Ravens LB Brendon Ayanbadejo appears on 'Face the Nation' on CBS

March 24, 2013|The Baltimore Sun

Ravens linebacker Brendon Ayanbadejo appeared on 'Face the Nation' with Bob Schieffer on CBS Sunday morning. Ayanbadejo was part of a panel discussion on same-sex marriage. Read the complete transcript below.

Bob Schieffer: Good morning, again, this week the Supreme Court takes up two big cases on same-sex marriage, whether the voters can say no to same-sex marriage as they did in California with proposition 8, and whether the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act, which defines marriage as between a man and woman, is constitutional. At the Supreme Court, people are already lining up to get in to see the arguments. Here with us to talk about those cases, Evan Wolfson, head of the group Freedom to Marry. Tony Perkins, the President of the Family Research council. Also joining us Austin Nimocks, who is part of the legal team defending California’s proposition 8 and David Frum, conservative columnist for the "Daily Beast" who once opens but now supports same-sex marriage and Baltimore Ravens linebacker Brendon Ayanbadejo, who filed a brief in the court supporting same-sex marriage, he joins us today from Ft. Lauderdale, and Brendon, I want to start with you. We haven't seen too many people from the NFL on the frontlines supporting same-sex marriage. What brought you into this? You filed this brief to be a friend of the court on this. how did you become involved, and why?

Brendon Ayanbadejo: Well, 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 it goes all the way to legislative and treating everybody equally. 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 and that’s especially including the LGBT community. 

Bob Schieffer: Was there one single thing that caused you to say, hey, this is just wrong, and I think we ought to change it?

Brendon Ayanbadejo: Well, I think it's something we see every day. I mean, we all have coworkers, friends, family members that are part of the LGBT community, and I was always raised in a Santa Cruz, California, that everybody was equal, and everybody was fair and that's why proposition 8 needs to be repealed in California. It's just a way of life that I have been, you know, being a biracial kid and knowing what it's like to be a part of the minority, I know what it feels like to be treated differently and discriminated. So this is no different. The way the LGBT community is treated -- the same as minorities, whether it's African Americans or Latinos or Asians or even women comparing this to suffrage and the civil rights movement -- it's just the evolution of the same issue.

Bob Schieffer: Tony Perkins, of course you are on the very other side of this issue. You have been a defender of conventional marriage, that is, marriage should be between a man and a woman but even you recognize that attitudes are really changing on this, in this country. The Washington Post had a poll out here where now I think it is 58 percent of the people now support same-sex. That’s versus 36% who don't and among young people it's an even more overwhelming favorability, about 80 percent say they now support it. You said in the statement this week that abandoning marriage would place republicans; these are your words, on the path to a permanent minority. In light of these polls, why do you think that?

Tony Perkins: Well, Bob, first off, the polls that really matter are the polls that are taken when the people actually vote on this and when people have voted, as late as 10 months ago, 30 states have put the natural definition of marriage into their state constitution, on average by a vote of 67 percent. Talk about polls. Polls, you get really what you ask for. and there are later polls out by Reuters this week, the Pew research that show still not only is it evenly split in this nation, but when you look at Republicans, 63 percent of Republicans say it would be harmful to marriage to redefine, to redefine marriage, it would be harmful to the family.

Bob Schieffer: You certainly don't question the trend seems to be toward it's okay.

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