NFL punter Chris Kluwe on Wednesday (7 November) thanked ‘every single person’ who fought to defeat a measure in Minnesota that would have banned gay marriage in the state.
‘Together, we made a statement that America is tired of division,’ Kluwe wrote in a column. ‘America is tired of discrimination, of exclusion, and of unthinking oppression—the belief that people have to live their lives according to someone else’s views rather than their own free will.’
He added: ‘We can promote free will over oppression. We can treat others the way we want to be treated, with dignity and respect. We can work together to find common ground, despite our differences, and build a stable, nurturing society.’
Kluwe, who is straight and the father of two daughters, was propelled to the forefront of the gay marriage debate when he wrote a scorching letter to Maryland Assembly Delegate Emmett C. Burns in September. The legislator had complained to the owner of the Baltimore Ravens when linebacker Brendon Ayanbadejo made public statements in support of same sex marriage. The letter, which included the memorable phrase ‘lustful cockmonster’ went viral.
In addition to writing opinion pieces, Kluwe also did several radio spots for Minnesotans for Equality, the organization which led the fight to defeat the initiative.
‘There is work yet to be done, but we passed an important milestone ,’ Kluwe writes of the ballot victory. ‘Ten, 15, 20 years from now, when our children ask us, ‘What did you do when it came time to fight for someone else?,’ we can tell them about Minnesota and Maryland and Maine, states where people finally said: Enough. Enough with the hate. Enough with the bigotry. Enough with the discrimination.’
‘We are all Americans, and we are all in this together. Without each other, we have nothing.’