OAKVILLE, Ontario, November 21, 2011 (LifeSiteNews.com) - A TV sports anchor who was fired in the spring after tweeting his support for true marriage says he hopes the case will inspire other Canadians to take up the marriage battle, which is experiencing a lull in Canada six years after Parliament legalized same-sex “marriage.”
Damian Goddard, the former host of Connected, was fired by Rogers Sportsnet in May after tweeting his support for an NHL hockey agent who had opposed same-sex “marriage” on Twitter. In June, he launched a human rights complaint against Rogers, contending that the case affects all Canadians with deeply-held religious views.
“I want to … tell people that what I did wasn’t special at all,” Goddard told LifeSiteNews. “I want to tell people of faith that we are commissioned by Christ to speak boldly for the faith.”
Last week, Goddard became the spokesman for the U.S.-based Marriage Anti-Defamation Alliance, a project by the National Organization for Marriage dedicated to supporting pro-family citizens who face threats for expressing their views.
Goddard noted that the battle over true marriage is raging in the U.S. right now, with New York state legalizing same-sex “marriage” in June. “But you know what’s scary? The fact that it isn’t a major battle in Canada is scarier to me,” he said.
“We don’t seem to have that sort of evangelical zeal that you will see in the United States,” he continued. “There’s a complacency in this country that needs to be shaken.”
Rogers said the firing was unrelated to Goddard’s tweet, claiming that for “weeks” leading up to his termination, “it had become clear that he is not the right fit for our organization.” Spokesman Dave Rashford said Goddard is “aware of the reasons [for his termination] – which are well documented.”
But Goddard points out that he was fired within 24 hours of the tweet. Rogers had immediately distanced themselves from the tweet, then called him in for a meeting within hours, which he could not attend because of family duties. Goddard says he was given a “ringing endorsement” only a week before his dismissal.
“My goodness, all I said was that I believe in one man and one woman. That’s all I said. And I lost my job the next day. So what’s next?” he asked.
A devout Roman Catholic, Goddard believes his defense of hockey agent Todd Reynolds on Twitter was a response to God’s call.
“For years I just prayed. I said ‘God, I just want to be a tool for you, however, wherever, whenever’,” he explained. “I love being a sports broadcaster, but when I saw that tweet last May, I just had to defend this man who’s defending the Christian meaning of marriage.”
Since then, he has been given numerous opportunities to defend the dignity of marriage in media interviews and he has begun getting requests for speaking engagements.
“I have to believe this is the work of the Holy Spirit,” he said. “I’ve not solicited my story to anyone. People just seem to be kind of coming to me, and I have to believe this is to bring glory to Him in some sense.”
He said he filed the human rights complaint because he wants to be an example to fellow Christians of the need to defend the faith in the public square. “You don’t want to lose your job if you say the wrong thing, but that’s where we’ve come to obviously in this society. And it’s a crying, crying shame,” he said.
“When people are afraid to speak up for losing their job, then obviously we’re not two steps away from people being afraid to speak up because they’ll lose their freedom and they’ll be hauled off to jail,” he continued.
“I want to be someone that stands up and says ‘Fellow Catholics, fellow Christians, what I did was not special,” he said. “You have the power to do it. But you can only have that power if you have the power of Christ within you, if you have the Holy Spirit moving within you.”
“I think that we as Christians have completely lost our perspective on what it is to be a Christian,” he continued. “Jesus didn’t say ‘follow me and don’t speak too loudly because you don’t want to piss people off’. Jesus said ‘Be not afraid.’”
Goddard emphasized that his opposition to the homosexual agenda is rooted in a deep love for men and women who are tempted toward homosexuality. “All of these so-called Christians who say ‘God hates fags’, they couldn’t be more wrong,” he insisted.
“There is amazing love in the word ‘no’. No, what you’re doing is you’re basically throwing away a gift that’s been given to you by God,” he said. “You are carrying a cross, but you are not the only one to have ever carried a cross. They have no concept of how close proximately they are to Christ crucified.”