Minnesota Vikings punter Chris Kluwe will join me in studio for the entire 1:00 hour! Sure, we could take the entire hour (and then some) to talk football, his band Tripping Icarus or his obsession with online games. Instead we're going to discuss a subject that's hardly been broached over the past decade: same-sex marriage (yes, of course I'm being facetious).
Kluwe caused a stir in September when leaping to the defense of Baltimore Ravens player Brendon Ayanbadejo, who had spoken out in favor of Maryland legislation looking to legalize gay marriage. In response, Maryland state delegate Emmett C. Burns, Jr. requested that Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti "inhibit such expressions" from Ayanbadejo. This resulted in Kluwe going nuclear on Burns in an open letter he posted to the site Deadspin (WARNING: This linked post contains very strong language).
The whole saga which lead to Kluwe eventually agreeing to appear on my radio program started with this tweet last Thursday:
Every time they say "same-sex marriage" in this piece, mentally replace it with "desegregation". youtube.com/watch?v=YqO9_I…
— Chris Kluwe (@ChrisWarcraft)
I then responded with this:
.@chriswarcraft Desegregation? You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.
— Brad Carlson (@Brad_Carlson)
Mr. Kluwe obviously understood my movie reference and thus responded in kind with his own quote from The Princess Bride.
@brad_carlson You wish to make a wager with a Sicilian when death is on the line? Best of luck to you sir.
— Chris Kluwe (@ChrisWarcraft)
From there, a Twitter follower of Kluwe's suggested that he had found his debate partner. For some time, local radio personality Tom Barnard had been trying to arrange a debate between Kluwe and former Viking (and current Raven) Matt Birk, who has spoken out in favor of the MN Marriage Amendment. I haven't heard if Birk had ever officially responded, but he would have been available this week since the Ravens are on a bye. While I don't have a Harvard degree like Birk, I have some very strong opinions on my support of the MN Marriage Amendment, so I invited Kluwe to appear on Sunday's program for a discussion on the issue. And since the Vikings will be off that day, the timing couldn't be better given the fact Minnesotans vote on the marriage amendment in a week-and-a-half. Upon receiving my invitation, Kluwe sent me his personal email address via Twitter direct message. We corresponded over a few days and then earlier this week confirmed the booking!
Given that Kluwe is a very intelligent and passionate individual, it's possible I could be setting myself up to get verbally hammered (After all, the guy did ace the verbal section on his SAT in the late '90s). However, I've gotten to the point where I'm fed up with the fact that there's rarely any nuance assigned to the same-sex marriage debate. Either you get on board and accept gay marriage or you're nothing more than a freedom-stealing bigot. I'm merely inviting Mr. Kluwe in to convey that I am not in any way trying to inhibit the homosexual lifestyle nor am I concerned that my marriage will be adversely impacted. And since Kluwe has become such a high profile advocate for gay marriage, it's quite possible that his promoting Sunday's guest appearance will bring along a lot of his supporters. That in turn will allow me to hold a nuanced discussion while many of Kluwe's fellow advocates are listening in.
I don't expect to change anyone's mind on the issue. However, I at least want to state my case why a "yes" vote on the MN Marriage Amendment doesn't necessarily equate to homophobia.