NFL Star Says Marriage Equality Effort On Par With ‘Civil Rights,’ Evangelist Tony Perkins Disagrees

During an exclusive appearance on Face The Nation on CBS, Baltimore Ravens linebacker Brendon Ayanbadejo said he attributes his strong support for marriage equality to his upbringing as a minority in California. Ayanbadejo consider the fight the civil rights issue of our time.

“This is something I’ve been speaking about since 2009, and in my opinion, it’s just the evolution of civil rights and equal rights and athletes do a lot to change society, and this is something we can make a big difference on. It starts with bullying kids in elementary school and goes all the way to legislative and treating everybody equally,” Ayanbadejo said.

“This is a fight myself and a bunch of my colleagues we want to take to and we feel that everyone should be treated equally and we’re not going to stop until everyone is treated fairly, especially including the LGBT community,” he said,

Host Bob Schieffer noted that isn’t something you see very often from the NFL community but Ayanbadejo, along with Minesota Vikings punter Chris Kluwe filed a friend of the court brief in February that encourage the Supreme Court to strike down proposition 8. Since they filed it additional NFL players have joined their cause.

Ayanbadejo grew up in Santa Cruz, California so the anti-gay marriage proposition struck him particularly hard. Ayanbadejo said he thinks the efforts to legalize gay marriage are no different from the efforts of the civil rights and suffrage movements. “I know what it feels like to be treated differently and discriminated. So this is no different, the way the LGBT community is treated,” said

Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council, told Schieffer that the national polls that show changing attitudes on this issue aren’t important because when it goes to the ballot box it wins by large numbers. He rejects the idea that gay marriage will one day become acceptable in the United States.

“If it’s inevitable, as the media would like us to believe, then there’s no reason for the court to interject itself into this,” Perkins said.

“We’re far from being at a point where America has embraced same-sex marriage,” he said.

Watch clip below via CBS

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