Civil Liberties

The Libertarian Philosophy of the NFL's Latest Gay-Friendly Celebrity

Chris Kluwe's support of gay marriage doesn't necessarily mean support for Obama


I'm not a huge football fan, but I follow the sport enough to know that punters, by and large, are not prone to becoming celebrity athletes.

Minnesota Vikings Punter Chris Kluwe broke that trend in September with two words: "lustful cockmonster." Actually, there were a few more words than that, but those were the two that proved the most memorable (because they are awesome). Kluwe, incensed at a letter by Maryland Delegate Emmett C. Burns Jr. trying to browbeat the Baltimore Ravens into silencing gay-friendly activism from one of its players, wrote a memorable letter of his own. Published in full on Deadspin, it contained wonderful phrases like "narcissistic fromunda stain" and "holy fucking shitballs."

One passage proved to be a real winner: "I can assure you that gay people getting married will have zero effect on your life. They won't come into your house and steal your children. They won't magically turn you into a lustful cockmonster." The last two words went viral, fast (just start typing "lustful" into Google and look at the autocomplete options). He's now selling T-shirts with the words and using the money to support the gay marriage recognition efforts in Minnesota (Minnesota is one of four states with a gay-marriage-related vote next Tuesday).

This week OC Weekly profiled Kluwe (he's a native of Seal Beach) and took a look at the changing attitude of professional sports and athletes toward gays.

Of note is Kluwe's attitude toward politics. Though he's a very vocal advocate of gay marriage, he doesn't see himself as a liberal or progressive:

Though Kluwe is now the spokesman for a liberal cause, he doesn't consider himself a Democrat. He favors neither Barack Obama nor Mitt Romney, and he describes the presidential race as a contest to kiss the ass of the most billionaire donors, rather than the battle of ideas it purports to be. If Kluwe had to label himself, he'd say libertarian, but that doesn't quite sum it up either.

"My ideal world is one in which we don't need a government because people treat one another the way they want to be treated," Kluwe says. "But until we fix human nature, that's probably not going to happen."

On Kluwe's blog at the Pioneer Press, he uses a libertarian argument in an attempt to counter opponents of same-sex marriage recognition:

One argument I see a lot from the Vote Yes perspective is that "government shouldn't tell us how to define marriage." I totally agree with you! Government should not be able to tell religions how to define marriage, but that goes both ways. If you vote Yes on the Minnesota Marriage Amendment, you're using the government to enshrine one definition of marriage for everyone, no matter their beliefs. That's the complete opposite of less government in your life. I'm sure you wouldn't want to pass a constitutional amendment forever defining religion as "solely between a (insert faith here) and God," especially if (insert faith here) isn't the faith you believe in.

As for Kluwe's "until we fix human nature" idealism, I would point out that a government prone to kissing the asses of donors is not likely to provide the assistance he's looking for. Cultural changes (like the support of gay marriage) happen first on a social level. Government always lags behind. Government is not capable of fixing these flaws of human nature – assuming some sort of measurable definition of flaws to begin with – so his idealism shouldn't keep him from embracing the libertarian philosophy more fully.