Matt Birk
Ravens Center Matt Birk Opposes Marriage Equality

By Michelle Garcia

Originally published on Advocate.com October 01 2012 1:23 PM ET

Another member of the Baltimore Ravens is voicing his opinion on marriage equality, this time against it.

Ravens center Matt Birk, wrote a commentary piece for the Minneapolis Star-Tribune opposing marriage equality.

"Marriage redefinition will affect the broader well-being of children and the welfare of society," he wrote. "As a Christian and a citizen, I am compelled to care about both."

He added, "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."

Birk also wrote that opposing marriage equality should not automatically label a person as a bigot or homophobic. "Aren't we past that as a society? Don't we all have family members and friends whom we love who have same-sex attraction? 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."

Birk's Ravens teammate Brendon Ayanbadejo has been a vocal supporter of marriage equality and has appeared in campaign ads supporting the legalization of same-sex marriage in Maryland. However, state delegate Emmett C. Burns Jr. called on the team's owner to censure Ayanbadejo. That prompted Minnesota Vikings punter Chis Kluwe to write an irreverent, now-infamous letter to Burns. Coincidentally, USA Today points out, Birk also once played for the Vikings in Minnesota, where a marriage equality–related measure is up for a vote this November, as it is in Maryland.