- September 2021
After 18 years together and two children, Colorado Gov. Jared Polis and Marlon Reis made honest men of each other last week, marrying in a traditional Jewish ceremony.
Every wedding guest was required to test negative for COVID.
I wonder whether, instead of a glass, the grooms stepped on a test tube.
Over the summer, Las Vegas Raiders defensive lineman Carl Nassib became the first active NFL player to come out as gay.
So he was already making history as the first openly gay NFL player to appear in a regular-season game when he stepped on the field during "Monday Night Football." But in a Hollywood-esque turn of events, Nassib forced a fumble in overtime that led to his team's game-winning touchdown.
I think it must be said here and now that any athlete who comes out going forward won't be expected to be the hero of the next game. Announcing your orientation to the whole world is a scary affair. After you come out, you're a winner if you can simply remember which sport you play.
In the lead-up to today, the 20th anniversary of 9/11, I've heard frequent laments for the national unity we Americans felt and displayed in the days after the attacks. This isn't surprising, considering we're now a nation of fissures.
I remember that feeling. A complete wuss where needles are concerned, even I was prepared to give blood. As much as they needed. As long as they knocked me out first.
But I also remember that, for some, unity wasn't on the agenda.
Two days after the planes flew into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, Jerry Falwell appeared on Pat Robertson's "700 Club" TV show, and offered this: "I really believe that the pagans, and the abortionists, and the feminists, and the gays and the lesbians who are actively trying to make that an alternative lifestyle, the ACLU, People For the American Way – all of them who have tried to secularize America – I point the finger in their face and say 'you helped this happen.'"
Robertson heartily agreed. During a period of monumental national sorrow, America's two most prominent conservative Christian leaders chose to demonize queer people and our fellow travelers.
After an outcry, Robertson blamed Falwell. The televangelists couldn't even manage unity in their disunity.
Looking back, I suspect the issue was partly timing. The nation was too raw. If they'd waited a month to blame gays and feminists and liberals, they might've been better received, not come across as heartless, vicious toadstools.
I guess they just got caught up in their enthusiasm for sharing God's love.
Clearly, there has been a lack of imagination about how much can go wrong.
Last week minor-leaguer Bryan Ruby became the only active professional baseball player to come out. In July Nashville Predators prospect Luke Prokop announced he's gay, making the 19-year-old the first NHL player, active or retired, to come out. In June Carl Nassib of the Las Vegas Raiders became the first active NFL player to come out.
What on earth are they putting in Gatorade these days?
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