Minnesota Vikings punter Chris Kluwe on
Friday debated the statements of gay marriage foes.
Kluwe has become an outspoken supporter
of marriage equality and an ardent opponent of a proposed amendment
to the Minnesota Constitution defining marriage as a heterosexual
His advocacy drew the ire of Minnesota
State Rep. Mary Franson, a Republican who labeled the player an
opponent of traditional values.
In response, Kluwe offered a debate on
Neither Franson nor any other opponent
accepted the invite, leaving Kluwe with an empty chair.
For his debate at the Brave New
Workshop in Minneapolis, Kluwe went up against actors who stood in
for his opponents.
“Gay and lesbian couples already
receive benefits in Maryland, like hospital visitation, state health
benefits, and tax breaks,” Baltimore Ravens center Matt Birk is
seen saying in a video opposing Maryland's gay marriage law. “We
don't need to redefine marriage.”
Kluwe responded that marriage has
previously been redefined to accommodate society.
Societies “redefine it according to
what the social mores are at the time,” he said. “We're not
redefining marriage to take away someone's rights. We're redefining
marriage to give someone rights. It's about freedom.”
An actor read a statement attributed to
Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann, a strong opponent of gay marriage,
saying that legal marriage for gay couples would result in “all
schools teaching homosexuality” to children.
“I would say that that is a flat out
falsehood,” Kluwe responded. “What we'll be teaching our
children is tolerance. We'll be teaching our children that it is
okay to be who you are.”
Kluwe debated the statements of
opponents for about 90 minutes.