Arizona may lose 2015 Super Bowl if bill to legalise anti-gay discrimination becomes law
PinkNews: The US state of Arizona could run the risk of losing the Super Bowl if a law is enacted to allow business owners to legally discriminate against gay people.
Senate Bill 1062 would prevent the state from taking action against individuals and businesses who refuse services to people or groups based on their religious beliefs if such enforcement would “substantially burden” the free exercise of their religion.
The bill was given final approval by the legislature on Friday, but State Governor Jan Brewer has not said whether she will sign it into law.
Currently Arizona is set to host the Super Bowl, the NFL’s championship game, in 2015. That could all change, however, as SB 1062 breaks the NFL’s nondiscrimination policy.
“Our policies emphasize tolerance and inclusiveness and prohibit discrimination based on age, gender, race, religion, sexual orientation or any other improper standard,” NFL spokesman Greg Aiello told USA Today.
“We are following the issue in Arizona and will continue to do so should the bill be signed into law, but will decline further comment at this time.”
Even the Super Bowl Host committee released a statement condemning the bill.
“On that matter we have heard loud and clear from our various stakeholders that adoption of this legislation would not only run contrary to that goal but deal a significant blow to the state’s economic growth potential,” a committee spokesperson said. “We do not support this legislation.”
Jan Brewer has until Friday to decide on the bill, but is expected to take action sooner.
TheAdvocate: Out NBA player Jason Collins will wear number 98 during his time with the Brooklyn Nets as a tribute to Matthew Shepard, reports the New York Daily News.
Collins, who made history as the first openly gay athlete in any men’s major league team sport when he played with the Nets for the first time Sunday, wore the number last season with both the Boston Celtics and the Washington Wizards as a silent sign of gay pride before coming out. Since publicly revealing that he is gay, Collins acknowledged that he chose the number in reference to the year of Shepard’s murder and the rise of hate-crime laws.
Out.com: Jason Collins, the 35-year-old free agent, became the first openly gay athlete to sign to the NBA. Nearly a year after coming out, Collins signed with the New York Nets.
Within hours of sigining, Collins appeared in his first game.
“Right now, I’m focused on trying to learn the plays, the game plan assignment,” Collins told The New York Times. “I don’t have time to really think about history right now.” Collins was brought in a few weeks before when the Nets was adressing its need for interior defense.
“The decision to sign Jason was a basketball decision,” General Manager Billy King said in a statement.
Meanwhile, Collins had this to say to gay athletes:
“My message to other athletes, period, is just be yourself. Be your true, authentic self and never be afraid or ashamed or have any fear to be your true authentic self.”
Outsports: Let’s first talk showers and football, since that seems to be a big concern for some players, especially in light of Michael Sam coming out. I played high school football for four years, and college football for three, and I was out to my teammates in college. After hours of hard practice in 105-degree August heat, I was hot, sweaty, sore, bruised, tired and hungry. Hitting on my teammates was the last thing on my mind. Never mind that they were like my brothers and weren’t my type; I just wanted nothing more than to rinse off the turf and sweat and get some Gatorade and grub.
Let’s take a look at what a locker room and shower look like with 100 football guys in it. It isn’t pretty. I loved my teammates, but let’s be honest, not every football player looks like they can be on the cover of “Men’s Health.”
Advocate: After the death of her mother, King will participate in the closing ceremony of the Sochi Winter Games.
Tennis player Billie Jean King will head to Sochi after all, despite having to remain in the United States instead of participate in the opening ceremony, to take care of her ailing mother.
King, a tennis icon, was originally named to the U.S. delegation for the Sochi games’ opening ceremony. However, days before the opening ceremony, King and the White House announced that she would have to remain in the States, and hockey player Caitlin Cahow would take her place.
King’s mother passed away February 7 at her home in Arizona at age 91.