Minnesota Vikings Square Off Over Gay Marriage

Around Minnesota, punter Chris Kluwe is something of a legend. Sure, he’s a good punter. But he’s more known for his awesome Twitter feed, his love of online gaming, and his quick wit. A couple weeks ago, he unleashed that wit in an outrageously funny and over-the-top online screed in favor of same sex marriage:

I can assure you that gay people getting married will have zero effect on your life. They won’t come into your house and steal your children. They won’t magically turn you into a lustful cockmonster. They won’t even overthrow the government in an orgy of hedonistic debauchery because all of a sudden they have the same legal rights as the other 90 percent of our population, rights like Social Security benefits, childcare tax credits, family and medical leave to take care of loved ones, and COBRA health care for spouses and children. You know what having these rights will make gay Americans? Full-fledged citizens, just like everyone else, with the freedom to pursue happiness and all that that entails. Do the civil-rights struggles of the past 200 years mean absolutely nothing to you?

Matt Birk is also something of a legend. He grew up here, attended Harvard, and played many years for the Vikings before moving to the Baltimore Ravens. Although he doesn’t mention Kluwe, his recent OpEd in the StarTribune is obviously a response to the punter. In it, Birk rehashes the warmed-over argument that gay marriage will destroy his children’s lives:

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.

Kluwe has since caught his breath, dropped the inflammatory language, and penned an excellent response in the St. Paul paper:

Problem the first – 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. Just don’t use a study like this one, which displays clear source and confirmation bias (as outlined neatly in this article from Slate). Use something like this(sadly behind a paywall, but the abstract should give you the high notes). I’ll sum it up for those who don’t want to click on links: there’s no difference between children raised in heterosexual relationships and same-sex relationships, as evidenced by a meta-study of nineteen different LBGT studies.

Thoughtful people should read all three and make up their own minds (though I doubt there are many undecided voters left in Minnesota regarding the marriage amendment). But let’s at least fess up to the main problem with Birk’s argument: If legal marriage is exclusively about the rearing of children, then divorce should be outlawed, as should marriage of infertile or post-menopausal couples.

  • http://notapastor.wordpress.com notapastor

    I don’t think Matt Birk is worried that children of gay households will end up “broke, miserable, alone and starving in the gutter.” I’m afraid what he’s really concerned about is that gay parents will make it easier for the next generation of gay children to come out without shame and fear. Which, ironically, would lead to a positive impact on the “well-being of children and welfare of society.”

    It simply comes down to some people think being a (noncelibate) homosexual is evil. In that mindset, anything that makes it easier to be openly and happily homosexual is evil. It has nothing to do with measures of financial, psychological, relational success of children.

  • Frank

    Yet another person succumbing to the world by rejecting Gods perfect order. How sad!

    • http://www.rjaypearson.com R. Jay Pearson

      And no doubt, Frank, you consider yourself in line with this “perfect order” and on the side of the god you speak of.

      No doubt you’ll be moved to now offer that predictably faithful false self-deprecation doused in mock humility.

      • Frank

        Sexually speaking I am not gay but I struggle with lust so no I do not follow Gods perfect order all the time but I know what it is.

        Always a pleasure R. Jay!

        • http://www.rjaypearson.com R. Jay Pearson

          As predicted, Frank: false self-deprecation doused in mock humility.

          The pleasure is all yours.

          • Frank

            Poor guy!

          • http://notapastor.wordpress.com notapastor

            is this for real or is this scripted? Laughing my ass off either way.

          • Frank

            Sometimes its good to give a fool exactly what they ask for.

  • http://www.rjaypearson.com R. Jay Pearson

    Kluwe’s response is right-on: while Birk mentions that “redefining marriage” would bring consequences to his children, their well-being, and the next generation, he does not specify what those consequences would be and why they would have an adverse effect.

    It has now been just about a full generation that gays have been open, have been adopting and raising kids, and have been living their lives outside the closet. The earth is still rotating on its axis. The country is actually more tolerant of differences. The grown children of gay parents are just like the grown children of straight parents.

    And — shocking as this may be — the marriages of gay couples have not destroyed the marriages of straight couples.

    Civilization moves on. Just more colorfully now.

  • Kyle

    There is a bigger issue/problem just beneath the surface here: Equating “punter” with “football player”. ;)

    • Curtis

      I agree. Punters are part of the homosexual agenda to normalize feminine qualities in men by placing punters into an otherwise masculine and godly sport.

      In a similar vein, the Vikings once had players named “Fred Cox” and “Jeff Siemon” playing on the same team. You can imagine the jokes that Jr. High boys came up with that name paring!

  • Keith Rowley

    I seriously don’t understand why people like Frank read Tony’s blog. They must know already he does not agree with their worldview. Why bother reading his posts at all?

    • Charles

      Frank reads the yellow pages and sees a ad for piano lessons, he calls them up and yells, “I don’t want any piano lessons!” Then hangs up.

      • Frank

        Now that’s funny! Really!

  • Pax

    Well… why not outlaw divorce, or, at least remarriage? What’s the purpose in discriminating against single people in favor of those in somewhat long-term but maybe temporary relationships?

  • Curtis

    What I’ve never understood is, if gay marriage causes measurable harm of any kind, why doesn’t someone bring a civil suit to recover damages? If someone builds a bridge that causes measurable harm, we can sue the engineer, the builder and the city for damages. Same with any other activity: if it causes harm, you can sue for damages in civil court. So why, after a decade of state-sponsored gay marriage, has nobody brought a lawsuit in civil court to receive a damage award for the harm that gay marriage has caused?

    • http://cantleaveunsaid.wordpress.com/ Dave Buerstetta

      A fantastic question.
      The only reasonable answer seems to be that nobody who offers the “causes measurable harm” argument actually believes their own bs. Perhaps they suspect that such a claim would be laughed out of court…just as Kluwe helps us laugh the argument out of the court of public opinion.

      • John B.

        Dave,

        Why should a definition of marriage exist? The “causes measurable harm” argument is flexible, but most would assume it okay and appropriate in cases of incest and polygamy, correct?

        Don’t be such a hater.

  • T. Webb

    “They won’t come into your house and steal your children.” No doubt. The problem is with those who for whatever reason, do not believe in homosexual ‘marriage’. They fear the results upon them. Will it be a hate crime to oppose such marriage? Will they be taxed or fined? Will freedom of speech be allowed for opposition to it, or will it be restricted on this matter? Will churches that refuse to marry two gay men be closed? That’s not fear-mongering, those are legitimate questions.

    • Curtis

      Yes, if gay marriage is legalized, then any church or other group will have to answer for themselves why they oppose gay marriage. They will no longer be able to hind behind the law, they will have to speak for themselves.

      If such a group has some explanation for their exclusion, it won’t be a problem. Groups are entitled to free speech and free association, and churches are protected from any government interference in their practices. Groups that hold beliefs that not everyone agrees with are routinely protected by the courts and continue to practice freedom of expression and association. I could cite a number of recent examples.

      Are you concerned that churches or other groups that oppose gay marriage wont’ be able to speak for themselves to explain their position?

    • http://cantleaveunsaid.wordpress.com/ Dave Buerstetta

      No, T. Webb, those are not legitimate questions. They are the very definition of fear-mongering.
      This isn’t theoretical. We don’t have to guess.
      Some states have extended the right to marry to include gay couples, correct?
      Some churches in those states object to and oppose gay couples being given that right, correct?
      Have any of those churches been taxed or fined or shut up or closed? Have any of those churches had their freedom to voice such opposition restricted?

      No, of course not.

      Here’s a shorter answer: Westboro “Baptist” “Church”
      Unless and until the hate-spewing bigots of that place have been taxed, fined, shut up, or closed, your questions are and will remain illegitimate.

      • Jonathan

        The christian organization down the street from me used to marry couples in an open air pavilion they own. They were sued for not allowing a homosexual couple to marry there, and now nobody is allowed to be married there.

        It’s not fear-mongering when it’s actually happening to you.

        • Elly

          Can you site an article or anything about this so we can vet it? Wondering if there was more going on here.

  • T. Webb

    Funny, after reading this article and commenting above, I came across an article about the “irrelevant and inaccurate claim that” hate crimes legislation about homosexual marriage “will not abridge your freedom of speech” at http://www.robgagnon.net/homosexHateCrimePart2.htm. Luckily, we don’t have to even respond to arguments like that which we don’t agree with.

    • Curtis

      Can you name one piece of existing law that currently abridges constitutional protections of free speech and free association?

      If any law did happen to get passed, it certainly wouldn’t survive long.

      This article even points out that the proposed hate-crime laws explicitly states that “Nothing in this Act, or the amendments made by this Act, shall be construed to prohibit any expressive conduct protected from legal prohibition by, or any activities protected by the Constitution.” Of course this is redundant, because no law could do such a thing anyway. The fact that the legislation contains this specific language disproves your assertion that similar homosexual marriage laws will “abridge your freedom of speech”.

      To claim that potential legislation will remove constitutional protections is a sort of fear-mongering in its own right. No such legislation, if it did get signed into law, would ever survive a challenge in court. It never has, and it never would. To say otherwise is simply an attempt to generate un-founded fear.


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