The Baltimore Ravens' Matt Birk has sounded off on teammate Brendon Ayanbadejo's recent controversies by penning an editorial in favor of "preserving" traditional marriage.
Birk, a six-time Pro Bowl selection who is the Ravens' current center, writes in the Star Tribune:
"Marriage is in trouble right now -- admittedly, for many reasons that have little to do with same-sex unions. In the last few years, political forces and a culture of relativism have replaced 'I am my brother's keeper' and 'love your neighbor as yourself' with 'live and let live' and 'if it feels good, go ahead and do it.'
The effects of no-fault divorce, adultery, and the nonchalant attitude toward marriage by some have done great harm to this sacred institution. How much longer do we put the desires of adults before the needs of kids? Why are we not doing more to lift up and strengthen the institution of marriage?"
Saying that his defense of marriage "is not meant as an offense to any person or group," Birk goes on to note:
"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?"
Birk's remarks come just weeks after Ayanbadejo declared his own pro-marriage equality views. Shortly after Ayanbadejo came under fire from Maryland Delegate C. Emmett Burns for his stance, Minnesota Vikings punter Chris Kluwe responded by penning a blistering letter to the lawmaker.
"I can assure you that gay people getting married will have zero effect on your life," Kluwe -- who has since been in talks with Minnesotans for Equality, a Minnesota-based LGBT rights advocacy group urging voters to beat back the state's ballot initiative that would ban marriage for gays and lesbians in the state constitution -- wrote. "They won't come into your house and steal your children. They won't magically turn you into a lustful cockmonster...You know what having these rights will make gay Americans? Full-fledged citizens, just like everyone else, with the freedom to pursue happiness and all that that entails."