Last week, Super Bowl-winning Coach Tony Dungy spoke about his support for traditional marriage and efforts now underway to protect the institution from radical redefinition by Indiana judges. With those comments, he quickly became the target of pro-gay activists. (To view Dungy's comments, click here .)
While accepting an award from the Indiana Family Institute (IFI), a state-based family policy council proudly associated with Focus on the Family, the Indianapolis Colts Coach endorsed the Indiana Marriage Amendment. It would define marriage as the union of a man and a woman in the state constitution.
IFI is a key promoter of the Marriage Amendment, and Dungy said he "appreciate(s) the stance they're taking, and I embrace that stance."
"We're not anti-anything else," he said. "We're not trying to downgrade anyone else. But we're trying to promote the family – family values the Lord's way."
Dungy's mere presence at the IFI banquet generated outrage among the pro-gay community months ago, but his comments ensured their ire. Focus on the Family Action Chairman James C. Dobson, Ph.D., praised Dungy for his principled stand in support of marriage as God ordained it.
"Tony Dungy has demonstrated he is not only a great coach, but a good and brave man," he said. "To defend God's truth so simply and strongly on what marriage ought to mean is to invite a blitz of hateful attacks from the homosexual activists and others on the left.
"Coach Dungy is no stranger to applause, of course. We applaud him today for his courage and his commitment to the Lord."
It's clear that those who disagree with Dungy would like nothing less than to strip him of his First Amendment right to free speech and to share his deeply held religious beliefs.
Gay-activist Web sites have launched a campaign aimed at forcing the Colts organization to censure their coach. In response to the criticism Dungy said, "They don't know me very well."