Barack Obama and Mitt Romney may try to tiptoe around the topic of same-sex marriage when they go head-to-head in their first debate Wednesday. But a pair of Baltimore Ravens are exercising their right to free speech and publicly advocating for and against gay marriage this fall, politicians be damned.

Matt Birk is taking a stand against same-sex marriage. (Nick Wass/AP)

Weeks after Ravens linebacker Brendon Ayanbadejo reiterated his support for gay marriage amendments, Baltimore lineman Matt Birk is exercising his First Amendment rights, and using them to oppose Ayanbadejo’s stance.

The Six-time Pro Bowl center and Minnesota native wrote an editorial that appeared in Sunday’s Minnesota Star Tribune advocating the Minnesota Marriage Protection Amendment. He also appears in an online video for the Minnesota Catholic Conference in which he asks voters to keep marriage only between a man and woman, the Baltimore Sun’s Ravens Insider reports.

“I can put up with a lot from the government like higher taxes and while I don’t like it, pushing God out of public schools, but letting a small number of business and government elites and judges define what marriage is for Minnesotans doesn’t seem very fair and doesn’t make a lot of sense,” Birk said in the video. “Politicians have said they will try to redefine marriage at their earliest opportunity, even next year, if the marriage amendment doesn’t pass. Our culture today of moral relativism attacks marriage and a lot of our Catholic values, but marriage is a foundation of our society and it’s definitely something worth fighting for, my marriage and the institution of marriage itself.”

(Watch the video here.)

The Minnesota amendment, proposed in Hennepin County, would potentially redefine the law to allow gay marriages in the future. The state currently does not allow same-sex marriages.

Ayanbadejo’s support for Marylanders for Marriage Equality made headlines last month when Maryland Delegate Emmett C. Burns Jr. publicly ripped the player for his decision to “step into this controversial divide and try to sway public opinion one way or the other.”

Vikings punter Chris Kluwe wrote a strongly-worded open letter to Burns, slamming him for attempting to quash free speech for an NFL player and chastising him for displaying what Kluwe called “vitriolic hatred and bigotry.”

Burns then backtracked, acknowledging that “upon reflection, (Ayanbadejo) has his First Amendment rights.”

Regardless of your stance on the issue, it is refreshing to see professional athletes take a stance on issues that are important to them.

(Via Baltimore Sun)

Follow us: @MattBrooksWP | @CindyBoren


Burns blasts Ayanbadejo for support of gay marriage

Burns backtracks, says Ayabadejo has First Amendment rights

Yunel Escobar hit with 3-game ban for gay slur on eye black