Baltimore Ravens' Matt Birk opposes same-sex marriage

Minnesota Vikings punter Chris Kluwe and Baltimore Ravens linebacker Brendon Ayanbadejo have made headlines this year for their vocal support of same-sex marriage.

Now Kluwe's former teammate -- and Ayanbadejo's current one -- Baltimore Ravens center Matt Birk, has joined the fray. Birk wrote an editorial in Saturday's Minneapolis Star-Tribune that takes the other side of the issue.

Celebrating the free-speech rights of Kluwe and others, Birk complains that people who are "simply acknowledging the basic reality of marriage between one man and one woman are being labeled as 'bigots' and 'homophobic.'"

"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," Birk writes. "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."

Birk is a native Minnesotan who came into the league with the Vikings in 1998; he and Kluwe were teammates for four seasons in Minnesota.

As for the Vikings punter, he wrote on Twitter that Birk's editorial didn't escape his attention:

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