Minnesota athletes speak out against marriage amendment

This week, two prominent athletes in Minnesota have spoken out against the proposed constitutional amendment in Minnesota that would permanently limit the freedom to marry. Out WNBA star Seimone Augustus and Minnesota Vikings punter Chris Kluwe have each lent some of their spotlight to opposing the amendment in their state.  

This summer, Seimone Augustus competed in the London Olympics on the USA basketball team, and she spoke often about her fianceé LaTaya Varner. This week, she spoke with the Associated Press about her personal connection to the proposed amendment in Minnesota, explaining that she'd love to marry her fiancée in the state where she lives. She also talked about why she came out, saying:

I felt like it was the perfect time for me, being on a platform where I can make a change with my voice and my situation - maybe inspire someone else to come out and be comfortable with themselves. Or maybe someone else's parents will see my parents saying that it's OK to be with your child and love your child unconditionally regardless of your sexual preference.

She also explained her opposition to the amendment, wondering why the amendment's supporters couldn't recognize her happiness as equal to the happiness that different-sex married couples share. She said:

I just never understood why someone else's love life and who they love and who they choose to be with affects so many other people's lives ... I never understood the whole point of opposing or hating someone else's happiness. 

Football player Chris Kluwe has also been working on marriage this week. Yesterday, Minnesotans United for All Families, the coalition working to defeat the amendment, released a new video featuring Kluwe, the punter for the Minnesota Vikings. Kluwe has spoken out against the amendment in Minnesota - and in favor of the freedom to marry for same-sex couples - for several months. This summer and fall, he's grabbed headlines with his outspoken support for marriage between same-sex couples and his advocacy of greater tolerance and inclusion of LGBT people in sports. 

In the video, he says: 

If you're telling someone how to live their life, you wouldn't want someone telling you how to live your life. You're not treating others the way you'd want to be treated, and to me, that's wrong. To me, marriage means two people who love each other and want to spend the rest of their lives with each other. Our government's responsibility is to give us a framework in which we can form a society and then be free to act within that society - it's not the government's job to tell us what to do. That's not what America was founded on, that's not what America stands for. 

Freedom to Marry applauds these athletes for their support of the freedom to marry and for their bravery in speaking out about their personal lives and their perspectives on why marriage matters to same-sex couples for similar reasons that it matters to different-sex couples.

This week, Minnesotans United for All Families is running a matching donation campaign, so every dollar you give this week can be doubled! CLICK HERE to donate to Minnesotans United and speak out against writing discrimination into the state's constitution. 

Watch the video of Kluwe below, share the graphic of Augustus and Varner, and read more about the freedom to marry in Minnesota HERE.