Minnesota Vikings punter Chris Kluwe has been announced as the Grand Marshal for the 41st annual Twin Cities PRIDE celebration. Nominated by Carol Stoddart of the American Civil Liberties Union of Minnesota, and many others, Kluwe has proven his dedication to GLBT rights by breaking down barriers in the Twin Cities and beyond, opening the door for discussion about GLBT issues in athletics, and remaining a steadfast supporter of gay marriage. "It has been incredibly inspiring to see Chris take such a solid and outspoken stance for gay marriage and GLBT support," says Twin Cities PRIDE Executive Director Dot Belstler. "His voice has provided hope, encouragement and excitement to a huge population of supporters in our community, and it is my honor to have him as a part of our celebration." Launched into the national spotlight for his sharp-tongued letter to Maryland state delegate Emmett C. Burns Jr., Kluwe has become an unofficial spokesperson for gay rights. He says: To me, it's not about being an athlete speaking out about gay marriage or equality. It's about being a human being saying 'It's not acceptable that this huge population of individuals have any less rights than me because they are gay.' I am proud to stand with Twin Cities PRIDE as an Ally with PRIDE! Kluwe has given his voice to the organization's I HAVE PRIDE video campaign, and will participate in the Grand Marshal Reception on Friday, June 21st at the Aloft Minneapolis, as well as lead the Ashley Rukes GLBT Pride Parade on Sunday, June 30th. He will also be releasing his first book, Beautifully Unique Sparkleponies, immediately preceding the Twin Cities PRIDE festival. Additional information on the book can be found at

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