February 4, 2013 | by Michael K. Lavers
Ayanbadejo again speaks out for gay marriage
Brendon Ayanbadejo, Baltimore Ravens, gay news, Washington Blade

Ravens linebacker Brendon Ayanbadejo is an ally and vocal LGBT advocate, and hopes to use the Super Bowl to raise awareness of issues important to the LGBT community. His comments differ greatly from some recent comments from players for the San Francisco 49s, some of who have participated in an ‘It Gets Better’ video (Photo by Thibous via Wikimedia Commons)

Baltimore Ravens linebacker Brendon Ayanbadejo again spoke out in support of marriage rights for same-sex couples less than 24 hours after his team won the Super Bowl.

“Being a ’70s baby and growing up in the ’80s and ’90s, I witnessed firsthand the rise of the African-American community into mainstream America,” he told hip hop mogul Russell Simmons, who also supports nuptials for gays and lesbians, in an interview published on Monday. “All of a sudden when I was in junior high school and going into high school, black was the cool thing to be. Everybody wanted to be black and embrace black people. Prior to that in the ’60s, my parents would not have been allowed to get married due to interracial marriage laws and today this issue is relevant once again, however, it’s not about race. It is about sexual orientation and whom you choose to love, which is no different than a black person loving a white person. Same-sex couples should legally marry whomever they fall in love with. So the same plight for equality that affected me in the ’60s is relevant again today, it doesn’t affect me this time, but it will affect people I love and care about. This isn’t a fight for gay rights, this is a fight for human rights.”

Ayanbadejo’s latest comments in support of the issue come roughly two weeks after he told New York Times columnist Frank Bruni that his “ultimate goal” after the Super Bowl was to “get our message out there” through an appearance on comedian Ellen DeGeneres’ talk show and in other media. They also coincide with the release of a Respect for Marriage Coalition video in which Ayanbadejo appears.

“I believe we should be everything that we can to make families stronger, which is why I support marriage for gay and lesbian couples who want to make a lifetime commitment to each other,” he says. “People from all walks of life, including gay and lesbian couples, want their children to be in stable homes and protected under the law. Join me and the majority of Americans who support marriage equality. It’s the right thing to do.”

Michael K. Lavers has been a staff writer for the Washington Blade since May 2012. The passage of Maryland's same-sex marriage law, the HIV/AIDS epidemic, the burgeoning LGBT rights movement in Latin America and the consecration of gay New Hampshire Bishop V. Gene Robinson are among the many stories he has covered since his career began in 2002. Follow Michael

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