Chris Kluwe, NFL Punter Out of Los Al High and Marriage Equality Champion, to be Feted in OC

Chris Kluwe, the Minnesota Vikings punter, has been honored in Minneapolis-St. Paul and around the country for being a straight champion for marriage equality. But where's the love where the professional athlete's road to sporting fame began, Orange County, because . . . he . . . uh . . . check that: the Gay and Lesbian Community Services Center of Orange County (The Center OC) is fixing to honor the pride of Los Alamitos High School.

The Center OC says Kluwe will be its 2013 Torchbearer Award recipient, who is the person singled out for making a significant contribution to the LGBT community, at its Indigo Ball scheduled for April 20 at the Lyon Air Museum in Santa Ana.

After Baltimore Ravens linebacker Brendon Ayanbadejo recorded video supporting Marylanders for Marriage Equality last year, Maryland state delegate Emmett C. Burns Jr. sent a disapproving letter to the Ravens owner. That produced a hilarious, enlightening and inspiring open letter to Burns via that you can read in full here:

Your Chris Kluwe OC Weekly Cover Story Extra Credit Reading Assignment

Kluwe's letter caused such a stir, it landed him on the Weekly's Nov. 1, 2012, cover . . .

Chris Kluwe's Game Changer: The Los Al High grad and Minnesota Vikings punter is prying open America's last closet: major-league sports

. . . and won him credit for helping get gay marriage voter initiatives passed around the county . . .

All Things Considered, Chris Kluwe Would Rather Be in His Costa Mesa Hobby Shop

"We are thrilled to honor Chris," says Brian Stoddard, The Center OC chairman, in the 2013 Torchbearer Award announcement. "He has been a remarkable champion for our community and has vigorously championed marriage equality.

"That Chris is an Orange County native and an NFL player gives him a unique opportunity to lead a reasoned discussion on full and inclusive civil right in our community and around the nation," Stoddard continues. "I can't think of anyone who more deserves our 2013 Torchbearer Award."

For ticket information on The Center OC's Indigo Ball, call 714.953.5428.

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