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NFL’s Chris Kluwe gets standing ovation at Family Equality Council event in Los Angeles

NFL’s Chris Kluwe gets standing ovation at Family Equality Council event in Los Angeles

Stars like Darren Criss, Andrew Rannells and the cast of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills got all the red carpet attention Saturday (9 February) at the Family Equality Council’s awards dinner in Los Angeles as honoree Chris Kluwe slipped by virtually unnoticed.

But by the end of evening, everyone was talking about NFL player Kluwe whose visibility as an LGBT activist grew exponentially last September when he blasted Maryland Assembly Delegate Emmett C. Burns Jr. in a withering, profanity-laced letter.

That letter, which included such phrases as ‘lustful cockmonster,’ ‘colossal foot-in-mouth clusterfuck,’ and ‘Holy fucking shitballs,’ was read verbatum – and with great flair – to the star-studded audience at the Globe Theatre by actress Molly Shannon on Saturday Night Live fame.

By the time Kluwe, a punter for the Minnesota Vikings, took the stage to accept his award, he had become a hero to a crowd that included Glee creator Ryan Murphy, Sean Hayes, Lisa Kudrow, Justin Bartha, NBC Chairman Robert Greenblatt, host Alec Mapa and event co-chair Dan Bucatinsky.

Kluwe’s masterful use of language and his well-reasoned sentiments in the letter to Burns caused it to go viral. He wrote it after the legislator complained to the owner of the Baltimore Ravens when linebacker Brendon Ayanbadejo made public statements in support of same sex marriage.

Kluwe, a married straight man with two children, told the crowd that he wrote his letter and became an advocate for marriage equality before that mainly for the kids of same-sex couples.

‘The fight for gay rights is about the children, it’s about having access to the same laws, the same benefits, the same protections so these children can have every advantage and a chance to succeed at life,’ he said. ‘It’s about not having to worry about being bullied on your way to school or while you’re walking down the street. It’s about living in a stable home with parents who love each other and who just so happen to be the same sex.’

He added: That’s why I wrote my letter, that’s why I spoke out, that’s why I’ll continue speaking out against every single hypocritical jackass’ because ‘those people aren’t thinking about the children at all, they’re thinking about themselves.’

He brought the house down when he also said: ‘So I say fuck those people! … I say live your own life however you want to live it, I say love who you want – it’s nobody’s business but your own. I say treat others the way you like being treated with compassion, dignity and respect – the way human beings are supposed to act.’

Also honored at the dinner was the NBC television network which was represented by the openly gay Greenblatt, and Dr. Virginia Uribe who in 1984 founded the first program in US public schools to address anti-gay harassment and discrimination.