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Saturday, October 6, 2012

The only football player I care about

He's also nearly the only football player I could name, but only nearly. Minnesota Vikings punter Chris Kluwe writes again in response to another banal, thoughtless anti-gay marriage diatribe, and his essay is just superb. The diatribe in this case was written by his former team member Ravens center Matt Birk, who trots out the traditional but mysterious (because never fully elaborated or explained) argument that gay marriage is bad for children. Kluwe responded with a very thorough refutation which, as is so often the case with refutations, required considerably more time and thought than the original piece to which it responded. One can spew a load of nonsense in an incredibly brief time, but it takes a great deal more work to unpack why it's nonsense. And Kluwe did so. My favorite part:
The only impact same-sex marriage will have on your children is if one of them turns out to be gay and cannot get married. What will you do (and I ask this honestly) if one or more of your kids ends up being gay? Will you love them any less? What will your actions speak to them, 15 years from now, when they ask you why they can’t enjoy the same relationship that you and your wife have now? And if your response is “We’ll cross that bridge when we come to it”, well, for a lot of people that bridge is here right now. They’re trying to cross it, but the way is barred, and I will do my best to tear those barricades down any way I can because I believe that we are infringing on the free will of other human beings by denying them their basic right to live free of oppression. I love my daughters for their minds and their personalities, not for who they love as adults. That’s none of my damn business, and I will support them in life no matter who they want to marry.
Now you may ask, why exactly are we leaving the discussion of gay rights up to pro football players who write passionate editorials? And I will say, honestly-- I have no idea. It seems to be mainly celebrity worship, and they probably differ very little from the general populace in terms of opinions on gay marriage and degree of actual knowledge about gay marriage. But Kluwe, who is exceptional in more ways than his eloquence and intelligence (he's also a self-confessed nerd, and his twitter handle is Chriswarcraft), is certainly the one we should want to listen to first. Use that bully pulpit for all you've got!

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