Tough guys stand up for gay marriage

Tough guys can and do support gay marriage. Are you tough enough to support gay marriage?

Macho (mä´cho): a man who is aggressively proud of his masculinity (see also: football players, gunslingers, rappers).

Heard the latest among the straight, tough-guy set?

Two NFL players have filed a brief before the U.S. Supreme Court in support of gay marriage. Paul Wolfowitz, the neocon defense hawk from the George W. Bush administration, signed on to another. In the testosterone-roiled world of hip-hop, macho men from Jay-Z to 50 Cent had the back of crooner Frank Ocean after he posted an open letter about his sexuality. 

In the top sports leagues and conservative circles, the announcements of support for gay rights have been increasing — and increasingly bold. More are coming as the Supreme Court prepares next week to fully examine same-sex marriage for the first time. The two NFL players — Baltimore Raven Brendon Ayanbadejo and Minnesota Viking Chris Kluwe — have long been on the team of those supporting gay rights and filed a brief with the high court urging the justices to upend California’s 2008 voter-approved measure restricting marriage to one man and one woman. Locally, sports broadcaster Brett Haber this year joined with the group Athlete Ally, started two years ago by former University of Maryland wrestler Hudson Taylor, to take a stand against homophobia in sports.

The move among straight guys in athletics and other ultra-manly arenas is reflective of a national trend that shows the majority of Americans support marriage rights for same-sex couples. But it is also indicative of the place of the “tough guy” in society, said sociologist Michael Kimmel, who directs the Center for the Study of Men and Masculinities at the State University of New York at Stony Brook.

“They do the right thing even if nobody else supports them,” Kimmel said. “A tough guy also always stands up for the little guy. The tough guy isn’t a bully. The tough guy is righteous. Part of being a tough guy is standing up for the underdog — so I see it as perfectly consistent.”

Consistent, maybe. But rare, still.


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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet. Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet and, as a result, he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist who takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him, you can’t ignore him.

To read Cam’s previous articles click on his name in blue.

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