May 7th, 2008
On April 12, University of Illinois student Steven Velasquez became the recipient of some hater’s violence. While there are two sides to every story, some facts are not in dispute:
Velasquez was walking with friends at 1:00 am. Another young man, Brett Vanasdlen, saw him and made a bigoted remark.
According to Velasquez, he responded, “How ignorant was that?” and kept walking. According to Vanasdlen, Velasquez grabbed him and started screaming, “What did you say” in his face.
In both stories, Vanasdlen threw Velasquez to the ground where he was knocked out, suffered head trauma, and was taken to the hospital. He was released the next day and is fine.
Vanasdlen was arrested and charged with a hate crime. He’s been released until his trial.
It is likely that this will be a very straightforward case. There were witnesses who can make their argument and a judge or jury will either convict or acquit Vanasdlen of assault.
But the story does not stop there.
David Duke, onetime Louisiana legislator and Grand Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan, has a website where like-minded individuals proclaim their beliefs. They rant about the corrupting influence of Jews, how civil rights laws lead to black men raping white women, how European countries need to keep their ethnic identity free from the dilution of immigration, and radical hispanics want to return the Southwest to Mexico. Rev. Ted Pike is a regular writer who specializes in anti-Semitic screeds (he loves Jews in the same way that LaBarbara love gays).
On Duke’s website, Rev. Ted Pike tells a version of the story provided by Vanasdlen’s mother. He claims that Vanasdlen is only being tried because “The police department of Champaign, Illinois is reported to be under pressure from higher authorities to increase its quota of hate crimes convictions.”
Pike encourages his readers to protest Vanasdlen’s arraignment before the facts are presented at trial. And it appears that one of his peers is taking up the cause.
Peter LaBarbera, an anti-gay activist better known for his extensive collection of gay porn and his video-taping of leather and other fetish events, is now meeting the challenge on Duke’s website. In case some of his readers are not also readers of Duke’s racist website, LaBarbera invites them to join the campaigners (LaBarbera downplays the racist and anti-Semitic connection, calling Pike a “pro-family advocate”).
TAKE ACTION: 1) Urge Champaign County, Illinois State’s Attorney Julia Rietz (phone: (217) 384-3733) to drop the government’s one-sided felony “hate crimes” prosecution against 18-year-old student-athlete Brett VanAsdlen — based on the inconsistent and likely exaggerated claims of Steven Velasquez, a homosexual University of Illinois (U of I) student who may have initiated physical contact with VanAsdlen. Already, Brett is being smeared as violent “gay-basher” by Velasquez and pro-homosexual activists in the media. Pray for Brett and his family.
Now it may be that the truth is different than what Velasquez has reported. In fact, a trial might find that he was the instigater and at fault. That’s what the jurisprudence system is set up to do.
But I do know that some – David Duke, Ted Pike, Peter LaBarbera, and those who share their views – have decided that Vanasdlen should not have to account for his actions that night. They believe that good Christian “strapping, clean-cut, All-American looking young man” should be able to send a gay kid with a name like Valasquez to the hospital without question.
I think that attitude is evil.
In this original BTB Investigation, we unveil the tragic story of Kirk Murphy, a four-year-old boy who was treated for “cross-gender disturbance” in 1970 by a young grad student by the name of George Rekers. This story is a stark reminder that there are severe and damaging consequences when therapists try to ensure that boys will be boys.
When we first reported on three American anti-gay activists traveling to Kampala for a three-day conference, we had no idea that it would be the first report of a long string of events leading to a proposal to institute the death penalty for LGBT people. But that is exactly what happened. In this report, we review our collection of more than 500 posts to tell the story of one nation’s embrace of hatred toward gay people. This report will be updated continuously as events continue to unfold. Check here for the latest updates.
In 2005, the Southern Poverty Law Center wrote that “[Paul] Cameron’s ‘science’ echoes Nazi Germany.” What the SPLC didn”t know was Cameron doesn’t just “echo” Nazi Germany. He quoted extensively from one of the Final Solution’s architects. This puts his fascination with quarantines, mandatory tattoos, and extermination being a “plausible idea” in a whole new and deeply disturbing light.
On February 10, I attended an all-day “Love Won Out” ex-gay conference in Phoenix, put on by Focus on the Family and Exodus International. In this series of reports, I talk about what I learned there: the people who go to these conferences, the things that they hear, and what this all means for them, their families and for the rest of us.
Prologue: Why I Went To “Love Won Out”
Part 1: What’s Love Got To Do With It?
Part 2: Parents Struggle With “No Exceptions”
Part 3: A Whole New Dialect
Part 4: It Depends On How The Meaning of the Word "Change" Changes
Part 5: A Candid Explanation For "Change"
Using the same research methods employed by most anti-gay political pressure groups, we examine the statistics and the case studies that dispel many of the myths about heterosexuality. Download your copy today!
And don‘t miss our companion report, How To Write An Anti-Gay Tract In Fifteen Easy Steps.
Anti-gay activists often charge that gay men and women pose a threat to children. In this report, we explore the supposed connection between homosexuality and child sexual abuse, the conclusions reached by the most knowledgeable professionals in the field, and how anti-gay activists continue to ignore their findings. This has tremendous consequences, not just for gay men and women, but more importantly for the safety of all our children.
Anti-gay activists often cite the “Dutch Study” to claim that gay unions last only about 1½ years and that the these men have an average of eight additional partners per year outside of their steady relationship. In this report, we will take you step by step into the study to see whether the claims are true.
Tony Perkins’ Family Research Council submitted an Amicus Brief to the Maryland Court of Appeals as that court prepared to consider the issue of gay marriage. We examine just one small section of that brief to reveal the junk science and fraudulent claims of the Family “Research” Council.
The FBI’s annual Hate Crime Statistics aren’t as complete as they ought to be, and their report for 2004 was no exception. In fact, their most recent report has quite a few glaring holes. Holes big enough for Daniel Fetty to fall through.