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Yes Matt Birk, You Are An Anti-Gay Bigot

Yes Matt Birk, You Are An Anti-Gay Bigot

The NFL’s Matt Birk, a native Minnesotan who plays for the Baltimore Ravens, doesn’t want to be called a bigot for opposing gay marriage. He probably shouldn’t have used bigoted arguments in his opinion piece for the Star Tribune then, should he?

In the piece, Birk assures us that not everyone in the NFL supports the “redefinition” of marriage,  before giving his reasons for speaking out:

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.

It’s sad that, as someone who felt it necessary to broadcast his opinions, Birk wasn’t compelled to provide evidence for these assertions — but then, it is difficult when no such evidence exists.

Onward the train chugs:

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?

Basic reality of marriage? Tell that to Massachusetts. Or, for that matter, New York.

Also, no we’re not past labeling people bigots because if it quacks then it probably is a duck. And Matt Birk is quacking away rather merrily. Case in point, this little canard:

Don’t we all have family members and friends whom we love who have same-sex attraction?

Would that be “same-sex attraction” that is meant to make homosexuality sound like a pathology even though all mainstream medical authorities say homosexuality is a healthy and normal expression of human sexuality? Yes, the same misnomer that ex-gay groups use as a way to suggest you can leave your “same-sex attractions” behind and religious conservatives trot out to mark gay and lesbian people, including kids, as being sinful and against their god?

Birk’s call for civility is made even more vacuous when he cries:

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.

Far from wanting to silence people like Matt Birk, we want them to keep talking because it shows their baseless arguments for what they are, but let us also highlight that a conversation isn’t respectful when one party throws around unsupported lies about the other. That’s the opposite of respectful, in fact.

Birk then turns to a “defense of marriage” grandeur that is as tiresome as it is legless:

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.

There is a dissonance between respectful discourse and using the lie that same-sex marriage will harm heterosexual marriage. Gay marriage has happened in several states. Not once has there ever been evidenced any harm to heterosexuality or children.

Birk finishes by saying:

I hope that in voicing my beliefs I encourage people on both sides to use reason and charity as they enter this debate. I encourage all Americans to stand up to preserve and promote a healthy, authentic promarriage culture in this upcoming election.

Actually, what Birk hopes is that Minnesotans will vote in favor of a constitutional amendment at the ballot this November to make ironclad the state’s anti-same-sex marriage law based on his unsupported notions that same-sex marriage will ruin the “healthy, authentic” heterosexuals-only marriage club.

There is, however, nothing reasonable or charitable about lying to oppose same-sex couples accessing marriage equality when this denial of rights has real and cognizable harms.

Due to DOMA, for instance, same-sex couples are denied over 1,400 federal rights and responsibilities, which studies have shown disadvantages them as parents and impacts their mental health. Still, they raise kids just as well as straight couples.

And let’s make one thing clear: we must respect a person’s right to hold whatever opinion they like, no matter how wrongheaded, irrational or downright awful.

We do not, however, nor should we ever, have to respect bigotry, lies or historic privilege. Once the word is spoken, the act dealt, it is viable and open to criticism.

Also, on attempting to worm out of being labelled a bigot because you find it disrespectful — well, too bad.

If you don’t want to be labelled a bigot, stop doing and saying bigoted things.

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Image used under the Creative Commons Attribution license with thanks to Keith Allison.

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78 comments

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1:41PM PDT on Oct 25, 2013

Bigot and homophobe? yep he is!!!

2:45PM PDT on Apr 28, 2013

Okay, he's proved he's a bigot. Why give him more attention???

Pro gay marriage montage

1:47PM PDT on Apr 1, 2013

Marriage was NEVER a religious institution. Marriage is what is in the heart, not what a piece of paper tells you. People get married every day without the help of the Church! How dare another person tell a complete stranger what they can and cannot do with their own life? It is no one's business who another person loves. Would you like it if a law was passed saying you cannot marry because of an eye color, or a hair color? These people that are opposing Same Sex marriage sound just like the people during the 1950's and 1960's with the civil rights movements, When is humanity going to learn from the past and move on?

3:42PM PST on Jan 19, 2013

cont'd . I will not be forced by the government or any self interested group like homosexuals to approve of them and endorse them by changing mores, language, marriage so that a homosexual can feel "normal", approved of, validated.
What is next? Forcing me to cater/photograph/plan their weddings? Oh right, that is already being done where homosexual marriages are allowed. How about forcing me to go out with, or not being able to refuse the advances of a homosexual without being labelled a bigot? Oh, yes, that has been done in schools and I suffered the consequences personally of refusing the advances of a homosexual and was physically attacked and labelled a bigot for refusing to be labelled as a homosexual or recruited into the tribe.
There is nothing bigoted about what Matt said, except in the hearing and eyes of a bigoted, entitled homosexual who wants to force anyone non homosexual to endorse them. Nothing less than approval and endorsement in language you vet and approve of, will ever satisfy you.

3:41PM PST on Jan 19, 2013

Why do you get to decide the definition of bigot as anyone who does not approve of you or your lifestyle in language you define? That, to me is the definition of bigotry. Homosexuals are the definition of bigotry, because they behave and use language that is bigoted against "non believers in homosexuality". Who are you to decide what the "right thing, the moral thing, the non bigoted thing", is? Where is your authority, if you deny Matt the Bible, history or civilization as authority?
You also said that DOMA caused homosexuals mental health issues. It was not that long ago, late 70's I believe that homosexuality was labelled in the DSM by mainstream medical establishment as a mental illness, nor could homosexuals adopt. Now you are saying that it is "normal" expression of human sexuality. That does not compute by any stretch of logic. Marriage is not for the expression of varieties of human sexuality. IHomosexuals are saying without some stretch of logic that grants them approval and endorsement of their chosen lifestyle, ie marriage, they are being harmed especially in their mental health.
If marriage "rights" (and nobody has a right to marriage, in my never to be humble opinion, nor should the government have any ability to coopt marriage and/or grant special rights and/or protections to a self selected groups chosen lifestyle) are "necessary" so homosexuals can feel mentally healthy and approved of, that is flat out wrong. I will not be forced by the government or any s

7:22AM PST on Jan 19, 2013

Well said, Silja!

9:32AM PST on Jan 17, 2013

Because you don't agree with the man does not make his opinions or his language bigoted.
Since when is mainstream medicine majority agreement valid? The mainstream medical majority opinion not so long ago was that homosexuality was a mental illness. It had its own DSM code.
Toleration is not approval, nor is approval a requirement to be considered by homosexuals non bigoted.
Government should not determine marriage. It was a religious institution that has been coopted by government for purposes of controlling the family unit through taxation and law.
I know a lot of homosexuals. Some are very dear friends. Every one with whom I have discussed the issue of homosexuality, has said they think they were born that way. Most also admit to early memories of being encouraged to think that way by a same sex family friend or relative or admitted to being repeatedly used sexually and/or trained by an adult to early same sex orientation.
I do not believe that homosexuality is a valid or normal expression of human sexuality, It happens, perhaps for many reasons. I will tolerate it. I will not approve of it, condone it, pay for it in any way, encourage it or approve of special rights to encourage it. I will not tolerate anyone being bigoted towards me by accusing me of bigotry because I don't express myself in language they don't approve of or consider hateful because it does not validate their chosen lifestyle.

6:37AM PDT on Oct 11, 2012

Whoops, he plays for the Baltimore Ravens. It was the other jackass, expressing the opposite opinion, who plays for Minnesota. Obviously I am no fan of the game.

6:35AM PDT on Oct 11, 2012

Honestly, is there some reason anybody would look to football players for their opinions on, oh, I don't know, just about ANYTHING? They spend a lot of time concussing themselves and each other, and now the older ones are crying in their beer about how they have brain injuries (well, duh) and suing the NFL. This particular jackass in the article plays for the Minnesota Vikings, who have just recently extorted millions of dollars of money from the state for a new stadium. They beat their wives and girlfriends, drive drunk, even assault others in public in much higher numbers than the general population, and are now dispensing moral guidance? It doesn't matter which opinion he's expressing, it seems to me that the validity is going to be questionable.

2:18PM PDT on Oct 9, 2012

@ Kute K. Just to clarify, you may argue that homosexuality is a choice as long as you also agree that heterosexuality is a choice. In short, that all human sexuality is a choice. You cannot argue that heterosexuality is inate but homosexuality is a choice. That's like saying being a Republican is inate and being a Democrat is a choice. Or that being Catholic is inate and being Jewish is a choice. I personally believe that sexuality is inate and I also subscribe to an axiom that a gay friend told me many years ago " God made me and God don't make no junk." If you don't feel that gay Americans are entitled to the same civil rights as every other American then you should advocate for them paying a lower federal tax rate. The underlying reason that religious conservatives want to keep these arguments going is that once gay folks are fully accepted, there won't be anyone left that it's acceptable to hate.

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