Speed Reads

What a difference a day makes

4 reasons it was a pretty amazing weekend for LGBT rights


"Is it just me," said John Oliver on Sunday night's Last Week Tonight, "or between Conchita and Michael Sam, did the world — did the whole world feel like it became a better place to live in the last 24 hours?" If you are a supporter of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender rights, the answer is almost certainly yes. You probably already know about at least one of these four firsts (Oliver mentioned two), but together they make for a pretty great weekend for the LGBT camp:

1. The St. Louis Rams drafted Michael Sam, the first openly gay pro football player in the NFL, on Saturday. He celebrated by kissing boyfriend Vito Cammisano on camera.

2. A judge in Arkansas struck down the state's ban on gay marriage, and a Carroll County clerk performed the state's first same-sex marriages on Saturday.

3. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said he is open to reviewing the U.S. military's ban on transgender service members.

4. And finally, bearded Austrian drag queen Conchita Wurst won the 2014 Eurovision Song Contest, very pointedly beating the Russian entrants and sending a not-so-veiled message to Russia regarding its anti-gay laws: "This night is dedicated to everyone who believes in a future of peace and freedom. You know who you are. We are unity and we are unstoppable." Oliver explains the geopolitical importance of Wurst's win below. --Peter Weber