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NFL's Matt Birk speaks out against gay marriage

Baltimore Ravens center says: ''Marriage redefinition will affect the broader well-being of children and the welfare of society'

Baltimore Ravens center Matt Birk wants people to know that not everyone in the National Football League thinks gay marriage is a good thing.

In the wake of Chris Kluwe of the Minnesota Vikings and Brendon Ayanbadejo, also of the Ravens, very publicly spoke out in support of marriage equality, Birk is expressing the opposite view.

'I think it is important to set the record straight about what the marriage debate is and is not about, and to clarify that not all NFL players think redefining marriage is a good thing,' he writes in a column for the Star Tribune.

'Same-sex unions may not affect my marriage specifically, but it will affect my children -- the next generation,' he adds. '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.'

Birk does not want to be called a bigot for his views.

'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?' he asks. '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.'

But Birk remarks have already been met with a response from the outspoken Kluwe who posted a point-by-point rebuttal on Monday (1 October).

Kluwe writes that he knows Birk well and considers him 'a smart, funny person who has done both good things in the community.'

Then he politely lowers the boom.

'This is not an attack on you as a person or your beliefs, but the argument you presented simply does not stand up to logical inspection,' he writes. 'Your argument lacks facts, sources, or statistics. You can’t just say 'Same -sex marriage is bad for kids because I think it’s bad for kids, and I think it’s bad for kids because it’s bad for kids.' That’s called circular reasoning and it’s a logical fallacy. 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.'

'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,' he adds. '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?'

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