by Max Brantley
The decision by NBA journeyman Jason Collins to announce he is gay is making headlines all over today. He's the first among the major pro sports to come out of the closet while still an active player. The Human Rights Campaign says he "changes the face of sports forever." Tyro Twitterer Bill Clinton tweets: "I'm proud to call Jason Collins a friend."
The attention is a commentary on a lot of things, not least of them being the primacy of sports in the American consciousness. It is also a comment on the fact that — despite dramatically improving attitudes and circumstances — it is still not easy to be gay in America. But others will stand on Jason Collins' shoulders. And equality will come, even in Arkansas, though we'll battle Oklahoma and Alabama for last place.
Discrimination isn't restricted to this region:
A former gym teacher at a Catholic high school in Columbus, OH is fighting to get her job back after she was fired after her partner's name appeared in her mother's obituary.
..."The Catholic Church respects the fundamental dignity of all persons but must insist that those in its employ respect the tenets of the church. Personnel who choose to publicly espouse relationships or principles that are contrary to the teachings of the Catholic Church cannot, ultimately, remain in the employ of the church," said Diocese of Columbus spokesman George Jones.
Hmmmm. Might this affect people who worked, say, for a hospital operated by a joint board governed by an Arkansas state entity and a church-related health organization?