Skip to comments.Groups question appearance with group fighting same-sex marriage (Colts coach Tony Dungy)
Posted on 03/10/2007 12:48:25 PM PST by Ellesu
INDIANAPOLIS - Local and national gay-rights groups are questioning Indianapolis Colts coach Tony Dungy's decision to appear at a fundraising banquet this month for a group backing a proposed state ban on same-sex marriage.
The Indiana Family Institute, a conservative Christian group affiliated with Focus on the Family, plans to honor Dungy on March 20 with its "Friend of the Family" award at a banquet in suburban Carmel.
The Indiana Family Institute has been a leading supporter of a proposed state constitutional amendment defining marriage as only between one man and one woman.
"I am a little disappointed in that I would think he would want to stay out of the political arena, and the family institute is a political organization," Kathy Sarris, president of the gay-rights advocacy group Indiana Equality Education Fund, told The Indianapolis Star for a story published Saturday.
Cyd Zeigler, co-founder of Outsports.com, an online sports publication geared toward gays, said the coach's willingness to appear at the banquet struck him as tantamount to endorsing its opposition to gay marriage.
"When you start helping groups like this raise money, it becomes problematic to me," Zeigler said. "Be very clear about this: Tony Dungy is raising money for this organization. He is the face of the event."
The $75-per-person event is expected to draw nearly 700 people and raise more than $50,000, The Indianapolis Star reported Saturday.
The Colts, who won the Super Bowl on Feb. 4, issued a statement saying it was unaware of any specific goals of the institute.
"Coach Dungy's feelings on the importance of marriage and family are well known," the statement said. "He, of course, is free to speak to any group he wishes. The club does not take positions in political issues in which it is not directly involved. The Colts do not endorse any political or religious position taken by any group that any Colts employee decides to speak or lend his or her name to."
Dungy's picture, in a Colts hat, has been prominently displayed on the institute's Web site touting the event. Dungy is expected to speak for 15 minutes or more upon receiving the award.
Institute President Curt Smith said he hasn't discussed public policy with Dungy and is unaware of the coach's views on the marriage amendment. He said it would be wrong to assume anything about Dungy's views on that issue.
"The goal of this award is to celebrate people who live out the family ethic that we think is essential to healthy families. You don't have to agree with us on all of our public policy issues," he said.
Previous institute award winners include Focus on the Family co-founder Shirley Dobson; U.S. Rep. Mike Pence, R-Ind.; and former federal independent counsel Kenneth Starr.
Taking bets...what kind of man is Dungy..Will he still speak or will he bail?
He will speak.
He will never bail, he is a brave and wonderful guy. He is not afraid.
I bet you are hoping he does. Take a deep breath.
Question: if Tony were white, would these people be so opposed to his actions? I think not. The critics are racists.
I'd bet money, a lot, that he will speak.
I say he takes the award. Not at all surprised to see him honored by this kind of organization. Good for him!
This makes me want to donate to the group.
Gay rights groups have already pissed off the black and Hispanic communities, particularly the devout Christians, even the seperatist ones like Obama's pastor. They also have seriously pissed off the gangsta' community. And don't get started with the Muslims of any variety. Now they're about to add the jocks, who don't like them (much) but really haven't cared up till now (despite Tim Hardaway's comments).
Really dumb there guys and gals. You've got Rosie as your mouthpiece instead of someone who has spent decades building up a reservoir of good feelings like Harvey Fierstein and now you're attacking people who are clearly good deep down inside.
Machiavelli would not approve, especially because of his own predilections.
Why on Earth would you say such a thing...I made absolutely no suggestion of that. My opinion is I hope he does. I don't like ANYONE being forced by a group to do not do something or say something they want to say. Again, why on Earth would you have assumed that of me?
I meant hope he DOESN'T bail....
Why Hildy, I just can't imagine why anyone in this lil' ole' world would think that about you?
You seem to project that you have no faith, if I am wrong then I most humbly apologize.
Have no faith? Are you kidding me? I just disagree on some of the issues you do, it has nothing to do with faith. I accept your apology.
If your apology is not sincere, than why bother? And you say I have little faith.
They went after John Rocker, but have a hands off policy on Ray Lewis, because all he did was get involved in a double homicide. They slammed Reggie White.
I don't believe I ever gave you any reason to believe it was not sincere. Are you lapsing into paranoia?