Burns (left) and Ayanbadejo
Maryland Politician Now Supports Right of Footballer To Support Marriage Equality

By Neal Broverman

Originally published on Advocate.com September 10 2012 1:58 PM ET

Responding to a deluge of criticism, Maryland delegate Emmett Burns, Jr. flip-flopped and now says Baltimore Ravens linebacker Brendon Ayanbadejo has a right to support same-sex marriage.

Burns, a Baptist pastor, tried to get Ayanbadejo in trouble for voicing support for marriage equality, writing to team ownership and telling them to make the player shut his trap. When word of that leaked to the press, Minnesota Vikings punter Chris Kluwe wrote a scathing letter to the politician, telling him he was wrong-headed about marriage equality and the U.S. Constitution.

"I find it inconceivable that you are an elected official of Maryland's state government," read part of Kluwe's letter. "Your vitriolic hatred and bigotry make me ashamed and disgusted to think that you are in any way responsible for shaping policy at any level."

Now, Burns says he erred by writing to Ravens management.

“Upon reflection, he has his First Amendment rights,” Burns told the Baltimore Sun. “And I have my First Amendment rights.…Each of us has the right to speak our opinions. The football player and I have a right to speak our minds.”

Read more here.