Ever imagine what it would sound like if the World Wrestling Entertainment’s Stone Cold Steve Austin presented a case for gay marriage that made anyone arguing the alternative look pretty ridiculous?
Yeah, me neither.
So imagine my delight discovering remarks showing him doing exactly that.
In Austin’s words:
There’s been a lot of stuff in the news lately about same sex marriage. Everybody’s going crazy about this and some of the churches say ‘Oh, no can do — you can’t do that’. I’m for same sex marriage, I don’t give a shit if two guys, two gals, guy-gal, whatever it is- I believe that any human being in America or any human being in the goddamn world that wants to be married, if it’s the same-sex, more power to em. [What] also chaps my ass Teddy is [some of these] churches have the high horse that they get on and they say ‘we as a church do not believe to that.’ Which one of these motherfuckers talked to God and God said that same-sex marriage was a no-can-do. Can you verify? Can you give me the 4-11 on that background?
What’s remarkable about the exchange is how unremarkable it is. Austin’s indignation and dismissal of intolerant faith-based counter arguments represents an increasingly mainstream point of view. The fact that so much time has been spent over the last year questioning whether the NBA or NFL was ready for openly gay players seems silly in light of this rant. Austin’s guest on the program argues that he’s similarly unfazed by the legalization of gay marriage suggesting you “pay your bills, pay your taxes, don’t be a burden to anybody and go on your way,” before comparing gay marriage to his choice to own several dogs. If it’s not burdening anyone else- why is it anyone else’s problem?
I think the sea change can be attributed to, in part, the increased visibility of gay people both in culture and in our communities. Coming out is an individual journey and yet the ramifications are profound well outside of the individual. The recent coming out of actor Daniel Franzese, an actor who portrayed a gay teenager in the incredibly popular movie Mean Girls, is a reminder of that. Earlier this week Franzese talked about being afraid to come out for fear of the career implications. He was inspired to ultimately do so as a result of the young kids who approached him on the street and thanked him for playing the character. When gay people are our favorite characters and friends it becomes harder for anyone to paint them as scary or inherently flawed. Austin says as much at the tail end of his remarks:
I got some damn good friends that are gay and I’m absolutely for same-sex marriage [and I don't] think there’s a God who says you can do this and you cannot do this.
As he might have said during his time at the WWE…
“And that’s the bottom line, cause Stone Cold says so.”