We've written a lot about NFL players Chris Kluwe (Minnesota Vikings) and Brendon Ayanbadejo (Baltimore Ravens) and their support of gay marriage in upcoming ballot initiatives in those states. Now comes the other side from current Ravens center and former Viking Matt Birk, who wrote an opinion column for the Minneapolis Star-Tribune against same-sex marriage.
Birk's piece is the usual ill-reasoned arguments that make it all about the children:
Same-sex unions may not affect my marriage specifically, but it will affect my children -- the next generation. Ideas have consequences, and laws shape culture. Marriage redefinition will affect the broader well-being of children and the welfare of society. As a Christian and a citizen, I am compelled to care about both.
Kluwe is preparing a response, tweeting: "Remember, Matt has the right to his views, just as I have the right to poke holes in logical inconsistencies." He will have a field day. Update: Kluwe has his response up:
"Your argument lacks facts, sources, or statistics," Kluwe writes. "You can’t just say, 'Same-sex marriage is bad for kids because I think it’s bad for kids, and I think it’s bad for kids because it’s bad for kids.' ...
"There’s no difference between children raised in heterosexual relationships and same-sex relationships, as evidenced by a meta-study of nineteen different LBGT studies. ... If children having a stable home is the main crux of your concern, then denying gay couples the benefits of 1,100 federal laws can only harm the children they will raise."
Birk makes it clear he doesn't dislike gay people, but will nonetheless deny them the same rights as he enjoys.
"A defense of marriage is not meant as an offense to any person or group. All people should be afforded their inalienable American freedoms. There is no opposition between providing basic human rights to everyone and preserving marriage as the sacred union of one man and one woman."
That's the usual homophobic crap wrapped up in concern. A defense of "traditional marriage" (whatever that means) is by its nature an "offense to a person or group," namely same-sex couples who can't legally do what Birk can.
Unfortunately, the Birk argument still has great power in society and the most recent poll spells trouble for the pro-gay marriage side -- 49% favor an amendment to change Minnesota's constitution to prevent gay marriage, with 47% opposed and only 4% undecided.
The news is much brighter in Maryland, with the latest poll showing 49% support a referendum allowing gay marriage vs. 39% opposed; the state legislature and governor passed a same-sex marriage bill, but it needs final voter approval. Said one 81-year-old female voter: "[Gays] pay taxes like anybody else. They should have the right to pick their own partners. No one should tell them who they should or shouldn't be with." She should have a talk with Matt Birk.