Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Ravens Player Brendon Ayanbadejo Doubles Down on Marriage Equality // PLUS: Bush Campaign Manager Calls It "Freedom"

PRO-MARRIAGE EQUALITY NFL PLAYER DOUBLES DOWN: Baltimore Ravens linebacker Brendon Ayanbadejo was at the center of a media firestorm in Maryland last week, after Delegate Emmett Burns Jr. tried to get the Ravens to censor the NFL player's marriage equality support. Burns, a Baltimore area Democratic lawmaker and self-proclaimed Ravens fan, sent a letter to the team's owner asking him to muzzle Ayanbadejo, but the team instead stood by Ayanbadejo's free speech rights.

Now the Ravens linebacker is doubling down on his support for marriage equality with the following email message sent through the Marylanders for Marriage Equality list. Ayanbadejo is one of a long line of spokespeople pushing a Vote FOR Question 6 this November:


Monday night was a great way to kick-off the season in front of the national audience!

And even though I'm excited that we started the season off with a win, moving us closer to winning the Superbowl, 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!

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. Well guess what? I was not silenced. 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.

This is just the beginning.  This is about freedom of speech and equality for all. We have an opportunity now to stand up and speak out. We have to have the resources to fight back and win marriage equality.

Will you join me and stand for marriage equality by sharing this post on Facebook now?

This is our moment -- let's take it. We are Marylanders and we move forward together.

Thank you,

Brendon Ayanbadejo

P.S. Stay tuned for an exciting update about an upcoming event.

FORMER RNC CHAIR & BUSH CAMPAIGN MANAGER STUMPS FOR MARYLAND MARRIAGE EQUALITY: Meanwhile, pro-civil rights Republicans are becoming more active in their support for LGBT rights in Maryland. The Washington Blade today published an interview with former Republican Party Chair and George W. Bush campaign manager Ken Mehlman (excerpt below):
WASHINGTON BLADE: Former Republican National Committee Chair Ken Mehlman stressed on Monday that the fight to defend Maryland’s same-sex marriage law is personal.

“Having grown up in Baltimore and with family still living there and in Bethesda, I am pleased to support the effort to permit civil marriage in Maryland,” he told the Blade. “This proposal enhances freedom and encourages fairness, while also safeguarding religious freedom.”

Mehlman, who managed then-President George W. Bush’s 2004 re-election campaign, spoke to the Blade three days before he will co-host a Marylanders for Marriage Equality fundraiser in New York City alongside gay director John Waters, who is also from Baltimore....

MARYLAND MARRIAGE EQUALITY BATTLE RAMPS UP: Maryland Reporter today noted the increasingly heated battle over marriage equality (excerpt below):
MARYLAND REPORTER: Gay rights activists, religious leaders and politicians are gearing up for two months of campaigning on the Maryland referendum to strike down same-sex marriage legislation that passed in March.

Hot off the political conventions in Tampa and Charlotte, volunteers will be staffing nightly phone banks, canvassing door-to-door and finding ways to make same-sex marriage a personal issue for voters.
“This is not something that’s esoteric or theological,” said Maryland Sen. Allan Kittleman, R-Howard, the only Republican senator to support same-sex marriage. “These are real people who are living in our state that are unable to receive the benefit that others have simply because of their sexual orientation....” 
The Human Rights Campaign, the nation’s largest gay-rights lobby, recently spent another $250,000 in Maryland, raising the organization’s total spent on the state’s battle over same-sex marriage to more than $1.6 million....

More on the push for Maryland marriage equality soon!

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