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    When I was growing up in an African-American family in Fort Worth, Texas in the 1970s and 80s, the worst things you could do to dishonor your family were to go to jail, get on welfare, vote Republican or be a "punk."  In our vernacular, a punk was a gay boy or man. Another no-no, was to not be a fan of the Dallas Cowboys.

     So, being a lifelong Cowboys fan you can only imagine the swirl of emotions I felt this week when Michael Irvin, one of the all-time greatest Cowboys, appeared on the cover of Out Magazine and in the accompanying article announced his late brother was gay and that he supports gay rights/marriage.  At least The Playmaker (as Irvin is known) didn't come out as a Republican.

     Anyway, in spite of his many mistakes off the football field I've always admired Irvin for his exploits on it.  I admire him even more now for honoring his brother by speaking up about equal rights for gay and lesbian people.  Here are some excerpts from the Outed Magazine article written by Cyd Zeigler:

Irvin wants to eradicate homophobia in every corner of American society. He points to churches that have skewed the word of God to persecute those who don’t share their dogma; he shakes his head at the black culture he says has gone adrift in a sea of homophobia; and he said it’s time to end the second class–citizen status of gays in the eyes of the law.

“I don’t see how any African-American with any inkling of history can say that you don’t have the right to live your life how you want to live your life. No one should be telling you who you should love, no one should be telling you who you should be spending the rest of your life with. When we start talking about equality and everybody being treated equally, I don’t want to know an African-American who will say everybody doesn’t deserve equality.”

"If anyone comes out in those top four major sports, I will absolutely support him,” says Irvin. “I think growth comes when we share. Until we do that, we’re going to be stuck in the Dark Ages about a lot of things.”

    It would've been easy for Irvin to hypocritically remain silent on this topic, which in a sense would've been denying the love he has for his brother while continuing his hyper-heterosexual lifestyle.  But to Irvin's credit, he stepped up...with caution to the wind.

     While Irvin attempts to help a large segment of Americans achieve equal rights, presidential hopeful, Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN), believes gay people and government handouts are evil and is in many ways striving keep America in the Dark Ages that Irvin referred to.

     And while I respect Bachmann's dedication to her religious beliefs, and in fact as a conservative Christian share many of them, I wholeheartedly believe Bachmann is dead wrong with her public policy crusades and positions against gay and lesbian people.  She's also the worst kind of wrong (hypocritical) when it comes to her stance on accepting government support.  She's twice the hypocrite in this regard because she reportedly accepted government funding to help run her husband's mental health clinic.  

     Taken from a report by Michael Isikoff of NBC News:

While Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., has forcefully denounced the Medicaid program for swelling the "welfare rolls," the mental health clinic run by her husband has been collecting annual Medicaid payments totaling over $137,000 for the treatment of patients since 2005, according to new figures obtained by NBC News.

The clinic, based in Lake Elmo, Minn., describes itself on its website as offering "quality Christian counseling" for a large number of mental health problems ranging from "anger management" to addictions and eating disorders.

    However, the clinic was "outed" as a site where gays can go to be cured.  Talk about Dark Ages thinking and wasted government funding.

     If Irvin -- who is on the Mount Rushmore of machismo, badass sports stars -- can come out in support of gay rights and honor his gay brother in an insightful and respectful way, a devout Christian like Bachmann should be able to see the light of tolerance and practice what she preaches in terms of treating others the way she'd like to be treated and in supporting equal rights for all.

     Maybe Bachmann doesn't really believe all of the anti-gay rhetoric she espouses and only spews it to please the wingnuts.  I seriously doubt, however, that we'll see Bachmann on the cover of Outed Magazine anytime soon.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Remember the rumors about Aikman? (0+ / 0-)

    "Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity." --M. L. King "You can't fix stupid" --Ron White

    by zenbassoon on Thu Jul 14, 2011 at 01:14:02 PM PDT

  •  she'd probably have the same reaction (0+ / 0-)

    to michael irvin as she did to the nun in the ladies room-she'd call security and complain that she was being harassed by big black guy.

    fwiw, he can harass me anytime he wants!

    hope springs eternal and DAMN is she getting tired!

    by alguien on Thu Jul 14, 2011 at 01:14:47 PM PDT

  •  Marcus may well be outed (0+ / 0-)

    a la Ted Haggard.

    If you can find money to kill people, you can find money to help people. --Tony Benn

    by rhetoricus on Thu Jul 14, 2011 at 01:25:20 PM PDT

  •  I am really proud (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    of Michael Irvin for this. As you say, his off-the-field exploits (back in the day, anyway) are nothing to be especially proud of, but I am deeply impressed with his stance here, for speaking about his love for his brother and the insanity of bigotry against the LGBT community.

    I believe I heard this correctly...on The Ticket (Sportsradio 1310? maybe you're a listener?) a few days ago they were talking about this article, and I think they said that Michael learned from his Father to never pass judgement on anyone. So he apparently comes by it naturally, which is wonderful.

    Well done, Mr. Irvin!

    "I do not agree with what you have to say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it." - Voltaire

    by txflower on Thu Jul 14, 2011 at 02:14:49 PM PDT

    •  Irvin's father was a minister who taught... (0+ / 0-)

      his son tolerance instead of hate.  Apparently Michael was a boy of 12 riding in the car with his dad when he "discovered" his brother was gay by seeing walking down the street in drag.  According to the article, the dad told Michael that was his brother and he should love him unconditionally.

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