Thirty professional athletes have
signed on to a brief in support of plaintiffs challenging Prop 8,
California's gay marriage ban.
The Supreme Court will hear oral
arguments in Hollingsworth v. Perry next
week and is expected to hand down a ruling in June.
“Sports figures receive a celebrity
status that influences a large majority of the American population,”
brief states. “For far too long, professional sports have been
a bastion of bigotry, intolerance, and small-minded prejudice toward
sexual orientation, just as they had been to racial differences
decades earlier. That is finally changing, and changing
“This Court should correct
Proposition 8's action to remove marriage rights from same-sex
couples because, as the district court and the Ninth Circuit majority
so carefully explained, the advocates of Proposition 8 provided no
evidence-based rationale – as opposed to one based on fear and
prejudice – for treating LBGTQ citizens differently with respect to
Organizing the amicus brief were
Minnesota Vikings punter Chris Kluwe and Baltimore Ravens linebacker
Brendon Ayanbadejo, both of whom have previously spoken out in favor
of marriage equality.
Openly gay former professional athletes
Robbie Rogers, Esera Tuaolo, Wade Davis, Jr. and David Kopay joined
the brief, as well as Minnesota Lynx guard Seimone Augustus, who came
out gay in 2011.
Rick Welts, who resigned as CEO of the
Phoenix Suns roughly four months after announcing he's gay, and
Dominique Foxworth, president of the NFL Players Association, also
signed the brief.
Initial signers include: Scott Fujita,
Marie Tillman, Russell Simmons, Cheryl Reeve, Pokey Chatman,
Demaurice Smith, Patrick Nero, Kenneth Faried, Rashad Evans, Hudson
Taylor, Adam Podlesh, Eric Barton, Chris Gocong, Alex Mack, Steve
Gleason, Connor Barwin, Kawika Mitchell, D'Qwell Jackson, Eric
Winston, Scott Shanle, Sean Avery, Joe Briggs, Michelle Marciniak,
Susan Walvius, Beth Brooke, James Cantelupe, April Ross, Jennifer
Kessy, Rebekkah Brunson, Kia Vaughn, Katura Horton-Perinchief, Jayne
Appel, Tabi Bonney (Tabiabué Bonney).