Chris Kluwe on the election: 'It makes me proud to be part of this state'
Now that the election is finally over, we checked back with Minnesota Vikings punter Chris Kluwe, the subject of our October 24 cover story, "Game Changer," to get his thoughts on the results.
Chris Kluwe talks election results with City Pages.
In the weeks leading up to November 6, Kluwe became arguably the most interesting part of the battle over a constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage in Minnesota, making national headlines for his aggressive defense of gay rights. As we reported in the feature story, many believed Kluwe reached an audience that otherwise paid little or no attention to the race, and could be the difference in what turned out to be a nail-biter until the bitter end.
Kluwe watched the results pour in from home, and was pleasantly surprised when the amendment was defeated early Wednesday morning. Though he was always hopeful it would fail, he says he took nothing for granted until it was over.
"It was good to see that the Vote No led the entire time," he says. "I think that says good things about where we're headed as a society."
The fact that Minnesota was the first state to defeat such an amendment is significant, Kluwe says.
"I think it says that Minnesotans are people who value freedom over oppression," he says. "It makes me proud to be part of this state, even if it is just for a pro football team."
Moving forward, Kluwe says he'll continue to be active in Minnesota's fight to make gay marriage legal.
Looking beyond Minnesota, the election was a landmark for gay rights. Maryland, Maine, and Washington all voted to legalize same-sex marriage, and Wisconsin elected America's first openly gay U.S. Senator, Tammy Baldwin. Kluwe believes this is emblematic that attitudes toward homosexuality are changing across the country.
"I think it shows that people are finally realizing enough is enough," he says. "Discrimination is not something we should ever tolerate. We're hopefully making our way along a path to get rid of discrimination as much as we can."