Brendon Ayanbadejo, a football player for the Baltimore Ravens, has been outspoken in support of marriage equality. Maryland state Delegate Emmett Burns, a Reverend and a Democrat, wrote to Ayanbadejo’s boss (Ravens owner Steven Disciotti) on government letterhead (emphasis mine):
I find it inconceivable that one of your players, Mr. Brendon Ayanbadejo would publicly endorse Same-Sex marriage, specifically as a Raven Football player. Many of my constituents and your football supporters are appalled and aghast that a member of the Ravens Football Team would step into this controversial divide and try to sway public opinion one way or the other.
Many of your fans are opposed to such a view and feel it has no place in a sport that is strictly for pride, entertainment and excitement. I believe Mr. Ayanbadejo should concentrate on football and steer clear of dividing the fan base.
I am requesting that you take the necessary action, as a National Football League Owner, to inhibit such expressions from your employees and that he be ordered to cease and desist such injurious actions. I know of no other NFL player who has done what Mr. Ayanbadejo is doing.
Please give me your immediate response.
I hope I don’t need to explain why this is appalling behavior. (I should note that after massive criticism from liberals and democrats, Burns backed down. Reminds me of that other Reverend who boldly announced his opposition to Obama because of Obama’s pro-SSM stance, and then backed down a week later. Oh, wait, that was the same dude.)
When a similar situation happened earlier this year, many pro-SSM bloggers (including some big names, like Andrew Sullivan) spoke up to defend Chick-Fil-A’s free speech rights, as did major pro-SSM organizations like the ACLU. Have any major anti-SSM bloggers or organizations spoken up to defend Brendon Ayanbadejo’s free speech?
I don’t know. But I can say for sure that NOMBlog — which posted countless times on the Chick-Fil-A mess, often several times a day — has yet to post about Burns’ attack on Ayanbadejo’s free speech rights.
(Postscript: While looking – unsuccessfully – for examples of NOM standing up for free speech of people they don’t agree with, I came across this video of Brian Brown passionately arguing that it’s wrong to describe this FRC statement as “spewing hate”: “One of the primary goals of the homosexual rights movement is to abolish all age of consent laws and to eventually recognize pedophiles as the ‘prophets’ of a new sexual order.”
Brown shouldn’t have trouble unambiguously condemning a statement like that; and that he does have trouble suggests that his moral balance is seriously skewed. Things like that are why so many people consider NOM an anti-gay group, rather than an anti-SSM group.)