Sunday, September 9, 2012

I Want to Be a Football Hero

Minnesota Vikings' Punter, Chris Kluwe
Well, sort of. 

American Football (as opposed to Soccer, which is called 'Football' everywhere else in the world), has always been perceived as an exceptionally masculine sport, played by (presumably) straight men. And while no professional player has come out of the closet while actively playing, a few have done so after retiring. And several straight players have recently come out in support of both LGBT rights and Marriage Equality.

Baltimore Ravens Linebacker Brendon Ayanbadejo recently made a video supporting Marriage Equality in Maryland. Maryland state delegate Emmet C. Burns consequently wrote to the Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti, admonishing him for allowing Ayanbadejo to express his opinions on the subject and asked Bisciotti to "inhibit such expressions from your employee." Seriously? An elected official asking a private employer to suppress someone's First Amendment rights? Thankfully, both Bisciotti and the NFL have voiced their support of Ayanbadjo's right to Free Speech.

Minnesota Vikings Punter Chris Kluwe (pictured above) was just as outraged over this as every American should be and he wrote the delegate to express his displeasure in an expletive-filled letter, which you can read here.  Among other things, Kluwe wrote: "The views you espouse neglect to consider several fundamental key points, which I will outline in great detail (you may want to hire an intern to help you with the longer words)"* and "I can assure you that gay people getting married will have zero effect on your life."

Here's the thing: If professional football players have begun to realize (and publicly announce) that LGBT people should have the same rights as everyone else and that Marriage Equality in no way affects anyone else's marriage, shouldn't the rest of of America do the same? If we are "the land of the free and the home of brave," shouldn't we prove that to the rest of the world? Are we going to allow Canada to one-up us on this issue (no offense Joyce, Mark & Jon)?  To quote many of my friends on Facebook "Opposing gay marriage because of your religion is like opposing my eating a doughnut because you're on a diet."

And while I grew up with both a father** and a mother, there is zero evidence that growing up with two dads or two moms has any negative effects on a child. In fact, I'd say it's quite the opposite, given the amazing speech made by Zach Wahls at last week's DNC:

So I have to ask, on which side of history do you want to be? I'm guessing that 10 years from now, folks will be reading this post and asking themselves why this was such a big deal. And even if the majority of the Western U.S. is destroyed by an eruption of the Yosemite supervolcano, it will be the result of purely natural events and will have nothing at all to do gay marriage, even if senile old fossils like Pat Robertson claim it does.

*I so dearly love that parenthetical.

**My dad grew up Catholic in the 40's and 50's, and while I may suspect certain things about him, I can't hate him for ideals imposed upon him by the society of the times. Of course, I can fault him for not evolving...  or for being a douche nozzle, in general. My mother, on the other hand, is probably one of the most progressive-thinking women of her era. I will always be thankful for her support of both myself and my sister. Talk about dichotomies!

More, anon.

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