Maryland legislator who tried to silence NFL star Brendon Ayanbadejo on gay marriage violated ethics

Emmett C. Burns used official letterhead in complaint to Baltimore Ravens

Maryland legislator who tried to silence NFL star Brendon Ayanbadejo on gay marriage violated ethics
07 February 2013

It was back in September that Maryland Assembly Delegate Emmett C. Burns Jr. decided to write a letter to the owner of the Baltimore Ravens because he was displeased that linebacker Brendon Ayanbadejo has made public statements in support of same sex marriage.

Burns requested that owner Steve Bisciotti ‘take necessary actions’ and ‘inhibit such expressions’ by his player.

The letter backfired.

It not only was rejected by the team ownership which stood by Ayanbadejo but it also led to a withering letter from Minnesota Vikings punter Chris Kluwe that went viral. The letter, among many stinging and highly-articulate insults, assured Burns that gay marriage would not turn him into a ‘lustful cockmonster.’

Now, another indignity for Burns.

A Maryland legislative ethics committee has found that Burns committed a ‘particularly egregious abuse of public resources’ because his letter was written on official General Assembly letterhead.

‘Your use of official General Assembly letterhead to pressure the employer of a citizen of Maryland to suppress the citizen’s right of free speech was a particularly egregious abuse of public resources,’ the Joint Committee on Legislative Ethics stated in a letter made public this week.

But Burns will not face any disciplinary action since he has apologized for his actions.

Meanwhile, the Ravens went on to win the Super Bowl and Ayanbadejo has used that success to push harder for marriage equality and to end homophobia in pro sports.



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