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Anti-gay Former NFL Coach To Work for White House

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By GLAAD |
April 1, 2009
Dungy raises funds for anti-gay group

Dungy raises funds for anti-gay group

Tony Dungy was one of the most well-respected and highly-regarded head coaches in the NFL. His Indianapolis Colts won the 2007 Super Bowl, and in doing so he became the first black head coach to win the coveted championship.

Dungy was known throughout the NFL as a man of character and poise and one who consistently referred to his Christian faith as a source of strength.

So, it's no surprise that the White House has tapped him to join its Advisory Council on Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships. However, real concerns arise given his public comments regarding same-sex marriage and the gay community.

Shortly after winning the Super Bowl, Dungy donated his time and as much as $20,000 worth of personal sports memorabilia to be auctioned off to the Indiana Family Institute. According to the IFI's website, its mission is to: Preserve pro-family policy already within State Government and push for additional policies that will strengthen Indiana families.

By pro-family, they do NOT mean LGBT families. The IFI was one of the leaders in introducing Senate Joint Resolution 7 which stated: Marriage in Indiana consists only of the union of one man and one woman. Provides that Indiana law may not be construed to require that marital status or the legal incidents of marriage be conferred upon unmarried couples or groups.

Mincing no words, Dungy clarified why he was helping the IFI raise funds. In an interview he stated:

"We're not anti- anything else. We're not trying to downgrade anyone else. But we're trying to promote the family -- family values the Lord's way."

According to a press release, the Advisory Council will be a resource for nonprofits and community organizations looking for ways to make a bigger impact in their communities. The Office of Faith Based and Neighborhood Partnerships will focus on four key priorities, to be carried out by working closely with the President's Cabinet Secretaries and each of the eleven agency offices for faith-based and neighborhood partnerships:

  1. The Office's top priority will be making community groups an integral part of our economic recovery and poverty a burden fewer have to bear when recovery is complete.
  2. It will be one voice among several in the administration that will look at how we support women and children, address teenage pregnancy, and reduce the need for abortion.
  3. The Office will strive to support fathers who stand by their families, which involves working to get young men off the streets and into well-paying jobs, and encouraging responsible fatherhood.
  4. Finally, beyond American shores this Office will work with the National Security Council to foster interfaith dialogue with leaders and scholars around the world.

It's unclear exactly what role Dungy will play in the advisory council. However, I have serious concerns that he can work objectively and effectively with LGBT nonprofits and LGBT community organizations. Will he shoot down or undermine worthy plans submitted by LGBT groups simply because they are LGBT?

This is an area where the media (traditional and bloggers) needs to dig in and consistently report on to ensure all communities are served for the better.