Just two days after firing off an editorial in favor of "preserving" traditional marriage, the Baltimore Ravens' Matt Birk is reiterating his opposition to same-sex couples tying the knot in a new video for for the Minnesota Catholic Conference.
"They say if we stand up and talk about the national definition of marriage that we are somehow being mean -- or bullies," Birk, a six-time Pro Bowl selection who is the Ravens' current center, says in the clip. "Supporting the basic rights of children and the authentic rights of people with same-sex attraction are not mutually exclusive, and we must resist the forces that are telling us otherwise."
A Minnesota native, Birk continues, "If we allow genderless marriage to be made law, the implication is that the contributions of part of our community -- either men or women -- are somehow insignificant and less valuable."
Birk's stance quickly drew a response from Minnesota Vikings punter Chris 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 could ban marriage for gays and lesbians in the state constitution this November.
Acknowledging Birk as "a smart, funny person," Kluwe notes, "If you want us to understand why same-sex marriage is bad for kids, you need to provide some sort of substantial evidence. Tell us that children from same-sex couples are more likely to grow up broke and miserable and alone and will end their days starving in a gutter."
Kluwe, who penned a controversial open letter to Maryland Delegate C. Emmett Burns after the lawmaker criticized fellow NFL star Brendon Ayanbadejo for speaking out in favor of same sex marriage, also graces the cover of Out magazine's November issue -- shirtless, no less.
"I've always relished breaking that stereotype of the dumb jock athlete because while I enjoyed athletics growing up, I also enjoyed reading and video games, and athletic sport is not what defines me as a person,” Kluwe told the magazine. As for his own pro-marriage equality stance, he adds, "Treat other people as you want to be treated. It’s that simple. It’s something that needs to be spoken about, and it’s something I can do while fulfilling my job as a football player."