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Baltimore Ravens' Matt Birk Wants to Keep Marriage from Gays

Matt Birk, a center for the Baltimore Ravens (Brendon Ayanbadejo's team) and a former player for the Minnesota Vikings (Chris Kluwe's team) wants people to know that he doesn't share their pro-equality views, penning an op-ed in the Star Tribune calling for voters to protect marriage, and noting that "not all NFL players think redefining marriage is a good thing."

BirkSays Birk, in part:

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.

I am speaking out on this issue because it is far too important to remain silent. People who are simply acknowledging the basic reality of marriage between one man and one woman are being labeled as "bigots" and "homophobic." Aren't we past that as a society?

Don't we all have family members and friends whom we love who have same-sex attraction? Attempting to silence those who may disagree with you is always un-American, but especially when it is through name-calling, it has no place in respectful conversation.

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.

Read Birk's full piece here.

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  1. Extremely poor arguments.

    Posted by: Joe | Oct 1, 2012 2:08:55 PM

  2. his argument makes no logical sense. its merely an expression of fear about the consequences of marriage equality. the fact that his fear has not been borne out in places that have marriage equality does not help his case, either.

    fear of others based on no facts is bigotry, hatred, xenophobia, or ignorance. take your pick, matt.

    Posted by: Andrew K | Oct 1, 2012 2:11:52 PM

  3. Wow - I would think from the tone of this that you don't actually have any family member or friends that are gay/lesbian - because your religion wouldn't allow you to have them near your children. You would then be forced to explain to your children that gay people actually exist - that they are your family and friends.

    As a christian - you have a problem separating civil marriage and what you feel is your sacrament of marriage. These are two different things - where did you get your marriage License? You were married by the State - otherwise your religious ceremony wouldn't be valid by the law of the land. A very convenient omission.

    If you do not wish to be called a bigot - then don't be one. That is your choice! This has gone way past an "agree to disagree" moment. We're talking about basic rights here and your discrimination is nothing more than animus - based on your ego and ignorance - perpetuated by your "christian" values.

    If you were so concerned over the salvation of marriage - look with in at the heterosexual divorce rate. If you are concerned with pro-creation - check the your marriage certificate and see if it has a stipulation about min # of children required. I think the Supreme Court already upheld that children or pro-creation is not a requirement of marriage.

    And one last thing - please do your homework on the "tradition" of marriage. Biblical as well as civil.

    And just to be clear - you sir are a bigot.

    Posted by: Hank | Oct 1, 2012 2:12:36 PM

  4. Harvard grad, Christian, six kids, varicose vein surgery. 'nough said.

    Posted by: Your Mom | Oct 1, 2012 2:13:34 PM

  5. You know, he's right. Let's keep "marriage" between a man and a woman. And, let's redraft the law so that there is not a single benefit that any other American can't have. Let everybody have to fend for themselves when they want to be visited by their loved ones in the hospital, etc. I wonder how "sacred" marriage will seem once it's not accompanied by all of the material and quality-of-life benefits.

    Posted by: Jeff | Oct 1, 2012 2:15:46 PM

  6. That's it everyone. He brought up the "it's for the kids!" defense. Let's stop fighting for equal rights and go home. If we keep trying to earn the same civil rights as everyone else, it'll harm Matt Birk's kids....somehow.

    I don't want to have his kids' blood on my hands just because I wanted laws to stop getting fired or evicted for being gay. For god's sakes, the DADT repeal nearly crippled his kids for life! Won't somebody please think of Matt Birk's children?

    Posted by: FuryOfFirestorm | Oct 1, 2012 2:16:16 PM

  7. He says he's thinking of his children, but apparently he's not doing that too well. When they are grown and see that (i) he was/is a bigot and (ii) was stupid enough to have his bigotry on display for all the world to see, they'll be affected by gay marriage alright. They'll be mortified that their father was one of those who thought they could/should stop it.

    Posted by: Kyle | Oct 1, 2012 2:18:21 PM

  8. OK, it is a waste of time, but here is what you folks just don't understand.

    This man is not making a rational argument--I just demonstrated why. But none of you are making rational arguments either.

    Because you ALL are emotional slaves to women, in one way or another, which is the source of all men's problems, regardless of sexual orientation. And because of that, neither you nor they can face the actual facts.

    Straight men cannot face the actual facts because their emotional dependence on women (due to their adherence to a homophobic male culture that forces them to keep their emotional distance from other men) prevents them from confronting women over the effects that their behavior is having on children and on society in general. They are in a weak social position, so instead they--in accordance with their culture--attack male intimacy instead (which, in their minds, is what "gay" represents).

    None of you can face the facts, either, however, because your lack of male identity (also driven by adherence to a homophobic culture) has alienated you from other men and caused you to think of them as enemies and women as friends.....and you therefore will not acknowledge the disastrous effects that the breakdown of the family has had due to changes feminism has brought about......because you are as dependent on women emotionally--albeit in a different way--as straight men are........and you therefore don't make the RIGHT arguments about the role of marriage in a properly-functioning society, instead choosing to scream about your "rights" when marriage is not a "right" at all......

    The solution to all this is to re-vamp the male culture in such a way that women are not at the center of the lives of BOTH gay men and straight men, but instead, you get the kind of stupidity on display on both sides here.

    Posted by: Rick | Oct 1, 2012 2:20:08 PM

  9. prove it, Rick.

    provide the URL where you SHOW US ALL this example you keep anonymously talking about.

    show us. yourself. and this example you claim to lead.

    URL. provide the proof. stand up to be counted.

    that you can't do this only proves me right, and you wrong. every day.

    there's my straight dad for ya.

    you know, Rick, you're a sad troll and you probably should off yourself. it's not like you'd be missed.

    Posted by: LittleKiwi | Oct 1, 2012 2:25:13 PM

  10. I do think we as a community, myself included, have used the words "bigots" and "homophobes" when it could more accurately be described as pure and simple faith-based ignorance, the same ignorance that believes the world was created 6,000 years ago and ancient texts should be understood word-for-word instead of interpreting the nuance of oral traditions.

    Posted by: John Bisceglia | Oct 1, 2012 2:25:17 PM

  11. Marriage equality will affect children----in a positive way. Non-heterosexual children in particular. In showing youth that same-sex are equally as valid, loving and legitimate.

    THAT is what people like Matt Birk are scared of. They are THREATENED by the idea of same-sex relationships being recognized as equally valid. If they are, their irrational superiority complex goes away. And anti-gays can't deal with that.

    Heterosexism. A word that isn't used nearly enough. But a word that very much applies here.

    Posted by: Francis | Oct 1, 2012 2:27:22 PM

  12. "A defense of marriage is not meant as an offense to any person or group." Oh what a bunch of utter BS. OF COURSE IT'S OFFENSIVE! He's making accusations against us that we are somehow not 'fit' for marriage, that somehow we don't have children, etc. etc. etc.

    The list of offenses in this article is a mile long.

    Posted by: Oz in OK | Oct 1, 2012 2:27:55 PM

  13. F*CK YOU, Matt Birk.

    Posted by: Andy | Oct 1, 2012 2:30:20 PM

  14. He's a homophobic bigot.

    Posted by: Anon | Oct 1, 2012 2:36:09 PM

  15. "THAT is what people like Matt Birk are scared of. They are THREATENED by the idea of same-sex relationships being recognized as equally valid. If they are, their irrational superiority complex goes away. And anti-gays can't deal with that."

    No. Why would they be "threatened" by that when "gays" consist of only 3% of the population?

    Why do they need a "superiority complex" when they are 97% of the population and "gays" are only 3% of the population?

    You see what I mean? None of you are making arguments that are any more rational than the arguments the other side is making.

    No, what Birk and others like him are REALLY threattned by is, ironically, the same thing that most of YOU are threatened by--namely, a revamped male culture in which women are no longer at the center of men's universes and men's emotional attachments are primarily to each other rather than to women.

    But you talk right past each other, people like Birk and other straight men imprisoned in a homophobic culture that insists that men devote themselves to women in the form of "romantic love" and absolute sexual monogamy, both of which are totally unnnatural behaviors that lead to misery for the men that engage in them.........while YOU are imprisoned in a culture of effeminacy that idolizes women and reveres them in such a way that they are at the center of your universe as well, which prevents you from having any kind of normal, loving friendship or relationship with another man.....ergo the social dysfunction so apparent in gay male life.

    Posted by: Rick | Oct 1, 2012 2:37:36 PM

  16. Matt Birk is an example of the real danger to our society. This is in no way meant to be offensive to Matt Birk. :)

    Posted by: RHR IN TN | Oct 1, 2012 2:37:38 PM

  17. Can anyone here refer Rick to a good therapist to deal with his mommy issues?

    Posted by: RyanInWyo (formerly RyanInSacto) | Oct 1, 2012 2:43:34 PM

  18. Matt Birk is a bigot. Being against the legal and social rights of a legal minority group solely because that group is gay or b/c of PERSONAL individual beliefs is bigotry.

    What people like Matt Birk want is a celebration of their heterosexuality. Supporting homosexuality goes against that. They whine when they are correctly called bigots b/c their EGOS are bruised. People like Birk truly believe they're better than us. He can't handle living in a world where that isn't the case.

    Matt Birk is a loser. Hopefully his teammate Brendon Ayanbadejo educates this ignorant man.

    Posted by: Francis | Oct 1, 2012 2:49:08 PM

  19. Not just Christian, Roman Catholic.

    In 2010, he was recently named the 6th smartest athlete by the Sporting News.

    I'm not sure I understand their criteria.

    Posted by: Diogenes Arktos | Oct 1, 2012 2:49:48 PM

  20. Here is a well written letter in response to Mr. Birk's......

    Posted by: Madcitymike | Oct 1, 2012 2:51:04 PM

  21. Here is a well written letter in response to Mr. Birk's......

    Posted by: Madcitymike | Oct 1, 2012 2:51:07 PM

  22. I still dont get it. Why dont people fight with the fact that with "Marriage" comes 1,000+ rights not afforded to "non married" couples. I don't care what he thinks, nor does he care about what I think. But discrimination is giving rights to some citizens and not others. Why doesn't this point get argued more? Because in the world of "I think, you think" nobody wins because we all stick to our opinions, which we have a right to.

    Posted by: Steve | Oct 1, 2012 2:53:06 PM

  23. ugh...Christians need to get it through their thick heads that we are not living in a theocracy.

    Posted by: Gary | Oct 1, 2012 2:55:05 PM

  24. "What people like Matt Birk want is a celebration of their heterosexuality"

    Meaning what, Francis? What about all the women who love "romantic" plot lines in movies and TV shows (and who don't like seeing openly gay male actors in such roles)? Are they not "celebrating heterosexuality?"

    What is the difference?

    Posted by: Rick | Oct 1, 2012 2:58:56 PM

  25. Rick's tirades on feminism just echo what I read of the Religious Right when they've decided to lay off LGBT issues for awhile.

    Posted by: Diogenes Arktos | Oct 1, 2012 3:01:52 PM

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