Gays married in Arkansas, gay NFL draftee, and gay Eurovision winner

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.

Conchita Wurst

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.

The moment Conchita Wurst won the Eurovision Song Contest.

The moment Conchita Wurst won the Eurovision Song Contest.

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.

From AP:

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.

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Follow me on Twitter: @aravosis | @americablog | @americabloggay | Facebook | Instagram | Google+ | LinkedIn. John Aravosis is the Executive Editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown; and has worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, the United Nations Development Programme, and as a stringer for the Economist. He is a frequent TV pundit, having appeared on the O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline, AM Joy & Reliable Sources, among others. John lives in Washington, DC. .

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25 Responses to “Gays married in Arkansas, gay NFL draftee, and gay Eurovision winner”

  1. Jade says:

    It’s probably because it happens so rarely on mainstream television. The more you see it, the less it will shock you. Eventually, two men or two women kissing will be so normal you won’t bat an eye.

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  3. FLL says:

    McCain’s funny about Russia—”a gas station masquerading as a country”—could refer to various other countries, like Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, etc. Your sound bite—”a gas station with nukes”—is superior in that it could refer only to Russia, which is hilarious.

    At Conchita’s news conference, I heard a couple news reporters representing Ukrainian media asking questions. I’ve also noticed lots of good reviews for Conchita from people in Ukraine. And although there are few positive Internet commenters from Russia, Conchita’s winning song from Eurovision is the number 1 downloaded song on Russian iTunes. It just gets curiouser and curiouser in Russia. I suppose Russian citizens feel safe enough buying a single on iTunes, but would rather not run afoul of the anti-gay-propaganda law by putting anything down in writing and posting it.

  4. 4th Turning says:

    Okay. One more and I’m gone. Gave the lightshow a 10, too. (Sorry Jared-you might consider
    going with a different conditioner?)

  5. 4th Turning says:

    I was right there with them in girlieman tears and grins.

  6. 4th Turning says:

    Damn. Never liked american futbol. Now am obliged to order team paraphernalia online (will never wear my stupid cap back’ards or cock-eyed, though), sacrifice a best part of sunday, learn about pt. spreads and all that stuff and, worst of all, return to mickey lites during the game after being all in on micros.

  7. dcinsider says:

    A memorable weekend indeed.

  8. Butch1 says:

    Usually, the girlfriends are hanging all over the guys. Sometimes it’s rather nauseating to see them used as arm fixtures or that they are so insecure that they have to be constantly clinging on to them in some sexy pose for the cameras. It gets tedious after awhile.

  9. Bookbinder says:

    The still photo makes it look like a deep mouthed long lasting kiss, not the peck/smooch it really is, as shown on the video.

  10. Butch1 says:

    Knowing that his boy friend is into sports should be great and he will be more interested in what Same does. Perhaps he can be of some help with his regimen when he is working out etc.

  11. Butch1 says:

    You do and at least you are aware of it, Tony. Good luck.

  12. Butch1 says:

    ” Spoken like a true former empire that’s now little more than a gas station with nukes.”
    Now this is funny and priceless, John; a true keeper. This is what one would call a Sound-Bite. ;-)

  13. Bill_Perdue says:

    PS. Putin and Zhirinovsky are not doing so well in Russia. Noted at JMG, Wurst is doing very well indeed

  14. vickif says:

    Me too.

  15. Bill_Perdue says:

    It made me grin from ear to ear.

  16. TonyT says:

    I hate to admit it but the kiss made me cringe. I feel like I’m a very tolerant person but realize I have more work to do.

  17. Bill_Perdue says:

    These victories mark a year that’s a watershed for our communities. The lucky linebacker and his companion were all over the news yesterday and today kissing. This victory celebration is theirs and it belongs to them and to everyone the LGBT communities who’ve fought for generations for it.

    Homophobia in Russia is inevitable because the RF, like the US, Russia is now a capitalist and imperialist power. Zhirinovsky and Putin both use homophobia to strengthen their bases and neither have any semblance to anything even remotely soviet or neo-Soviet. Both politicians are, like the Obama regime, capitalist and imperialist. The last thing that Zhirinovsky and Putin want is a restoration of a state owned economy.

    Russian workers have a different approach and there’s a lot of confusion, deliberately promoted by Putin, attempting to equate his imperialist plans with the reality of the former USSR.

  18. Mike_in_the_Tundra says:

    I wouldn’t have given it a second thought. I guess I’m not curious about such things.

  19. Houndentenor says:

    He’s in the picture and should be identified. Wouldn’t we identify a girlfriend?

  20. Mike_in_the_Tundra says:

    I wasn’t too concerned about the boyfriend’s past, but I was happy to see that Michael Sam has a loving boyfriend. Sam went into this knowing it was going to be a rough road to travel, but the boyfriend will help a lot.

  21. Mike_in_the_Tundra says:

    Conchita sang “Rise Like A phoenix”. It really sounds great.

  22. Jimmy says:

    Michael Sam actually has a tough road ahead, but based on his time with Mizzou he has the potential to be a great pick for the Rams.

  23. Drew2u says:

    Am I the only one who really doesn’t care about the boyfriend’s past? Why does it matter? Are they a cute couple? Sure!
    With that said, it was great watching ESPN at the gym yesterday and hearing the commentors all saying how they support Mr. Sam in his new career.

  24. Indigo says:

    Mr. Boyfriend’s name is Vito Commisano and he’s also an openly gay athlete on the swim team at Mizzou, 2009-2011.

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