Happy Freedom to Marry Week!
I'm pleased to say that the Saints are winners.
No, I don't mean because they won the Super Bowl, which they did, beating the Colts 31 to 17. (At least that's what I read in the news - no sports-gay am I!)
I don't even mean the entire team of the New Orleans Saints. I'm talking about one specific person.
Scott Fujita, linebacker for the Saints, is a total winner.
Last year, he participated in the National Equality March in Washington and became a vocal supporter for marriage equality. This is significant for two reasons.
First, he's a straight ally - the married father of two twin girls - who wasn't really involved in the gay rights movement before this.
Second, and more remarkably, he's a professional football player, and pro sports are notable for being a bastion of entrenched homophobia. It's extremely rare for a gay sports figure to come out, and it's also unusual for the topic of sexual orientation to even be discussed, much less for someone to be vocal about their support for LGBT equality. The NFL is not renown for its progressiveness and diversity.
Scott Fujita talked about why he endorsed the National Equality March and why he supports LGBT equality in an interview with Dave Zirin in the Huffington Post last October.
"By and large in this country the issue of gay rights and equality should be past the point of debate. Really, there should be no debate anymore.
"For me, in my small platform as a professional football player, my time in the spotlight is probably limited. The more times you have to lend your name to a cause you believe in, you should do that.
"I remember reading about an initiative that was proposed in the state of Arkansas. It was some kind of measure aimed at preventing adoptions by single parents.
"Now, the way I translated that language was that only heterosexual, married couples could adopt children. As an adopted child, that really bothered me.
"What that is really saying is that the concern with one's sexual orientation outweighs what's really important, and that's finding safe homes for children, for our children.
"It's also saying that we'd rather have kids bounce around from foster home to foster home throughout the course of their childhood, than end up in a permanent home, where the parent, whether that person's single or not, gay or straight.
"Either way, it doesn't matter. It's a home that's going to be provided for a kid who desperately needs a home. As an adopted child, that measure really bothered me. It just boggles my mind because good, loving homes for any child are the most important thing."
So say we all! I'm still not a football follower, but I'm definitely now a fan of the Scott Fujita. No matter how you look at it, this guy's a Saint.