Minnesota Vikings punter Chris Kluwe emerged somewhat abruptly this year as a passionate advocate for marriage equality, particularly because of his colorful response when a Maryland legislator tried to tell Brendon Ayanbadejo of the Baltimore Ravens to keep his LGBT support to himself. Following the explosion of public interest, Kluwe applied his notoriety to campaigning against Minnesota’s marriage inequality amendment, including recording a memorable radio ad. Commemorating the victories in Maryland, Maine, and Minnesota and the likely victory in Washington, Kluwe shared some reflections today at Slate.com:
Together, we made a statement that America is tired of division. 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.
Together, we made sure that the world our children will grow up in is one step closer to tolerance, love, and equality; a world where our children can make their own choices instead of being shackled to dusty hate from the past.
Together, we showed this nation that a polity functions best when it includes all of its citizens, when it celebrates their differences as part of one glorious whole, when it synthesizes a wide assortment of cultures and beliefs under the guiding principles of freedom and happiness for everyone.
Together, we can approach the work still at hand. We can face the continuous fight for equality that every society must wage each generation. We may not know the specifics until they’re upon us, but the underlying foundation is always the same—living your own life vs. someone else making your choices for you.
Together, 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.
It’s no secret that the LGBT community depends on friends, family members, and other allies to support progress towards equality. Kluwe may be brazen at times, but he is a shining example of what an ally looks like and what it truly means to love and respect LGBT people.