Pro athlete Chris Kluwe believes in America and the freedoms for which it stands. That’s why the Minnesota Vikings player is a vocal supporter of gay marriage.
Kluwe is straight, but Minnesota is one of several states that will vote on a gay marriage amendment in November, and Kluwe isn’t about to sit the bench for that battle. In fact, he’s using his celebrity to bring attention to the fact that the amendment he opposes will put language into the state constitution that only recognizes marriage between a man and a woman, preventing any future legislation in favor of gay marriage from ever passing.
Kluwe is working with Minnesotans for Equality, along with Minnesota pro basketball player Trevor Mbakwe and former Vikings/Green Bay Packers player Esera Tuaolo to get the word out. Appearing at Athletes for Marriage Equality on Sept. 14, the pro athletes did indeed help raise awareness, with both ESPN and the local FOX channel covering the fundraiser.
On Sept. 26, Kluwe, who plays bass in a grunge band, will sit in with Jonatha Brooke’s band at Music for Marriage Equality, another fundraiser that will also feature singers Keri Noble and Chastity Brown.
“Not only is he taking the time to speak up for gay rights, but he is really doing a lot of wonderful, out-of-the-box things to really help our cause, like learn music in the middle of his busy football season,” says organizer Tracy Call.
Kluwe made national news when a letter he wrote to a Maryland politician went viral (see the letter at http://www.huffingtonpost.com/chris-kluwe/an-open-letter-to-emmett-burns_b_1866216.html).
The politician tried to coerce the owner of the Baltimore Ravens to silence player Brendon Ayanbadejo for speaking in support of gay marriage.
Call says that Kluwe has been working with the group for a couple months. One reason is that his brother-in-law is gay but also, “He’s been very outspoken on freedom, liberty and basic human rights,” says Call.
“Most Minnesotans believe in the Declaration of Independence,” she adds, “that every citizen should be free to live his or her life the way they want to live it. And so to pursue a destructive and discriminatory amendment like this is a total and complete violation of every principle that our country is founded on.”
Former actor-pro wrestler and Minnesota Gov. Jesse Ventura is also against the amendment, stating that “the constitution is used to protect people. Love is by far bigger than government can ever be.”
Call explains that a “No” vote will merely keep the status quo, that gay marriage isn’t even on the ballot.
“That’s such an important piece for swing voters. People don’t want the government telling them what to do anymore. People are tired of government and politicians using these hot buttons to get re-elected. It’s just such a misuse of the Constitution it just makes me sick. And when you have that conversation with a group of people it really does change minds.”
For more about the Minnesota vote and similar issues facing states across the country, see MinnesotansforEquality.com or VoteNo.mn.