza did a tremendous disservice to the people of Arkansas by leaving this in limbo.”
Actually there’s no confusion at all. The court found that the state’s ban is illegal and that couples can get married, so they did. The only people who find this confusing are people who find the concept of abiding by the law “confusing.”
The state is appealing. Good luck with that. In the post-Windsor world — the Supreme Court decision last summer that struck down section 3 of the anti-gay Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) — the far-right lost the battle over marriage equality. It’s only a matter of going courty by court, state by state, and getting the state bans overturned. But after Windsor, our victory is set in stone.
Austrian drag queen and singer Conchita Wurst won the prestigious Eurovision Song Contest this weekend, causing great consternation for the Russians and their former Soviet toadies.
Wurst, who sports a beard and a dress as his alter ego, Conchita, is actually Thomas Neuwirth, an openly-gay man. The Russians and company were beside themselves, and did all they could to keep voting for each other, in order to stop Wurst from winning. But in the end, whose votes put Wurst over the top? Ukraine’s.
Many former Soviet republic countries gave their points to neighboring countries, except Ukraine, whose eight points to Austria were decisive for the Danish hosts to declare Wurst had won.
According to the AP, Russia was not terribly well-received:
Still, every time Russia got votes many in the audience of 10,000 booed, and when Moscow gave its respective eight, 10 and 12 points to Armenia, Azerbaijan and Belarus — all former Soviet republics — more boos were heard.
Wurst also had a few words for Vladimir Putin:
“I don’t know if he is watching this now, but if so, I’ll say it: ‘We’re unstoppable.’
The neo-Soviets over in Moscow are simply beside themselves:
Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin wrote on Twitter that the Eurovision result “showed supporters of European integration their European future: a bearded girl.” “There’s no limit to our outrage. It’s the end of Europe. It has turned wild. They don’t have men and women any more. They have ‘it’,” nationalist politician Vladimir Zhirinovsky told Rossiya-1 state television. “Fifty years ago the Soviet army occupied Austria. We made a mistake in freeing Austria. We should have stayed,” added the leader of the Liberal Democratic Party, known for his outrageous statements.
Spoken like a true former empire that’s now little more than a gas station with nukes.
You can watch Conchita win about 15 minutes into this video, as noted the Ukrainians push her over the top:
NFL rookie Michael Sam
Michael Sam became the first openly-gay man picked to play for an NFL team. This is the moment he found out that St. Louis picked him. He’s with his boyfriend.
So the football cognoscenti on Twitter inform me that Sam is still not the first openly-gay NFL player, as he still needs to make the cut to actually play on the team once practice ends. If you’re not good enough, even though you were drafted, you can still be cut. They start with 90 players they pick during the draft, then whittle it down to 53. So competition is fierce.
Overall, what a crazy gay news weekend.