So, everybody knows that footballers are big lumps of bigoted muscle, completely devoid of any kind of brain, right? Right?
Well, I hate to disappoint you, but that's not the truth (as a matter of fact, I love to disappoint you in this case; having my own prejudices crushed is a very favorite thing of mine, and I want to share!).
It all started with the guy in the middle, Baltimore Ravens linebacker Brendon Ayanbadejo. Apart from being an athlete (and a very good-looking one at that; do go and google him for images - you won't be disappointed), he's advocated for the passage of the FIT Kids Act, federal legislation that give youngsters health and nutritional information. And he's advocated legalizing same-sex marriage. Two great things, right?
Well, no. Not if you ask Maryland state delegate Emmett C. Burns Jr. (the guy on the right. Just if anybody couldn't tell who the not-footballer is). Last week, Burns wrote to Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti, urging him to "inhibit such expressions from your employee". And if you were in doubt, it wasn't Ayanbadejo's work for healthier children that got him into trouble; it was the fact that he dared speak up in favor of same-sex marriage.
The whole thing could have ended here, but this is when the awesomeness begins. With Minnesota Vikings punter Chris Kluwe's (that's the guy on the left) response to Burns. A couple of my favorite quotes are:
"It baffles me that a man such as yourself, a man who relies on that same First Amendment to pursue your own religious studies without fear of persecution from the state, could somehow justify stifling another person's right to speech. To call that hypocritical would be to do a disservice to the word. Mindfucking obscenely hypocritical starts to approach it a little bit."
Or how about this:
"I can assure you that gay people getting married will have zero effect on your life. They won't come into your house and steal your children. They won't magically turn you into a lustful cockmonster. They won't even overthrow the government in an orgy of hedonistic debauchery because all of a sudden they have the same legal rights as the other 90 percent of our population"
Yeah, that pretty much killed all of those prejudices about stupid athletes, didn't it? Go here to read the whole amazing letter.
More important, it underlines something I feel very strongly about: Other's people's lives and how they want to live them is not any of my damn business. It's not my business who they worship, who they vote for, or who they kiss. It is my business, though, that they're allowed to have any religion they want, vote for whomever they feel like, and kiss whomever they feel like. Because the true sign of a free society is that some members of that society do things you do not agree with. It's called civilization. It's called democracy.
That's why banning same-sex marriage isn't just something which concerns gay people in my opinion. Banning something concerning other people because it isn't right for you is an attack on (sorry for getting pompous here) what humanity has strived for thousands of years to create: a civilized society where we accept that we're different and work toward a better life for everybody. Even those we disagree with. Because we consider them to be as worthy as we are ourselves to benefit from the advantages of our civilized society.
This is why same-sex marriage is worth fighting for - even if you aren't gay.
I read and I write - everything from corporate to kink. My naughty fictional friends are always there to make my life interesting. And pester me, of course. Pesky creatures.