Gay marriage and gay rights have another ally in Rashad Evans. The former UFC light heavyweight champion has joined other high-profile athletes in signing a brief to the United States Supreme Court launched by NFL players Chris Kluwe and Brendon Ayanbadejo to overturn bans on same-sex marriage. Evans spoke to Outsports on Friday saying that he felt it was his "duty to support gay marriage and gay rights."
Evans said it was actually Brendon Ayanbadejo who educated him on gay issues.
"I've never been a homophobe, never understood what that is all about. I knew some people who were gay and never cared about their sexuality. But at the same time, I didn't fully understand the issues around gay people until my friend BA started telling me about his full public support for gay marriage. We talked about the issue and I decided it's not enough to not be against a minority, if you want things to go better for them you have to speak up with them."
Unlike the NFL, NBA, NHL and MLB who has yet to have a player come out as gay while playing, the MMA has a fighter, Fallon Fox, who has recently come out as transsexual and open lesbian fighter Liz Carmouche so Evans knows the importance of being supportive of his fellow athletes and how important it is to make a stand for human rights.
"Society as a whole is better when there is equality, and I want to live in a country where everyone has the same rights because we all benefit from that."
The 33-year old who goes by the nickname "Suga" knows his voice is important because he is a fighter in a tough and very macho sport where stereotypes do exist when it comes to sexuality. Evans says no one should get in the way of two people who love each other because at the end of the day it is not about sex, it is about the kind of love and happiness everyone strives for. He is also thinking about his own children.
"I have kids. I don't want them growing up in a society where they, or their friends, could be second class citizens based on which person they fall in love with or who they want to be happy with."