Dungy reveals anti-gay views during speech at fundraiser for Indiana Family Institute
“I appreciate the stance they’re taking, and I embrace that stance. IFI is saying what the Lord says. You can take that and make your decision on which way you want to be. I’m on the Lord’s side.”
— Indianapolis Colts head coach Tony Dungy, finally acknowledging support for the anti-gay agenda of the Indiana Family Institute
The dinner/fundraiser honoring Tony Dungy was held last night, and, after a lot of silence on the issue over the last few weeks, as the controversy swirled over his appearance, he made it clear that he opposes marriage equality and gay rights. (365gay/Outsports):
After weeks of dodging questions, Indianapolis Colts head coach Tony Dungy finally publicly acknowledged his opposition to same-sex marriage and his support of an anti-gay organization’s efforts to suppress gay rights, in a speech Tuesday at an annual fund-raising dinner for the Indiana Family Institute. The IFI is one of the leading proponents of an Indiana state constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage, SJR-7.
…Dungy did not specifically detail his opposition to other gay rights. However, his “I’m on the Lord’s side” statement and support of a same-sex marriage ban will give many reason to believe he opposes gay rights of any kind and that he would not support having a gay player on his team.
The annual fundraising dinner is the organization’s largest of the year. Past dinners have attracted around 400 donors; Dungy’s appearance, just six weeks after his Super Bowl victory, drew 700 people, more than IFI had ever had before. According to the Indianapolis Star, the event raised over $70,000 for the group’s efforts to fight gay rights.
I can’t wait for comment from the Colts organization on this one; Dungy appeared in Colts garb in the invitation to the dinner distributed by the IFI.
Back in January, Bil Browning of Bilerico was all over this story:
The IFI is one of the leading proponents of SJR7, the proposed Indiana Constitutional amendment on marriage rights, and other legislative efforts to deny equal rights to LGBT folks. Under the guise of protecting traditional family values, it helps spread misinformation that fosters bigitory toward our community and our own families.
…But Tony’s prominent appearance before this group, as a representative of a major sports institution in Indianapolis, sends a chilling message. All of us shared the grief that Tony and his family experienced a year ago when his son took his own life. I understand that stories about a connection to sexual orientation were unfounded, and I would defend Tony’s right to consider that a private matter. Still, there is an irony many of us in the LGBT community know well: The number of LGBT youth who have taken their lives because of self-hatred and homophobia is much above the national average. Organizations of the IFI variety cannot escape the fruits of their helping to foster the myths and resulting bigotry which contribute to those grim statistics. Surely Tony doesn’t in any way support that; so why is he lending his celebrity and role model status to such a group?