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Chris Kluwe to Sue Minnesota Vikings for Withholding Results of Investigation into Homophobia Claims

Back in January, the Minnesota Vikings announced it had hired attorneys to lead an investigation into claims by former punter Chris Kluwe, who said in an article published on Deadspin that he was released from the team because of his gay activism.

KluweKluwe also claimed that special teams coordinator Mike Priefer unleashed a homophobic rant in his presence, saying, "We should round up all the gays, send them to an island, and then nuke it until it glows."

At the time, Kluwe said that he would sue the Vikings if the investigation turned up clean. But today Kluwe and his attorneys announced they would be suing the team for refusing to release the results of the recently-completed investigation, Pioneer Press reports:

"After the Vikings were given the investigative materials from Magnuson and Madel, in order to further maintain objectivity and integrity, the team engaged a nationally-prominent law firm -- Littler Mendelson P.C. -- to evaluate employment law matters and provide findings and recommendations to the Vikings," according to the team's Tuesday statement. "Those recommendations are to be provided to the team this week."

Kluwe and Halunen held a press conference Tuesday morning to announce the lawsuit and denounce the team for reneging on what they said was a promise to make the investigation public.

Halunen said he was contacted by Vikings' representatives on Monday and was told they do not intend to make the report available either to Kluwe or to the public.

"At this point we have no choice but to file a lawsuit against the Vikings," Halunen said.

Kluwe told reporters that if the investigation results are released he will reconsider the lawsuit.


Lawyer Wants Summary Judgment in Challenge to South Dakota Gay Marriage Ban: VIDEO

Newville-better-crKSFY reports that late last Thursday night, Minneapolis-based Lawyer Joshua Newville (pictured) filed a request with the state of South Dakota to resolve the state's gay marriage ban in a different way. In lieu of the current lawsuit going to trial, Newville argues that the judge should bypass the trial and declare the marriage ban unconstitutional.

Newville emphasizes both the importance of fast action for families whose fate hangs in the balance, and legal precedence — he points out that: "Of the 22 or 23 cases that have been decided in the last year, the vast majority of them have been decided this way [by a judge]."

The court has 21 days to reply to Newville's request.

For video of Newville's comments, as well as those of South Dakotans, check out the video via KSFY embedded AFTER THE JUMP...

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Minneapolis Mayor, Gay Couple to Set Stage for South Dakota Marriage Challenge

Tomorrow, Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges will marry South Dakota gay couple Nancy Robrahn and Jennie Rosenkranz. Robrahn and Rosenkranz then plan to return to South Dakota and challenge the state's ban on gay marriage, according to Madia Law LLC:

HodgesThe Rapid City couple has been together for 27 years. They have four children and six grandchildren. “We already consider ourselves married; this is a rededication of that marriage,” said Robrahn, 68.

“We are approaching the time when end of life decisions and plans need to be made. There are many federal protections that will become available to us through this Minnesota marriage. We hope to see the day when couples like us don’t have to travel out of South Dakota to marry,” said Robrahn.

Upon returning home, the pair will join two other South Dakota couples and, together, will file a federal class action civil rights lawsuit against South Dakota government officials. The lawsuit, which will soon be filed in United States District Court, will seek to overturn South Dakota’s same-sex marriage ban and to require the state to recognize marriages performed out of state.

RosenkranzAttorney Joshua Newville of Minneapolis-based Madia Law LLC represents all three couples. “These couples show that love and commitment exist in South Dakota just as they exist in Minnesota and beyond. South Dakota has failed to treat all of its citizens with the dignity and respect deserved by all people. With the filing of this lawsuit, we will lead South Dakota down a better path,” said Newville. At 1:00 P.M. on Saturday, April 26, 2014, Mayor Hodges will marry the couple in a private ceremony at the Community of Christ Church in North Minneapolis. The ceremony will be followed by a press conference at 1:30 P.M., where the Mayor will introduce the couple as, “Mrs. and Mrs. Rosenbrahn.”

South Dakota Public Broadcasting's Victoria Wicks, who took the photo above, has an story on SDPB about the couple that was broadcast last month. Listen HERE.


Minneapolis Man Beaten Unconscious After Leaving Gay Bar: VIDEO

Jeremy

A 30-year-old Minneapolis gay man was beaten unconscious early Sunday morning in a brutal attack that left him with a shattered jaw, a severed tongue, and boot-shaped bruises on his body.

BoltJeremy, whose last name was not disclosed by KMSP, was not robbed during the incident, which occurred after he left a gay bar. For that reason, police are exploring the possibility that it was a hate crime.

KMSP reports:

The victim lost teeth and his shattered jaw is now wired shut, and the investigation is complicated because he can't remember what happened after he left the eagleBOLTbar on Washington Avenue South...

"He is very sore, and of course, with his jaw wired shut, it is hard for him to eat," Jason Little told Fox 9 News...

The details of what occurred are few, and much of that is because the victim remembers nothing but a flash or two before he was abandoned in the cold street with a partially severed tongue that doctors at HCMC were able to reattach.

"Unfortunately, we don't have a lot of details right now," Little said. "Hopefully, with the story on the news, we'll get more information if someone saw something -- but of course, there's a lot of violence toward members of the LGBT community, and that's something we're thinking about. Could it be related?"

Police will only say that it's an open investigation and that they are exploring all possibilities, but friends note that Jeremy was not robbed.

Watch KMSP's report, AFTER THE JUMP...

An online fund has been started to raise money for Jeremy's medical bills. Find it here.

Continue reading "Minneapolis Man Beaten Unconscious After Leaving Gay Bar: VIDEO" »


Chris Kluwe Identifies Witnesses in Homophobia Claims Against Vikings Official

Back in January Chris Kluwe wrote a piece on Deadspin accusing the Vikings organization of releasing him for his anti-gay activism and said that he was fired by special-teams coordinator Mike Priefer, a "bigot", who said, very serious, in front of other teammates, "We should round up all the gays, send them to an island, and then nuke it until it glows."

KluweKluwe's accusations prompted an investigation and the former punter and his lawer Clayton Halunen spoke for five hours with investigators on Friday and named two players said to be witnesses to Priefer's remarks, Pioneer Press reports:

In a five-hour meeting Friday with investigators, Halunen said Kluwe identified [kicker Blair] Walsh and long snapper Cullen Loeffler as witnesses to Priefer allegedly making homophobic comments numerous times during the 2012 season in meetings with the punter, kicker and long snapper, and that Pico was told about it after the fact. Halunen noted that Kluwe told investigators he is willing to take a polygraph test.

Walsh issued a statement through the Vikings on Jan. 2 in defense of Priefer. But Halunen said Kluwe retained text messages in which Walsh referenced what Priefer allegedly said, including a text related to Priefer allegedly saying, "We should round up all the gays, send them to an island, and then nuke it until it glows."

"If Walsh is going to lie, this will all be exposed, I'm confident,'' Halunen said. "If Walsh is going to lie, that's his choice. But at the end of the day, we believe this is going to come out. We have evidence. So he made that choice, I guess.''

PrieferWalsh did not specifically say Priefer (right) did not make the remarks but testified to his "integrity and character" in his statement, according to the paper.

Halunen "believes the Vikings will end up contending that what Priefer said was a joke" and Kluwe will likely sue if Walsh Loeffler, and director of player personnel Les Pico lie during the investigation:

Halunen said if Walsh, Loeffler and Pico deny during the investigation having knowledge of Priefer's alleged homophobic remarks, Kluwe would consider legal action due to his client wanting to protect his integrity. Halunen said the three then would be under oath, unlike during the investigation.


Chris Kluwe Joins Anderson Cooper and Chris Hayes to Discuss Vikings Homophobia Claims: VIDEO

Kluwe_anderson

Former NFL punter Chris Kluwe joined CNN's Anderson Cooper and MSNBC's Chris Hayes last night to discuss claims he made last week regarding homophobia at the Minnesota Vikings organization and objections to his gay rights advocacy which eventually led to him being released from the team.

"I made sure that I had witnesses because that's a very easy defamation of character case and it would be pretty easy for him to prevail in a court of law...I am 100% confident in everything I related is how it happened and really encouraged by the fact that the Vikings are taking it seriously and opening an investigation because I think once they talk with people they'll find out what happened."

Anderson noted that the investigation does not have subpoena power so it's up to players to cooperate and asks Kluwe if he thinks players will come forward.

"I'm confident because it's the right thing to do. One thing that I'm going to push for is there must be anonymity for these witnesses because being black-balled in the NFL is a very real possibility and this is not something I'm going to force my friends to submit to..."

Said Kluwe to Hayes about the possibility of an openly gay player coming out sometime soon:

"This doesn't just happen to me. This happens to millions of people across the country. But things are getting better. Progress is being made. At the same time, we can't just be content with the progress that's been made. We have to strive for more progress so that when that player does come out they know that they have support..."

Watch both clips, AFTER THE JUMP...

Kluwe_hayes

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