Lobbyist Trying To Ban Gays from the NFL Loses Client

At least one client says it’s severing ties over his anti-gay stance

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L.G. Patterson / AP

Missouri's All-American defensive end Michael Sam acknowledges fans during the Cotton Bowl trophy presentation at halftime of an NCAA college basketball game between Missouri and Tennessee, Saturday, Feb. 15, 2014, in Columbia, Mo. Sam came out to the entire country Sunday, Feb. 9, and could become the first openly gay player in the NFL.

Jack Burkman, the Washington lobbyist who announced Monday that he’ll push for a bill to ban gays from playing in the National Football League because “we are losing our decency as a nation,” has lost one of his paying clients because of the effort.

DC Solar Solution, a California company that paid him $30,000 in the fourth quarter of 2013, told TIME Tuesday it was severing ties. “DC solar does not condone or support Mr. Burkman’s homophobic views, and since learning about his misguided efforts to write legislation banning gay athletes from the NFL, we have ended our relationship with him,” wrote DC Solar executives Jeffery Carpoff and Paulette Carpoff in a statement. “DC Solar values diversity within our company and within out communities, and we do not tolerate discrimination of any sort. As a company working to address issues about our country’s future, we have no intention of working with those stuck in the past.”

In the face of the business hit, Burkman said he would not backdown from his quest to keep gay men out of professional football. “I have always done what I think is right for the country,” he tells TIME. “This is not about any form of discrimination. It is not about putting a straight man ahead of a gay man or a gay man ahead of a straight man. It is about re-enforcing and protecting American values of decency and civility. Should NFL players shower with NFL cheerleaders? Certainly not. Given this, why should straight NFL players shower with gay NFL players?”

The Hill newspaper noted that Burkman was the top lobbyist last year for bringing in new business, raking up 70 new clients mostly in the renewable energy sector like DC Solar. Of the dozens of clients contacted by TIME, two said they are aware of Burkman’s push to ban gays from the NFL and it does not impact their business negatively or positively. “I’m am aware of that. I have no reaction whatsoever,” says Mien Tran, owner, CEO of Belvina Inc., a private company in Austin, Tex., which paid Burkman $35,000 in lobbying fees in 2013. One, the self-described owner of Tiger Services, a “family owned” building contracting firm in Anaheim, Ca., refused to give his name and declared himself a proud patriot who doesn’t speak to the media and hung up.

Several others expressed concerns and said they were mulling over a change in their lobbying work. “There are likely other contractors that we have used, and legislators for that matter, who agree with Mr. Burkman’s opinions and many others who would find him to be a tasteless, self-promoting, hatemonger,” says Richard C. Duke, Ph.D., founder and acting CEO of ApopLogic, a company working to cure lung cancer, which paid Burkman upwards of $20,000 in 2013. “I ran his name past the senior staff of [Colorado] Senators [Michael] Bennet and [Mark] Udall and they had really not heard of him. Perhaps they have heard of him now. I hope they have better things to focus on.”

Burkman says he decided to push the legislation after Missouri Tigers defensive end Michael Sam came out earlier this month. If he is drafted in April, he will become the league’s first openly gay player. Sam responded to Burkman Tuesday on twitter: “Jack Burkman is going to need a Delorian [sic], not some bogus bill, if he wants to prevent gay athletes from being in the locker room,” a reference to the movie “Back to the Future.”

This isn’t Burkman’s first anti-gay foray. On his website he has links to his radio show where he encourages families to yank their children out of the Boy Scouts after that group decided to allow gay scouts, but not gay scout leaders. He claims to have at least 36 House members and five Senators interested in the NFL legislation. Lobbyists cannot introduce bills, and Burkman has not yet identified a member of Congress that will. Given the fact that Democrats control the Senate, there is little chance that the bill passes even if it is introduced, and it would face an almost certain veto from President Obama.

Meanwhile, Burkman’s biggest critic is his openly gay brother, Seattle anesthesiologist Dr. James Burkman, who tweeted Tuesday at his brother: “Having your head up your ass seems quite gay to me. No?”

21 comments
mary.waterton
mary.waterton

The NFL will change it's tune when it starts losing viewers and $$$. After all, who wants to listen to a lot of homosexual crap during a game? Nobody, except maybe homosexuals and news journalists.

herrer
herrer

Um you can't tell the NFL what types of players they can or can not have cause they are a private organization.  

Jason12
Jason12

Jack Burkman will be meeting Lucifer after he dies, along with most evangelicals, just like Jerry Falwell is doing right now. Sad thing is, I don't think Lucifer did anything to deserve this. 

Kugelmum
Kugelmum

Jack Burkman, All the airlines stewards should have a picture of you and refuse you service on the plane.  You are an awful human being.  We have to pass a law against bigots. They are crawling around everywhere.

georgeolds
georgeolds

OMG, a corporation with a conscience!


WHO'DA THUNK IT?

Jean-Luc_Turbo
Jean-Luc_Turbo

He sure thinks about guys showering together a lot...

...forgetting that gays and straights have been showering together for gazillions of years.

Boone41
Boone41

Anyone who spends this kind of time hating deserves pity more than disdain.  It is hypercritical, however, for the word 'decent' to come from his lips.

outsider
outsider

It is disgusting to write laws enforcing prejudices. I hope all his clients leave him

IceToes
IceToes

I am very pleased by the action of the company. It would be a bit hypocritical to employ someone to advocate on behalf of your company if they are also blatantly and publicly not in line with how you want to be viewed. The guy is obviously a successful lobbyist, but I hope the other clients who disagree with his actions follow suit.

mantisdragon91
mantisdragon91

Curiously this same Lobbyist was among the clients of the DC Madam. So to summarize his position. Prostitution good, Gays bad.

MrObvious
MrObvious

See what happens when you turn on the light? The C@ckroaches all rung away.

Hollywooddeed
Hollywooddeed

So we should care about Burkman's "decency" utopia? What are you so afraid of, big boy?

rpearlston
rpearlston

I don't care who this idiot is or who he thinks he is, but if this is his agenda, then the only response is for everyone to ban him for life.

fhmadvocat
fhmadvocat

As a straight male, who actually shared a locker room with one gay male, where we were in a swimming class as the only men in the locker room, I can say from personal experience that Jack Burkeman is off base.  Even though I did not learn that the other person was gay until after we started sharing the locker room, it made no difference to me.  It did not matter that we saw each other taking off our swim suits or where in a large shower room.  I was never concerned that he would look at me and I probably was not his type to begin with.


Get over it Jack.  Gay men have been showering with other men since junior high/middle school.  They have seen other men and I am sure they will act accordingly.  Yes, you may have a few perverts, but there are a lot more straight perverts looking in the girls' shower.  As far as a woman looking at guys in the shower, she would be invited in!

DeweySayenoff
DeweySayenoff

@Hollywooddeed

The truth is that a significant number of people who were born gay are raised in environments where they are filled with self-loathing that manifests as rabid anti-gay actions.  There's a list of hundreds of "anti-gay" crusaders who were caught in gay relationships or having gay sex.

Then you have the psychological aspect of dogmatic, close-minded thinking people such as those who not only don't embrace good ideas regardless of source, but will actively undermine those ideas simply BECAUSE of their source.  They are clinically delusional.  They don't "believe" in facts because they have more "belief" in myths, hype, or propaganda and the facts that undermine or disprove their "beliefs" don't fit into their self-imposed reality.  Rightist politicians are much like this.  If you look at the face and reaction of Karl Rove when Fox announced Obama had won for an EXCELLENT example of reality colliding with delusion (because they believed their own propaganda), you'll understand what I mean there.  Most of the folks who do this today do this strictly for the power given to them by the lowest 25% of Americans in intelligence.  They are the most gullible and easy to fool people, after all, and it's simpler to spew hate and intolerance than acceptance because people will tell more people about things they hate than things they like.

Finally, you have what I call CINO's.  Christians In Name Only.  These are folks who embrace the rationalizations for supporting their hatreds that can easily be found in the Bible, but believe in, and practice, nothing of what's found in the New Testament - upon which all of Christianity is actually based.  After all, Christians wouldn't be going around passing laws that allow them to DISCRIMINATE.  It's the antithesis of Christian teaching.  Only because a bunch of self-interested scam-artists cherry-picked out parts of the Torah to give some semblance of religious authority to their new scam and failed to emphasize that Jesus basically said, "Ignore the stuff that came before and only do as I say", does the "old testament" exist as a reference for ANYTHING in Christianity. (Except, basically, that God of the old testament has the temperament and maturity of an ADD-ladended five year old.)

So we're dealing with either a bunch of repressed, self-hating gay folks, self-righteous, willfully ignorant, delusional bigots or "religious" people who don't even know what their religion is really all about.

This pretty much explains all of the crap they pull, and the rhetoric makes it hard to tell them apart (many of them are all three).

tommyudo
tommyudo

@fhmadvocat  


Burkman probably can care less about gays and the NFL. This is a cynical and pathetic PR stunt of his that is going horriblly wrong. Right Wingers make fools of themselves on a minute by minute basis. It's hard to keep up with these dolts.