Ravens Linebacker: LGBT Rights Movement Just Like Civil Rights Movement

By Melanie Arter | March 25, 2013 | 1:39 PM EDT

Ravens Linebacker Brendon Ayanbadejo (AP Photo)

(CNSNews.com) – Baltimore Ravens linebacker Brendon Ayanbadejo said Sunday on CBS’s “Face the Nation” that the way the LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender) community is treated is akin to the civil rights movement.

“This is no different, the way the LGBT community is treated, the same as minorities, whether it’s African-Americans or Latinos or Asians, or even women, comparing this to suffrage and the Civil Rights movement. It’s just the evolution of the same issue," Ayanbadejo said when asked why he chose to take a stand on gay marriage.

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Ayanbadejo has filed a friend-of-the court brief in the Proposition 8 case.

“Was there one single thing that caused you to say, hey, this is just wrong, and I think we ought to change it?” CBS’s Bob Schieffer asked.

“Well, I think it’s something we see every day. I mean, we all have coworkers, friends, family members that are part of the LGBT community, and I was always raised, in Santa Cruz, California, that everybody was equal and everybody is fair, so that’s why it’s especially rough that Proposition 8 needs to be repealed in California,” he said.

“And it’s just a way of life that I’ve always been – you known, being a biracial kid and knowing what it’s like to be part of the minority,” Ayanbadejo added.

Ayanbadejo said the issue of gay rights is something he’s been speaking about since 2009, and “It’s just the evolution of civil rights and equal rights.

“And athletes do a lot to change society, and this is something we can make a big difference on. It starts with bullying kids in elementary school and it goes all the way to legislative and treating everybody equally,” he said.

“So this is a fight that myself and a bunch of my colleagues, we want to take on, and we feel that everyone should be treated equally, and we’re not going to stop until everyone is treated fairly, and that’s especially including the LGBT community,” he added.

On MSNBC’s “The Ed Show” in February, Ayanbadejo predicted that there would be an openly gay player in the NFL by 2015.

“I think it’s going to happen really soon…In the next year or the following year,” he said. “I feel like we’re going to see our Jackie Robinson, our pioneer for gay rights and equality and we’re going to be there to support that player and make sure he has a support group around him.”