Minnesota Vikings Square Off Over Gay Marriage

Minnesota Vikings Square Off Over Gay Marriage October 4, 2012

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.

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