Baltimore Ravens linebacker Brendon Ayanbadejo has been very vocal about his support for same-sex marriage. The Maryland legislature passed a gay marriage bill, but it is on hold pending a voter referendum in November. Ayanbadejo offered two tickets to the Ravens' season opener to support a fund-raiser for Marylanders for Marriage Equality.
This does not sit well with Maryland state House Delegate Emmett Burns, a church pastor opposed to gay marriage. He ripped the player, but Ayanbadejo is sticking to his guns. Wrote Burns:
Burns sent a letter to Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti saying he found it “inconceivable” that a player would support gay marriage.
“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,” Burns wrote, according to the letter, which was obtained and reported by WBALTV. “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.”
Ayanbedejo is using his Twitter feed to stand up for what he believes in and is not backing down:
- "The fight is not about same-sex marriage or interracial marriage or slavery or equal rights for women. The fight is for equality for all."
- Football is just my job it's not who I am. I am an American before anything. And just like every American I have the right to speak!!!
He then followed up with this:
Burns is a Democrat but is so opposed to gay marriage that he said he no longer supports Barack Obama after the president came out for marriage equality. Bravo to Ayanbadejo for being on the right side of this struggle and for not letting some blowhard politician intimidate him. Both have a right to their opinion on the matter and I hope Marylanders side with the player over the preacher in November.
Hat tip to Tim Curran at SiriusXM's OutQ