Conservatives Silent on Elected Official’s Attempts to Censure Pro-Gay-Marriage Views

At overlawyered.com, Walter Olson notes that conservatives who denounced the Boston and Chicago mayors (and a Chicago alderman) for menacing Chick-Fil-A over its president’s anti-gay-marriage views (and related donations to anti-gay groups) were silent when Emmitt Burns, a Delegate to the Maryland General Assembly (D-Baltimore) and an opponent of same-sex marriage, similarly abused his government office by firing off a letter to the owner of the Baltimore Ravens on legislative stationery demanding that he silence linebacker Brendon Ayanbadejo from speaking out in favor of marriage equality. That is to say, no conservatives organized a “Ravens Appreciation Day” to defend free-speech rights against what, in the case of Chick-fil-A, social right pundit Mike Huckabee termed intolerant bigotry.

12 Comments for “Conservatives Silent on Elected Official’s Attempts to Censure Pro-Gay-Marriage Views”

  1. posted by Anti-SSM Politician Asks Boss To Order Pro-SSM Employee To Shut Up « Family Scholars on

    [...] I don’t know. But I can say for sure that NOMBlog — which posted countless times on the Chick-Fil-A mess, often several times a day — has yet to post about Burns’ attack on Ayanbadejo’s free speech rights. [...]

  2. posted by Tom Scharbach on

    The mayors were criticized by civil libertarians on both the right and the left. Few, if any, voices defended the mayors, and those that did were wrong. The criticism was deserved and apt.

    The “outrage” among social conservatives, however, was invented by Huckabee, Perkins, Fischer and the rest of the hard-core anti-equality gang in order to whip up the base, raise money, and score points to advance the anti-equality cause. Stupidity was trumped up to a full-scale assault on religious freedom, hyped into crisis mode, and used — rather shamelessly, I think — as a political hammer to pound on gays and lesbians.

    Because the “outrage” was as phony as silicone tits — its origins had nothing to do with concern for civil liberties — it isn’t surprising that the gang has nothing to say about Emmitt Burns.

  3. posted by Don on

    This is why I dislike the “outrage game” because it is simply a game. There are many, many deplorable things said by rather high ranking officials and party operatives that are ignored because the other side gains no leverage by attacking it. Bill Donohoe comes to mind. Horrible things. But neither side wants to “attack the Catholic Church.”

  4. posted by Houndentenor on

    Thanks, Don. At some point all sides need to negotiate a cease fire on the outrage game. All it does is offer free publicity to people who don’t have anything substantive to contribute to the discussion of serious issues. Someone is always saying something stupid. If we responded to all of them, there wouldn’t be time to do anything else. I can’t fault people for ignoring or just not paying attention to every minor outrageous thing some moron or other just said. Someone calling for something to be banned or someone to be fired doesn’t cause the banning or firing to happen. Call me when something has happened besides some idiot mouthing off.

  5. posted by Regan DuCasse on

    There have to be very specific distinctions made as to respective motives. The anti equality are usually in distinctive positions of power, yet complain as if they are not.
    They complain and conjecture that they are silenced, when they are not.
    The anti equality conflate their actions with being the line between order, and chaos and utter destruction.
    When in fact, pro equality have no intentions of doing anything destructive, nor have they.
    There is a difference between PERCEPTION of injustice, and actual injustice and it cannot be made clear enough who has actually been the casualties of it, rather than those committing it.
    And the anti gay and their hyperbole should be exposed exactly for what it is.
    What has been very cruel, is how indifferent they are to real tragedies and will take the gravity out of them to their own purpose.
    The Oak Creek Sikh temple and the Aurora, CO theater shootings were horrific tragedies.
    The ATTEMPT at the FRC headquarters, is hardly that in comparison.
    The perpetrator of that incident was arrested and will face accountability.
    But you’d think that the FRC situation was so horrible, and utterly UNPROVOKED, according to Tony Perkins.
    You’d think that the responses of gays and their supporters to anti gay homicides, teen suicides, military discharges and discrimination and school bullying was unjustified and a matter of having a tantrum, rather than being in real pain and grief.
    The lack of response to Emmet Burns’s gov’t overreach of his powers is exactly the same indifference.
    The attitude is HIS actions are justified, anything that occurs to harm gay people is.
    Yet, ANY challenge to theocratic or anti gay punishments and injustice is not.
    A double standard, to be sure.
    The difference between an action and a reaction.

  6. posted by Michael on

    Please never forget – Huckabee, Perkins, Fischer et. al., make a very good living being anti- gay. The longer this goes on, the more money they make. Besides, what goes on in their minds when they are constantly focused on gay sex.

  7. posted by Jorge on

    The “outrage” among social conservatives, however, was invented by Huckabee, Perkins, Fischer and the rest of the hard-core anti-equality gang in order to whip up the base, raise money, and score points to advance the anti-equality cause.

    …………

    Are you trying to suggest that there is no such thing as a conservative?

    Because that’s pretty much what you are suggesting when you say that right-leaning people (it was *not* just social conservatives) wouldn’t be outraged without a handful of very famous people to tell them to be outraged. I was very put off by the elected officials’ arrogance, and I’m no conservative.

    By the way, the comparison between the two is amusing and valid up to a certain point. Tom crosses it.

    Chick Fil-A had at least three mayors telling them they’re not welcome in their city, plus a letter by the New York City Council Speaker to the same effect, within a week. It was very difficult to miss. This deal with the Maryland delegate is an isolated incident, and such an isolated incident that it’s highly likely anyone who isn’t bitten by the “I’m obsessed with GAY NEWS!” bug would have missed it. So to call the Chick Fil-A deal fake outrage on the basis of the right’s non-reaction to an isolated non-story is a little much.

    • posted by Tom Scharbach on

      Oh come on, Jorge. You really think that the “Chik-Fil-A Appreciation Day” eat-ins were spontaneous?

      Maybe in whatever state (or state of mind) you live in, they were. But in Wisconsin, which has one Chik-Fil-A in the southeast corner of the state, Wisconsin Family Action (the Wisconsin version of NOM/FRC/AFA) organized the event, right down to car pools from around the state. The “outrage” was trumped up from top to bottom, and had nothing to do with civil liberties.

      By the way, the comparison between the two is amusing and valid up to a certain point. Tom crosses it.

      I agree that the comparison is loose.

      The Chik-Fil-A spouting was, as Forbes characterized it, “political blathering”” in a vacuum. Trash talk. None of the cities involved had a Chik-Fil-A, nor were any plans to open one in those cities at stake. The mayor’s remarks were stupid, out-of-line and deserved the universal criticism they received.

      Emmit Burns’ letter was different in kind and nature, as you point out. But I think you have it backwards.

      Burns is a member of the state’s Economic Matters committee – and its Business Regulation subcommittee. He represents Baltimore County in the legislature. The Baltimore Ravens are one of biggest, most influential businesses in Baltimore County. Burns told the Raven’s owner, on official legislature letterhead, that he should take action (using quasi-legal language like “cease and desist” and “injurious actions”) and bluntly demanded, in the final sentence that the owner provide him “an immediate response”. That wasn’t just mouthing off for the political galleries.

      So to call the Chick Fil-A deal fake outrage on the basis of the right’s non-reaction to an isolated non-story is a little much.

      Maybe. It certainly was a non-story to the social conservatives who emerged as “defenders of free speech” in the Chik-Fil-A affair. But at least we got a laugh out of it. Lesson: Don’t mess with a purple punter.

      • posted by Jorge on

        Oh come on, Jorge. You really think that the “Chik-Fil-A Appreciation Day” eat-ins were spontaneous?

        I have seen dozens of attempts by self-appointed leaders (usually from unions) try to drum up support for one zany conspiracy cause or another–and it rarely works on demand except for the most rabid followers. So if Chick Fil-A Appreciation day was a humongous event, it wasn’t because Mike Huckabee and the others are the most manipulative and ingenious snake oil salesmen in the world. It’s because they channelled a pre-existing outrage. This was, if not quite a grass-roots movement, a call to action that facilitated something the people already wanted to do.

        The “outrage” was trumped up from top to bottom, and had nothing to do with civil liberties.

        A group of hyperventilating liberal politicians tried to use the power of the government to punish a company for its CEO’s political statements. I don’t care what fancy label you choose to give that, I don’t care how strenuously you try to hold that it technically isn’t a First Amendment violation. It’s against the spirit of how much we value free speech. I think it’s disgusting. I think those officials should be punished and repudiated. I am glad they were repudiated. I’m only sorry there wasn’t a Chick Fil-A open in my city so I could tell those wannabe tyrants they do not act in my name.

        Trash talk. None of the cities involved had a Chik-Fil-A, nor were any plans to open one in those cities at stake.

        That is flat out false on multiple counts. A Chicago alderman indicated he would deny a request by Chick Fil-A to open a store in his district. He had previously been in communication with Chick Fil-A. As I posted previously on this site (in the Bad Religion topic), that’s in the July 25 edition in the Chicago Tribune. The New York City Council Speaker wrote a letter to New York University on official letterhead asking them to evict the Chick Fil-A on their campus. You can read about that on a July 28 towleroad.com posting. Please reconsider your position in light of your inaccurate understanding of the situation. When people make a strong show of support in favor of the Chick Fil-A’s in their neighborhood, they are telling their elected officials that they are drawing a line.

        • posted by Jorge on

          In light of the embassy attacks, especially in the case of Cairo, which appear to have been set off by one anti-Islam video

          I’m rethinking my opinion on this one. The state of anti-Americanism in the Middle East isn’t a natural occurrence. It is something that is fed by propaganda.

          There are certain longstanding narratives in this country which have been set and which feed themselves. One such narrative is at play here. So that it doesn’t take a very big spark to ignite something.

          I believe those narratives reflect the silent majority’s view of reality. But there is considerable evidence of “pull” by various influences.

          • posted by Houndentenor on

            There seems to be some question as to whether an actual “film” exists. There are reports of “actors” who were hired to do a scene without seeing the rest of the script who are obviously overdubbed in the online clips that have been seen. Stay tuned for further developments.

            It seems that there are people both here and in the middle east who want to stir up anti-whatever passions for their own twisted purposes. That stirring is not in the interest of either the US or the countries in the middle east.

    • posted by Houndentenor on

      Some social conservative group or another calls for a boycott of some retain chain or other at least once a week lately. I can also remember threats by members of the Texas state legislature to block companies with nondiscrimination policies from moving into the Austin area. They don’t mind these tactics being employed on their own behalf. They just object when they are used against them.

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