Baltimore Ravens linebacker Brendon Ayanbadejo and Minnesota Vikings punter Chris Kluwe have been outspoken about their support of same-sex marriage, but on Thursday the two wrote and filed an amicus brief on the matter in California.

Kluwe and Ayanbadejo filed the document on Thursday, which was the Supreme Court’s deadline in the case of Hollingsworth v. Perry. It challenges the law against marriage equality known as Proposition 8.

The two players make a case that athletes have a great deal of influence — good or bad — and they wanted to articulate their support for the right of homosexuals to marry legally.

“When we advance the idea that some people should be treated differently because of who they are deemed in public as lesser beings, not worthy of the same rights and benefits as others despite their actions as good citizens and neighbors, then we deny them equal protection under the laws,” they wrote. “America has walked this path before, and courageous people and the Court brought us to the right result. We urge the Court to repeat those actions here.”

Ayanbadejo sees a strong connection with Proposition 8 to the anti-miscegenation laws that were introduced to North America in the late 17th century and ended in the United States in 1967. These laws prevented people of different races from marrying one another. If those laws were still in place, then his parents’ marriage would have not been allowed since his father is black and his mother is white.

Ayanbadejo said in an e-mail to that his collaboration with Kluwe was just standing up for something they believe in.

The pair have been strong advocates of gay marriage and spoken out against prejudice in the NFL when it comes to homosexuality. Last year Kluwe wrote an intense open letter to an elected Baltimore official who had opposed Ayanbadejo’s support for gay marriage.

Ayanbadejo feels that the work that they are doing will have a lasting impact for generations to come.

“So it’s just inevitable that at some point we’re going to see a player come out, and that’s why we’re fighting so hard to have equal rights so they’ll be able to come out and be themselves,” Ayanbadejo told Chris Moore and Brian Jones on CBS Sports Radio Thursday.

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