Pro-equality pro football players Brendon Ayanbadejo and Chris Kluwe are doing victory dances (figuratively, at least) over Tuesday’s votes on marriage equality.
“I’m so stoked. It’s like I woke up and it’s Christmas,” Baltimore Ravens linebacker Ayanbadejo told the Associated Press Wednesday, a day after Marylanders voted to affirm the marriage equality law that had been passed by the legislature earlier this year. With Tuesday’s victories in Maryland, Maine, and Washington State, nine states and the District of Columbia now offer same-sex couples the right to marry legally.
Marriage equality is “something I’ve been passionate about a long time,” Ayanbadejo told the AP. “Even though it doesn’t affect me directly, it affects a lot of my friends. It affects my family. It affects Ravens fans. It affects Marylanders. I’ve worked very hard on it; I’m especially proud of the Marylanders who went out and voted and made a difference.” He added, “It shouldn’t have been up to other people to decide other people’s fate as far as who they can marry. But we’re progressing, so I’m happy about that.”
Minnesota Vikings punter Kluwe agreed that minority rights shouldn’t be subject to a majority vote, but he was happy that a majority of Minnesotans voted against amending the state’s constitution to ban same-sex marriage. The state already has a statutory ban, but constitutional bans are more difficult to overcome.
Kluwe, calling in this morning to Stephanie Miller’s talk show, praised voters in his state for standing up for equality and also lauded the election of Tammy Baldwin from neighboring Wisconsin as the first openly gay U.S. senator. “There’s still work to be done, but this is a very heartening first step,” he said. Anti-equality amendments in other states still need to be repealed, he said, including California’s Proposition 8, which could be struck down by the U.S. Supreme Court. Watch the segment below.