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Super Bowl Champion Talks Gay Rights with Russell Simmons

March 21, 2013 07:24pm  
Super Bowl Champion Talks Gay Rights with Russell Simmons

Fresh off his exciting win over the San Francisco 49ers, Brendon Ayanbadejo of the Baltimore Ravens’ spoke out in defense of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender rights in an interview with media mogul Russell Simmons.

“Being the first to publicly accept same-sex marriage in the three major sports was a difficult prospect at first but the more people ridiculed me, the stronger I believed in the issue,” the Ravens’ linebacker told Simmons, who has been widely praised by several advocacy groups for his own defense of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender rights. “I compare it to lifting weights or training for football; the resistance makes me stronger, speak louder and stand taller for LGBT rights.”

Despite recent furor bashing the LGBT community by San Francisco 49ers’ players in the days leading up to the Super Bowl, Ayanbadejo stated that the “NFL culture has come a long way from four years ago. The new guys coming into the league—the younger generation of players—are more open-minded, progressive and accepting of the gay community.”

Ayanbadejo vowed to use the Super Bowl as a platform for same-sex marriage and anti-bullying speech. The linebacker also noted that his stance isn’t a fight for gay rights, but a revolution for human rights.

In addition to his words, a new video featuring the linebacker appeared on YouTube today. In the video, created by the Respect for Marriage Coalition, Ayanbadejo urges people to join him and the majority of the population who support marriage equality to do the right thing and stand up for what you believe in.

The linebacker’s pleads represent an interesting point in our nation’s debate as key legislation is currently on the table in many states and the United States Supreme Court. As the issue creeps deeper into our conscience, individuals are taking polarizing stances on the debate. On one side, you have men like Ayanbadejo who sees his recent fame as an opportunity to preach equal rights for all. On the other side of the aisle, you have men like Sweet Cakes Bakery owner, Aaron Klein, who told local news outlets in Oregon that he would refuse to make cakes for lesbian couples on the verge of marrying.

Klein, who owns the bakery with his wife Mellissa, told various media outlets that his religious beliefs impede him from accepting requests from homosexual couples. Moreover, he believes his decision to refuse service is protected by his Constitutional right to practice any religion he sees fit.

These two men from different sides of the nation clearly represent the divisive issue.

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