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Kluwe Tries To Spark Gay Marriage Talk, Gets 'Empty Chair Debate'

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) -- He's being called the "unlikely spokesperson" for the pro-gay marriage cause.

Minnesota Vikings punter Chris Kluwe continues to put himself front and center in the gay marriage debate.

Following Clint Eastwood's recent "empty chair debate," the football player took the stage Friday night in Minneapolis. Event organizers invited more than 20 pro-amendment supporters, but none of them agreed to attend.

But this didn't stop Kluwe from voicing his side.

"As a punter, I'm generally seen and not heard," he said.

Until now, that is.

The Vikings punter has been making national headlines since his scathing letter to a Maryland politician defending gay marriage was made public.

But Friday's wasn't your typical show headlining downtown Minneapolis' Brave New Workshop. KQRS radio personality Tom Barnard played the role of moderator in the debate.

Kluwe says he reached out to several state politicians, such as Michele Bachmann, and other proponents of the amendment, including former Vikings center Matt Birk.

Brave New Workshop actors traded turns occupying the empty chair, using direct quotes from the "Vote Yes" side.

Kluwe said the event was another attempt to spark conversation.

"It's everyone's duty to speak out if you see a human rights violation occurring," he said.

WCCO-TV reached out to a group that supports the marriage amendment, Minnesota for Marriage, for comment.

Spokesperson Chuck Darrell replied with a message for the punter: "Chris Kluwe, you're no Clint Eastwood."

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