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Minnesota Vikings punter Chris Kluwe wants to debate anti-gay lawmaker

Friday, September 28, 2012
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MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. — Chris Kluwe, the Minnesota Vikings punter whose profanity-laced letter to a Maryland lawmaker in defense of Baltimore Ravens linebacker Brendon Ayanbadejo’s support of same-sex marriage, wants to debate a Minnesota state representative who has expressed anti-gay views.

Kluwe has told City Pages, a Minneapolis-St. Paul alternative weekly, that he’s been in talks with Minnesotans for Equality, an LGBT advocacy leading the campaign to defeat a proposed constitutional ban on same-sex marriage, to organize a debate with Rep. Mary Franson (R-Alexandria, Minn.).

Chris Kluwe (left) and Mary Franson.

Franson recently posted a cry for help on a her Facebook page, claiming she was “under attack by those who oppose traditional marriage.”

“Because I am standing on my principles the leftists who oppose marriage between 1 man and 1 woman are now funneling money to my opponent,” the post continued. “I need YOUR HELP NOW to counter their attacks.”

Franson included embeds of four tweets alongside the message, one of them Kluwe’s.

Kluwe said he was simply “pointing out the fact that it is very hypocritical of her to ask for a return to traditional values, when traditional values say she should have been in the kitchen, and not in office.”

“Traditional values doesn’t just mean what you want it to mean. It can also mean some pretty bad stuff,” said Kluwe, who told City Pages that he’s thinking of extending Franson “an official invitation to see if she wants to do a debate.”

But, he said, he remains skeptical over whether or not Franson would accept.

“I don’t think she will,” he added.

Franson generated headlines around the state after she reportedly declared, “My concerns are that our children in our schools could be taught some liberal agendas because of the marriage amendment. Because in the schools they may be taught … that (same-sex marriage) is normal behavior. I personally do not believe it is.”

Last month, Kluwe made national headlines of his own and earned himself legions of new fans when he wrote an open letter to Maryland Delegate Emmett C. Burns in defense of Ayanbadejo, who has also been an outspoken supporter of marriage equality.

Burns had previously written a letter to the Ravens’ owner demanding that he silence Ayanbadejo’s support for same-sex marriage.

Voters in both Minnesota and Maryland will consider ballot initiatives in November relating to marriage equality.

The Minnesota measure asks voters to approve a constitutional ban on same-sex marriage; the Maryland initiative asks voters to approve or reject the state’s recently passed marriage equality law.

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