I've been watching Michael Sam's progress with great interest since he came out publicly after finishing his college football career at the University of Missouri. When the St. Louis Rams chose the defensive end, Sam became the first openly gay player drafted by an NFL team. But the Rams waived Sam in the final round of cuts. Then the Dallas Cowboys picked him up for their practice squad. Two days ago the Cowboys released him.
For Michael Sam, it's third down. For me, I'm running out of football idioms.
A week ago the Roman Catholic Church shocked the world by calling for homosexuals to be welcomed into the church. Two days ago the Roman Catholic Church took it back.
The interim report from the two-week conference of bishops raised a lot of hopes among LGBT Catholics with its accepting tone. But the final report revealed that the conservative bishops aren't ready to let Pope Francis have his way on this issue.
The most interesting bit to me was the fact that the first version of the report spoke of gays having "gifts and qualities," but those words were dropped from the final version. How could we lose our positive attributes in less than a week? Who took them?
Take a gander at this shocking news out of Vatican City yesterday:
"Catholic bishops signaled a radical shift in tone Monday about accepting gays into the church, saying they had gifts to offer and that their partnerships, while morally problematic, provided homosexual couples with 'precious' support.
"In a preliminary report, released half-way through a Vatican meeting on family life called by Pope Francis, the bishops also said the church must welcome divorcees and recognize the 'positive' aspects of civil marriages and even Catholics who cohabitate, as well as the children of these less traditional families.
"While it does not change church doctrine, the tone of the report on a host of hot-button family issues such as marriage, divorce, homosexuality and birth control was one of almost-revolutionary acceptance and understanding rather than condemnation."
A shocker. A turning point. A watershed. That's how experts described yesterday's decision by the U.S. Supreme Court not to review same-sex marriage cases, thus allowing same-sex marriage to proceed in Virginia, Utah, Oklahoma, Indiana and Wisconsin.
The court's decision not to act on suits from three appellate circuits will also lead to gay marriage in Colorado, Wyoming, Kansas, West Virginia, North Carolina and South Carolina.
When I don't get around to something, nothing gets done. When the Supreme Court declines to do something, marriage breaks out from Richmond to Salt Lake. There's something vaguely unfair about this, but I'm not complaining.