Wow. Del. Emmett Burns (D-Baltimore County), an opponent of same-sex marriage, fired off a letter to the owner [PDF] of the Baltimore Ravens on legislative stationery demanding that he silence Brendon Ayanbadejo, an outspoken marriage advocate. Pretty much every conservative commentator in America (properly) denounced the Boston mayor and Chicago alderman for menacing Chick-Fil-A. I hope some of them will speak up against this abuse of government office as well. [NBC Sports Pro Football Talk]
More, Eugene Volokh finds it “a pretty inappropriate thing for a legislator, speaking in a way that stresses his role as legislator, to say to a private employer. There is no express threat of retaliation here, but such letters to private businesspeople — who often have to deal with legislature on various regulatory issues — tend to carry something of an implied threat, especially when they stress the author’s legislative position.” Note also that what Burns is “requesting” in his letter is accompanied by a peremptory demand for an “immediate response.” And update: following an outcry in which the public overwhelmingly took the player’s side, Del. Burns has backed down.