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US: Football player voices opposition to equal marriage, says ‘marriage is in trouble’

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  1. More lies and nonsense. There has never been one word of actual proof offered that same sex marriage causes harm. Sure, some bigots tried to claim it, but when challenged to do so under oath all but one realised that they couldn’t lie (and the one that did was dismissed as stating nothing but opinion).

    And then add in the appeal to antiquity – which is a poor excuse for anything – and the fact that he doesn’t even understand that marriage as we understand it now is a modern iteration and he has absolutely no argument of any relevance.

    In short – your standard issue lying bloody christian with a side order of martyr complex.

  2. “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?

    Past what? Bigots (like you) and homophobia? No, sadly we have a long way to go, particularly with dumb NFL players who clearly don’t even understand their own opinion.

  3. difference of opinion is fine if it’s informed and civil. Problem one: marriage has been redefined over time – so, this isn’t the first time and that invalidates their argument.

    1. John Jones 2 Oct 2012, 11:48am

      It has never, ever, been redefined in such a way that a) the procreative element is completely eliminated, b) that it stops being the basis for natural family life, and c) that it involves at least one man and one woman — a marriage of a man and a woman or men and women. After all, that’s what ‘marriage’ is — the union of two opposites.

      Despite claims to the contrary, the Romans never allowed same-sex marriage, though at points there may have been individual contracts between people of the same sex (such as civil partnership), The Latin word for marriage — martimonium — means ‘to make a mother’. The ancient Chinese also stipulated that marriage was only consummated on the birth of the first child — despite bizarre claims by some in recent times suggesting that there was ‘gay marriage’ in ancient China!

      Cultures that didn’t seem to have a problem with homosexuality — possibly Greece and Rome — understood marriage as procreative and gender complimentary.

      1. a – most societies have not denied marriage to the elderly or the sterile or to those who do not desire children, or to those who would not be considered suitable to adopt. De facto in these cases ‘the procreative element is completely eliminated’.
        b – formal marriage has never been generally assumed to be essential to ‘natural family life’ whatever that is. The phrase itself is modern.
        c – the ‘union of opposites’ is itself modern rhetoric which arose in reaction to feminist critiques of marriage as an unequal property relation based on male privilege and power and female subordination. In former times these conceptions of marriage were more explicit and honest and weasel words like ‘complementarity’ and ‘union of opposites’ were not generally used.
        Who cares anyway? Why can’t something be redefined just because it hasn’t been redefined before? Wasn’t everything a novelty once?

      2. 1)There’s no ‘for the purpose of procreation’ in civil marriage, John Jones.

        2)Your comment “that’s what marriage is” is facile. If you’d lived many decades ago, you could equally have said “Voting is men determining who’ll be in power. That’s what voting is – so how could a woman vote? It’s nonsensical. Voting is, by definition, a male activity and always has been.” We’d never have moved out of caves if we’d all applied your logic.

        3) Why do you care so much? This is CIVIL marriage we’re talking about. I’m sure plenty of people having civil marriages wouldn’t meet with your approval, but you only seem to care about preventing LGBT people having access to civil marriage. Why?

        4) Marriage has been changed many times over the years eg wives are no longer considered property, and no longer automatically lose custody of their children if there is a divorce. We don’t now allow marital rape, and we don’t allow children under 16 to marry.

      3. Aren’ t you presupposing the question here? Roman “marriage” was a girl being given to boy or man for the purposes of bearing his children. It may be the origin of our current marriage practices, but it has very little in common with what we currently consider marriage. If you’re defining social arrangements in other cultures as being marriage when they meet criteria such as having the purpose of procreation, then it’s not surprising that you don’t find many common non-procreative social arrangements by the same name.

  4. Mr. Birk is so wrong. “People simply acknowledging the basic reality of marriage between 1 man and 1 woman” are not being labelled as bigots…those fighting the civil right of same-sex couples to enjoy the same freedom ARE.

    Using the religion (“the Bible/God defines marriage as that between 1 man & 1 woman…) to obstruct this civil right, and enacting laws to ban it, is blurring the SEPARATION OF CHURCH AND STATE…after all, don’t atheists get married??? How do these religious zealots explain WHO “defines” THEIR marriages??

    1. John Jones 2 Oct 2012, 11:55am

      He didn’t use religion.

      It is a fact of nature that a man and a woman are needed to create a natural family. Marriage is the gateway to the beginning of a family. That’s why people used to get married, and still do in most places outside the tottering West, where ‘if it feels ok for me’ and ‘live and let live’ have become the mantras of an egotistical age.

      Any truthful historian or anthropologist will confirm that throughout human civilizations, two basic elements have always been required for marriage — a penis and a vagina. Be marriage between one man and one woman or several men and several women (usually only high status ‘political’ marriages in the Near East). Marriage used to be consummated — and still is in most places — when a man and a woman have sex. In fact, for low status individuals, marriage occurred when virginity was taken.

      It’s only in recent times that marriage has become about ‘love affairs’ — lust — between two, to the exclusion of the family unit.

      1. Not quite – a penis and a vagina have always been required for the production of a child through intercourse. Marriage was always more about calling dibs on a woman so no one else could do that with her. It was about ownership.

        Now, the definition of that has changed over time. Why can’t it again?

        Besides, marriage is a personal thing. The two individuals involved should be the ones to define it. And only their own.

      2. usually only high status ‘political’ marriages in the Near East

        What makes you think it’s just the “Near East”? In Japan, Korea, China, the Pacific Islands (all of them, to the best of my knowledge), India, the South-East Asian nations, the whole of the Muslim world and most, I believe, of what could be called ‘tribal’ Africa there has been some form of polygamy for medium- to high-status men (and sometimes, as in Ghana, women) well into the 20c, and in some cases to the present. Not to mention the de facto polygamy of European rulers’ “official” mistresses until the end of the 18c.

        Do you consider this desirable, especially given that overpopulation is a global issue today? It’s worth noting that the Catholic Mr Ber … er, Birk and his wife are currently expecting their sixth child.

      3. “Marriage is the gateway to the beginning of a family”

        No, marriage MAY be the gateway to a family. Straight friends of mine have been married many years and don’t have children because they choose not to. On the other hand, many children are born to single mothers. Some people are married and infertile. Some people choose not to have children because they don’t want them, some because they have hereditary illnesses that they might pass on. Some people getting married are too old to have children. Some people marrying already have children prior to their marriage.

        I’m guessing your religious from what you’ve written about procreation. Fine – you’re entitled to your beliefs. But we are talking about CIVIL marriage NOT religious marriage.

  5. Christopher 2 Oct 2012, 4:33am

    Str8 marraige sure must be fragile – along with heterosexuality in general! All these idiots who assume that being gay is innate… hmmm… maybe they are right!!!

  6. And I Bet that HE’S married!

    Hypocrisy- don’t do as I do- do as I tell you.

    1. Well, in fairness it’d be a whole lot more hypocritical if he wasn’t married!

      1. 50 bucks says he has sex with groupies at away games…

  7. “I think it is important to set the record straight …simply acknowledging the basic reality [!!] of marriage between one man and one woman …”

    It’s not actually about acknowledging how things are at present (in some cultures), it’s about promoting that formula without exception for the future.

    It’s strange that he sees being “promarriage” as preventing the possibility of marriage to others.

  8. “Marriage is in trouble right now — admittedly, for many reasons that have little to do with same-sex unions” He has got that part right but what he did fail to say is that many straight people seem to think that marrying several times is allowable. That in it-self is damaging the institution of marriage, isn’t it?

    And yes, anyone who feels that LGBT folk are not allowed full equality under the law are bigots.

  9. This idiot needs to get a clue!! How about 1,138 of them – the # of Rights denied LGBT couples b/c of the narrow def’n of marriage!!!!!? If you’re going to pen & publish an argument, at least make it cogent & accurate!!!

  10. The real revelation here is that Matt Birk can write, and not just throw a ball around. Amazing. But I’ll take advice on ethics and politics from a different source, thanks very much.

    1. Cardinal Capone 2 Oct 2012, 10:41am

      You’re assuming he did write it.

      1. sylvatica 2 Oct 2012, 3:37pm

        He’s a spokes bigot for NOM, you can smell their BS a mile off.

  11. BetterNetter 2 Oct 2012, 10:16am

    “Marriage is in trouble right now — admittedly, for many reasons that have little to do with same-sex unions.”
    About one in five adults in monogamous relationships, or 22 percent, have cheated on their current partner. The rate is even higher among married men. And nearly half of people admit to being unfaithful at some point in their lives, according to the results of the Lust, Love & Loyalty survey.
    Now unless these men and women are running over to the neighborhood gay bar, the LGBT communty can honestly say, “It wasn’t me.”
    Methinks he beist a bit confused about his opposition.

  12. Cardinal Capone 2 Oct 2012, 10:17am

    Did he really write that all by himself?

  13. That There Other David 2 Oct 2012, 10:38am


    It’s the projection of problems with straight relationships into somehow being a reason to deny rights to LGBT ones that really defies logic isn’t it? I really hope one day he actually sits down and thinks this through, rather than accepting his knee-jerk reaction and turning it into a mantra.

  14. Good for Mark Birk in speaking out about something he feels strongly and passionately about and not fearing being branded a bigot by the real bigots in the debate:- the equal marriage zealots who are bulldozing equal marriage through while demonising and suppressing all opposition.

    I’m one of many gay people who aren’t a part of this push, for various reasons.

    It shames many of us to see this lobby – that includes posturing MPs and publicity-hungry slebs – using cowardly tactics to bat aside all opposing viewpoints in their singleminded pursuit of equal marriage rights.

    Most gay people are not contemptuous of the right of others to hold and express opposing beliefs, and recognise that the extreme methods being adopted are likely only to drive deep wedges instead of building bridges, thus make it harder, not easier, for all gay people to be seen as reasonable and respectful.

    But that would entail an adult debate on the issue, which the lobby seems determined to avoid at all costs.

    1. How’s things at the back of the bus Samuel? Comfy there?
      I mean far from me to point out that 99.9% of the arguments against same-sex marriage are teetering on an edifice built of logical fallacies and thinly veiled discrimination, but if you really think you have the clincher that doesn’t fall into either category I’m all ears.
      Regrettably back in the real world social change doesn’t come by cow-towing to those who treat you as second-class and assuming that everything they decide is for some poorly-defined greater good.
      I don’t remember Martin Luther King’s speech where he pushed for “Seperate water fountains… shorter queues for everyone”, or the sufferagettes marching on a platform of “I’m my husband’s property, you’ll have no complaints here, what do you fancy for dinner?”.
      How is this any different?

    2. That There Other David 2 Oct 2012, 12:07pm

      If being “reasonable and respectful” equates to me being treated as a lesser being under the law then count me out. Do you believe Rosa Parks should have just been happy she was allowed on the bus?

      1. Samuel B. 2 Oct 2012, 7:58pm

        How many people on this forum are being reasonable and respectful of his right to hold and air his beliefs?


        Most of you are the intolerant bigots you claim Matt Birk of being.

        Think about it, and try to avoid the trap of jumping to righteous, self-centred conclusions before considering the bigger picture first, as seems par for the course around these parts.

        He may well be misguided and short-sighted where equal rights are concerned, but you can’t begin to win such conditioned minds over with hysteria-driven insults that scream “I’m a victim!”

        1. That There Other David 2 Oct 2012, 8:26pm

          He’s entitled to base his life on whatever sky fairy takes his fancy, but the trouble is he’s not satisfied with that. He wants to use his sky fairy as justification for preventing me living my life my way. In the meantime all I want is for him to keep the rules his sky fairy demands limited to the decisions that affect him.

          Don’t pretend you can’t see the difference in those two positions. You’re not that stupid.

    3. Midnighter 2 Oct 2012, 1:54pm

      “demonizing” is spin for “disagreeing”, “bulldozing” is spin for “passionately pursuing”.

      If you want an adult debate to occur, you need to start by removing the fog of emotion from your own rhetoric.

      1. That There Other David 2 Oct 2012, 2:11pm

        I’m fully of the opinion that “Samuel” is paid to be here. His posts have essence of professional lobbyist sprayed all over them.

        1. Samuel B. 2 Oct 2012, 3:21pm

          I confess, I AM a lobbyist!

          A lobbyist for common sense of the kind that is so often bereft on these boards.

          I have no doubt that most on here are passionate about what they belief in but all I am calling for is a little perspective.

          This is easily done by putting yourselves in the shoes of whoever you are railing against.

          I do not, for example, agree with what this US sportsman says, but by empathising with his viewpoint and understanding the underlying reasons he feels the way he does (religion, upbringing, etc.) it becomes apparent that he is entitled to his belief as much as those who believe equal marriage should be bulldozed into legislation.

          At this point an adult debate should ensue, to attempt to educate people like him how his beliefs are learned and influenced, and why in fact gay people DO deserve equal rights because, despite the stereotypes he has been weaned on, most of us are in fact normal folk who don’t march around waving a rainbow flag and blowing whistles!

          1. Samuel B. 2 Oct 2012, 3:30pm

            …We DON’T win our oppressors over by reacting to the bait that PN serves up ad nauseum with hysteria, insults, and so forth.

            We have been going that for years and where has it really got us?

            Why would I want to join this lobby of miserable “pity poor me” eternally oppressed gays who forever bitch and moan about US footballers and Rupert Everett but actually contribute nothing constructive?

            I would have hoped that my “lobby for common sense” might have been welcomed as a breath of fresh air, as indeed it has been by several of the more open-minded commentators on here.

            It’s just a shame that there is little or no room for common sense where gay conformity is concerned and we are all expected to jump into line all the time and never thing outside of the box.


          2. Samuel B. 2 Oct 2012, 4:06pm

            “It is only our beliefs that divide us and make us fear and become suspicious of each other. Only an understanding and acceptance of one anothers’ beliefs will break down the barriers and unite us as one.”

            And until we are prepared to engage in debate with our peceived oppressors we will forever remain divided, fearful and suspicious…

        2. Samuel B. 2 Oct 2012, 3:57pm

          As for being PAID to post on here, well, all donations to the Samuel Bass Benevolent Fund warmly and gratefully received…

          1. That There Other David 2 Oct 2012, 11:12pm

            Two posts here that all but confirm it. Firstly…some spun truth.

            “I confess, I AM a lobbyist!

            A lobbyist for common sense of the kind that is so often bereft on these boards. ”

            And secondly, a non denial dressed up to look like one.

            “As for being PAID to post on here, well, all donations to the Samuel Bass Benevolent Fund warmly and gratefully received…”

            Utterly transparent.

          2. OMG That There.
            You seriously have no sense of humour or irony, do you?

            Wallow in your paranoid conspiracy theories for all I care if that’s what it takes to score a green arrow or two…

  15. He’s pulling assorted irrelevant rabbits out of a very tatty old hat. He should stick to football.

  16. Chris Kluwe has also written a response to Matt Birk, a slightly more measured one than his earlier salvo to Emmett Burns but still very much on the money…
    Here is his ‘edited for swearing’ version of his letter to Emmett Burns

    1. Midnighter 2 Oct 2012, 12:21pm

      Awesome response – thanks for posting that link.

    2. Yes, excellent letter, thanks for the link.

  17. ““A defense of marriage is not meant as an offense to any person or group. All people should be afforded their inalienable American freedoms.”

    Can he not see how contradictory that is?

    1. Many of those “inalienable American freedoms” are only granted to those people in the USA who are married. For the few in society who are not allowed to get married, those same freedoms are simply out of reach.
      I agree with the person in that such freedoms should be ‘inalienable’, and available to all people. But like you say, it is contradictory to push for this, while also pushing for “A defense of marriage”.

  18. Malcolm Allan 2 Oct 2012, 3:53pm

    For the years I’ve worked with these moronic NFL footie players who dress like friggin’ pimps and drive expensive pimp-mobiles (coz dey goan got de monie) and can barely write their own names? I don’t give a flying f*** what they consider to be ‘acceptable’.

  19. Jim Nashville Tn 2 Oct 2012, 6:19pm

    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?
    no we arent as long as bigots and homophobes such as this man runs his mouth . we will never have the same rights as heteros do .. ..

  20. Homophobic arrogant biggoted asshole knob.

    Theres no evidence that our love harms anyone.

  21. Robert White 3 Oct 2012, 12:06am

    If something is “in trouble” because it can be wrecked by a couplafags, it’s got problems far more pressing than the boys in question…

    Signed, an American Fag in America… /doh 8-)

  22. Robert White 3 Oct 2012, 12:12am

    If marriage were about children the catholic vows would be “to have and to hold, for better or worse, for richer or porer, as long as we both shall BREED”.

    But they don’t say that do they?

    Marriage is now and always has been about preventing the isolation of adults, e.g. “adult orphans”, and the subsequent public burden that would cause.

    Hence the words for “…inlaw”, you know mother-inlaw, father-inlaw, brother-inlaw and sister-inlaw. Note that you don’t get automatic “child-inlaw”.

    After your marriage the other faimily becomes your family “in law”. doh!

    If marriage were about children then we would force unmarried to marry when they spawned their crotch-fruit, and we would automatically disove infertle couplings and we would not take children out of abbusive homes, we would take the abusing parent out.

    It’s simple. The whole “marriage is about the spawn” is not even supported by existing law or existing religious marriage vows. That spawn-centric view is new fundie-fruit.

  23. Paddyswurds 3 Oct 2012, 12:28am

    Well, lets be brutally frank here. American football players are not exactly budding Einsteins, are they, so their ignorant and illiterate musings, while they might please their “Mom” aren’t going to be something which will find a comfy shelf in the Library of Congress or the Smithsonian, and I’m quite sure Americans aren’t going to be discussing their words over tomorrows coffee and donuts…..

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