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Maryland Politics
Posted at 08:30 AM ET, 09/12/2012

Baltimore Ravens linebacker says he hasn’t been silenced on same-sex marriage


New York Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez is tackled by Baltimore Ravens linebacker Brendon Ayanbadejo (51) during a game last year. (Patrick Semansky — Associated Press)
Baltimore Ravens football player Brendon Ayanbadejo is seeking to convert a recent attempt to silence him on same-sex marriage into more support for the cause.

In an e-mail Wednesday morning, the linebacker asks advocates of legalizing gay nuptials in Maryland to share a post on Facebook supporting him.

“You’ve probably heard that recently a Maryland state delegate sent a letter to my team’s owner asking him to silence me in my support of marriage equality,” Ayanbadejo says in the e-mail, referring to a letter written by Del. Emmett C. Burns Jr. (D-Baltimore County).

“Well guess what? I was not silenced,”Ayanbadejo says. “In fact, what happened instead was pretty amazing — thousands of people joined me and spoke out in support of marriage equality. I even received messages from Steelers fans! Instead of being silenced, my team and my league stood with me in support. And what’s more, the press went wild.”

The e-mail also solicits donations and volunteers for Marylanders for Marriage Equality, the group leading the campaign to uphold the state’s new same-sex marriage law on the November ballot.

The law, which was successfully petitioned to the ballot by opponents, will appear in November as Question 6.

In his letter this month, Burns took issue with Ayanbadejo’s outspoken support for same-sex marriage, asking that the Ravens “inhibit such expressions from your employee and that he be ordered to cease and desist such injurious actions.”

In an interview over the weekend with The Baltimore Sun, Burns appeared to backtrack, saying of Ayanbadejo: “Upon reflection, he has his First Amendment rights.”

By  |  08:30 AM ET, 09/12/2012

 
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