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Ayanbadejo speaks at Supreme Court rally

Gay marriage supporter Brendon Ayanbadejo, linebacker for the the Baltimore Ravens of the NFL, talks to reporters in front of the U.S. Supreme Court in Washington

Gay marriage supporter Brendon Ayanbadejo, linebacker for the the Baltimore Ravens of the NFL, talks to reporters in front of the U.S. Supreme Court in Washington, March 26, 2013. U.S. Supreme Court justices signaled on Tuesday that they are reluctant to embrace a broad ruling finding a fundamental right to marriage for gays and lesbians across the United States. As sign-waving demonstrators massed outside, the court completed more than an hour of oral argument on whether to let stand a California ban on same-sex marriage without indicating a clear path forward. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst (UNITED STATES - Tags: CIVIL UNREST POLITICS SOCIETY SPORT FOOTBALL)


On Tuesday, the United States Supreme Court took up the question of whether California’s ban on same-sex marriage violates the Constitution.

Outside, Ravens linebacker Brendon Ayanbadejo spoke at a rally supporting same-sex marriage.

“First and foremost, I have to say I’m not here as a Baltimore Raven,” Ayanbadejo said, via Erik Brady of USA Today. “I’m actually here as a patriot -- as a patriot to uphold the Constitution of the United States. . . .

“So this is a fight that we’ve seen here before, we’ve been here before. How is this any different than Loving v. Virginia?” he added, in reference to the case that scuttled bans on interracial marriage.

“Luckily, I’m a child of the ‘70s, because in some states in the ‘60s, I wouldn’t be here. So I’m a testament to progress. I’m a testament to things are changing. Love is always going to win the game,” Ayanbadejo said.

A ruling is expected in June. But the very early indications aren’t promising.

Chief Justice John Roberts, a conservative with a cousin in attendance who wants to marry her partner, offered this confusing comparison while questioning one of the lawyers: “If you tell a child that somebody has to be their friend. I suppose you can force the child to say ‘this is my friend,’ but it changes the definition of what it means to be a friend. And that’s, it seems to me, what [supporters] of Proposition 8 are saying here. All you’re interested in is the label, and you insist on changing the definition of the label.”

Whether the definition changes depends on what the definition is. Does “marriage” reflect a committed union of two persons of different genders, or simply two persons?

The word “friend” doesn’t imply a gender. Should the term “spouse”?

That’s easiest way to address concerns that same-sex marriage would result in a union between a man and a dog or a man and a sandwich. Defining the term as a marriage between two persons would prevent the parade of horribles that so often is cited by those who opposed same-sex marriage.

My own views on the subject flow from apathy regarding the private business of others and stubbornness regarding our inalienable right to pursue happiness. If it makes people of the same gender happy to be married, why should that bother me or anyone else?