Maryland Politico Emmett Burns Backtracks on NFL Players’ Right to Support Marriage Equality, Cites First Amendment

We’re sure you’ve all read the letter by now–the letter wherein Minnesota Vikings punter Chris Kluwe rips Maryland Democrat Emmett Burns a new one for asking team owners to silence their players. (When a Baltimore Ravens linebacker voiced his support for marriage equality, Burns asked the team to “censure” him. Kluwe’s response–which went viral–was part angry rant, part over-the-top hilarity. See: “they won’t magically turn you into a lustful cockmonster.”)

One of the meatier passages from Kluwe’s letter to Burns (who’s also a Baptist minister): “I find it inconceivable that you are an elected official of Maryland’s state government. 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.”

Not that the letter has any shot in hell at changing Burns’ mind, but still. Sometimes it’s just nice to express yourself. And it is telling–on so many levels–that we now have prominent NFL players voicing support for queer rights.

Anyway, the point of all this is: there’s been such Burns backlash that the politician/pastor has totally pulled an about-face and backtracked on his previous position. From The Advocate: ““Upon reflection, he has his First Amendment rights,” Burns said. “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.”

It’s interesting, Burns’ continued use of the term “the football player” instead of, you know, a name.

And while we’re on the subject, there’s a pretty great blog from a college student in Kansas–Katherine Gwynn–about marriage equality. More specifically, how the term “gay marriage”–arguably the trending term de jour (at least for most major media outlets)–excludes many parts of our community. An excerpt:

“See, when someone says they’re ‘for gay marriage’, I get that they mean marriage equality. I get that they support the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans, and Questioning, or LGBTQ, community. I get they want people to be free to do what they want, legalize love, rainbows on wedding cakes—the whole progressive, beautiful shebang. I know they’re probably someone who either, one, cares about equality for humankind or two, thinks it’s none of their damn business who somebody wants to spend the rest of their life with. Either way, they’re on the right track.

But saying ‘gay marriage’ rather than ‘marriage equality’ excludes and erases the identities of a whole lot of people.” The rest of the blog is here.

Food for thought on your not-quite-rainy Monday.