NFL Man of Year Defends Marriage as ‘Sacred Union of One Man and One Woman’

By Michael W. Chapman | October 5, 2012 | 10:28am EDT

Matt Birk, center for the Baltimore Ravens and the 2012 Walter Payton Man of the Year. (AP)

( – NFL player Matt Birk, center for the Baltimore Ravens and the 2012 Walter Payton Man of the Year, defended marriage as the “sacred union of one man and one woman” in a commentary article and stressed that “children have a right to a mom and a dad.”

In his Oct. 2 commentary published in the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Birk said the “union of a man and a woman is privileged and recognized by society as ‘marriage’ for a reason” and that reason, in part, is backed by the government giving the couple “legal benefits so they can provide a stable, nurturing environment for the next generation of citizens: our kids.”

Birk said that “not all NFL players think redefining marriage is a good thing” and argued that many social forces have been detrimental to marriage.

“The effects of no-fault divorce, adultery, and the nonchalant attitude toward marriage by some have done great harm to this sacred institution,” he said.  “How much longer do we put the desires of adults before the needs of kids? Why are we not doing more to lift up and strengthen the institution of marriage?”

Birk continued, “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.”

“I am speaking out on this issue because it is far too important to remain silent,” said Birk. “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?”

Birk went on to state that defending marriage is not to offend any person or group who, as Americans, enjoy inalienable freedoms. “There is no opposition between providing basic human rights to everyone and preserving marriage as the sacred union of one man and one woman," he said.  "I hope that in voicing my beliefs I encourage people on both sides to use reason and charity as they enter this debate.”

After Birk’s commentary was published, said, “Raven Matt Birk kicks off a homophobic campaign,” and the care2makeadifference website ran a piece entitled, “Yes Matt Birk, You Are an Anti-Gay Bigot.”

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