Add Hugh Hefner to the list of celebrities and other high-profile figures speaking out in favor of same-sex marriage.
The 86-year-old Playboy founder calls the struggle for marriage equality "a fight for all of our rights" in an editorial featured in the September issue of his magazine, according to Politico.
“Today, in every instance of sexual rights falling under attack, you’ll find legislation forced into place by people who practice discrimination disguised as religious freedom," Hefner writes. "Their goal is to dehumanize everyone’s sexuality and reduce us to using sex for the sole purpose of perpetuating our species. To that end, they will criminalize your entire sex life."
After noting that conservatives "assault the right of gays, whether by denying them to right to marry or, as in Kansas, by attempting to empower landlords, business owners and employers to discriminate against gays on religious grounds,” Hefner adds, "This is a religious nation, but it is also a secular one. …No one should have to subjugate their religious freedom, and no one should have their personal freedoms infringed. This is America and we must protect the rights of all Americans.”
This isn't the first time Hefner has spoken out in favor of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) rights. The 2009 documentary "Hugh Hefner: Playboy, Activist and Rebel" reportedly details the entrepreneur's then-controversial 1955 decision to publish "The Crooked Man," a short science-fiction story by Charles Beaumont.
After a number of readers responded angrily to the Beaumont's story, which reportedly depicts a society in which homosexuality is the norm and heterosexuals are persecuted, Hefner wrote, "If it was wrong to persecute heterosexuals in a homosexual society, then the reverse was wrong too," according to The Advocate.
Upon the release of the 2009 documentary, Hefner told the Daily Beast: "The idea that the concept of marriage will be sullied by same-sex marriage is ridiculous. Heterosexuals haven't been doing that well at it on their own."