Nuggets forward Kenneth Faried, raised in part by two mothers, makes a video in support of a same-sex civil union bill in Colorado.
Known as one of the NBA's fiercest rebounders, Denver Nuggets power forward Kenneth Faried has brought his skills to another court.
The New Jersey native and former Morehead State star sat down with his two mothers, who've been together for 11 years, to shoot a video advocating the passage of civil-union laws in Colorado, according to the Denver Post.
"I support civil-union, because it gives people — gays and lesbians — the right to make decisions on their own," he says in the video uploaded last week on the YouTube page of One-Colorado — an organization dedicated to securing and protecting equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender groups in Colorado.
"If they want to get married, let them choose who they want to be with," Faried added. His mothers, Waudda Faried and Carol Copeland, entered into a civil-union in New Jersey in 2007. He was raised by both women, along with his father, Kenneth, who remained close to the family and supportive of Waudda when she became a lesbian.
Faried says civil-union protections in New Jersey have helped Copeland pay for Waudda's health care. Waudda suffers from lupus and has undergone a kidney transplant. The NBA star says he'd like to see same-sex couples receive similar protections in Colorado. His eventual goal, he says, is for states to adopt more than just civil-union rights.
"A lot of people [are] saying civil union,” he told KDVR. "I don’t like it being called that because I can get married to a female and it can be called a marriage. Why can’t a female be married to a female and male be married to a male and it be called a marriage? You still have the same thing, same love and happiness."
One-Colorado's video campaign is geared toward passing Colorado Senate Bill 11, which allows gay couples to enter into civil unions in that state. As part of a civil union in Colorado, same-sex couples would receive the ability to take leave if their partner were to become sick, to adopt a child, to live together in a nursing home and to make end-of-life decisions on behalf of one another. Senate Bill 11 passed a Senate committee in Colorado and is heading to appropriations next.
Faried is joined in support for LGBT rights this month by Baltimore Ravens linebacker Brandon Ayanbadejo, whose team will be playing in the Super Bowl this weekend. The outspoken same-sex advocate says he hopes to use the game to draw attention to the importance of marriage equality.
On Monday, he emailed same-sex marriage supporters Brian Ellner and Michael Skolnik asking, “Is there anything I can do for marriage equality or anti-bullying over the next couple of weeks to harness this Super Bowl media?”
Ayanbadejo grew up in a diverse community surrounded by openly gay and lesbian individuals. At one point, his stepfather was the resident director of an LGBT dorm at the University of California at Santa Cruz.
“I was raised around gay people in a very liberal society,” Ayanbadejo told The New York Times. “Discrimination was never allowed.”
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