Arsonist Destroys Ohio Church
August 21st, 2012
A fire destroyed a historic 158-year-old church in scenic Hocking County, Ohio at 3:00 a.m. Friday morning. Nineteen firefighters responded to the scene, but the church was almost completely destroyed. All that remains are the front steps and a wall. After ruling out all accidental causes, state fire investigators ruled the fire an act of arson. A $5,000 reward has been posted for anyone with information leading to the arrest of those responsible.
Last Wednesday, Liberty Institute and the Family Research Council issued a report documenting what they call “more than 600 alarming attacks on religious faith. This arson fire happened too late to make it into the report, but I wouldn’t hold my breath waiting for it to appear in a future update:
The Rev. Scott Davis bought the church in 2010 and opened it to the community for services in 2011. Davis said he suspects arson because he has received many death threats in the past. “It’s because this is a gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender church, and people around here don’t agree with it.” Davis said he welcomes all people to the church, regardless of faith, sexual orientation or race. There are approximately 30 locals who attend on a regular basis.
Davis said the residents of the small, quaint town are very upset with the orientation of the church, but doesn’t understand why someone would destroy the last historic building other than for revenge.
No, you won’t see this an any reports listing attacks on religious faith put out by FRC or Liberty Institute. Nor will you see a coalition of 41 anti-gay organizations rally to issue a statement condemning the attack. The only sound you will hear will be FRC loudly complaining that it’s the SPLC who is responsible for all the problems.
That’s how we deal with it around here
April 30th, 2012
UPDATE: The original video has been removed. The one above is a copy that was recently uploaded by someone else.
LaBarbera calls (possible) vandalism a “hate crime”
October 21st, 2011
Peter LaBarbera (who calls himself “Americans for Truth About Homosexuality”) is delighted about the instance of (possible) vandalism experienced by Christian Liberty Academy. He hasn’t had this much attention in years.
Again today the American Family Association’s newsletter gave him an opportunity to get his picture in front of potential donors. And, Pete never loses an opportunity to play a victim of the insidious homosexual agenda (send money). He has been a victim of a hate crime, you see.
Americans for Truth About Homosexuality (AFTAH) founder Peter LaBarbera tells OneNewsNow police are investigating the incident on the basis of vandalism, even though he sees it as a hate crime. Though he is no fan of hate crime laws, LaBarbera wonders if some victims of hate are more important than others.
“It seems that if this were a crime against homosexuals, there would be immediate calls, that this would be prosecuted as a hate crime,” he suggests. “But when Christians are the victims of hate, there’s not much talk about that.”
A hate crime is one that identifies its victims not based on anything that they have personally done, but rather solely because of their identity within a group. It is a crime against a group, intended to intimidate that group, and only incidentally about the individual.
This appears to be the opposite. This is a crime (if it is indeed a crime) directed specifically towards individuals, Scott Lively and Peter LaBarbera. One could even say that the manifesto is devoted to Lively with a few mentions of LaBarbera and is extremely personal in its focus.
So unless Scott Lively is his own social demographic, no hate crime was committed.
Third Salt Lake-Area Gay Man Attacked In Two Weeks
September 9th, 2011
Police in American Fork, a suburb community south of Salt Lake City, are investigating an attack on a hair salon owner as he was taking out the trash at 12:45 a.m. early Thursday morning. Police say that he was beaten by two or three assailants as they uttered gay slurs. The victim, 32-year-old Cameron Nelson, was treated at a hospital for multiple injuries including a broken nose. Police are investigating.
Two weeks ago, two gay men in Salt Lake City were attacked in separate incidents. One man, Dane Hall, suffered a broken jaw and lost six teeth when his attackers “curb stomped” him. Incredibly, SLC police are refusing to regard either of the attacks as hate crimes.
Salt Lake City Gay Bashings “Not Related”
September 6th, 2011
More than a week after Dane Hall was brutally beaten outside a Salt Lake City night club, police finally decided to get around to interviewing him. Attackers stomped on the back of his head, broke his jaw, and knocked out several teeth. The local gay community is rallying around Hall and are trying to raise money to pay his medical bills. Hall has no health insurance and his bills are mounting. That same night, another man, whose identity has been withheld, was also severely beaten. The Salt Lake City Tribune (no link) reports that police, who are refusing to regard the attacks as hate crimes, say that the two assaults appear unrelated. I don’t know which of the two statements in that last sentence I find more disturbing: the idea that it’s not a hate crime, or the idea that more than one roving band of anti-gay attackers were on the loose in Salt Lake City on the same evening.
Prosecuters Vow To Retry Larry King’s Killer
September 2nd, 2011
Ventura County prosecutors announced today that they intend to retry Brandon McInerney after a judge declared a mistrial yesterday. Jurors were unable to decide whether to convict McInerney as an adult of first-degree or second-degree murder, or voluntary manslaughter. McInerney was fifteen when he shot fourteen-year-old Larry King at an Oxnard middle school in 2008. Legal observers believe trying McInerney as an adult made it harder to convict him. Prosecutors say they are considering whether to try him as an adult again:
“We will consider the fact that this was a very significantly split jury. We will consider everything,” said Chief Asst. Dist. Atty. Jim Ellison. “There are obviously very strong reactions on both sides, and we will consider all those in how we proceed.”
…Laurie Levenson, a Loyola law professor and former federal prosecutor, said it was possible that jurors thought the charges were too harsh.
“Jurors felt prosecutors overcharged, and they were clearly not comfortable putting the boy away for life. They probably believed the dynamic between two adolescent boys is not the same as two adults,” Levenson said. “With a hate crime, there is usually an agenda to go after a whole group, and this case as presented was a very personal. This was a shooting but not a traditional cold-blooded killing. It had an emotional complexity, especially one associated with adolescents.”
Mistrial Declared in Larry King Murder Trial
September 1st, 2011
A judge declared a mistrial in the case of Brandon McInerney, who was accused of killing 15-year-old Larry King at their junior high school in 2008. Judge Charles Campbell declared the mistrial after jurors were unable to reach a verdict, deadlocking at 7 to 5 in favor of finding McInerney guilty of voluntary manslaughter. To reach a verdict, the jury would have had to reach a unanimous conclusion. Furthermore, to reach a verdict of manslaughter, they would have had to reach a unanimous decision to find him not guilty of first or second degree murder. The other five voted for either second or first degree murder. The jury had been deliberating since Wednesday.
The mistrial means that prosecution can re-try the case, unless the defense and prosecution reach a plea deal. The Ventura County Star reports:
Previous offers of 25-years to life were rejected by McInerney’s lawyers because the penalty could go up to life in prison. McInerney will remain in juvenile hall while the district attorney weighs its next move.
…Jurors were able to consider first-degree, second-degree and manslaughter charges.
Conviction on a first-degree murder charge would bring a mandatory 50-year sentence, but a manslaughter sentence ranges from four to 11 years, along with a 10-year enhancement for using a gun. First-degree murder is one of premeditation; manslaughter is a homicide committed in the heat of passion.
McInerny was charged with murder, but the his lawyers raised the “gay panic defense,” and coupled it with evidence of an abusive home life. The also accused King of “sexually harassing” McInerny:
The prosecution says it was a calculated murder carried out in part because McInerney was exploring white supremacist ideology and didn’t like homosexuals. Defense attorneys painted a different picture, that of a bright but abused 14-year-old who snapped after being sexually harassed by King.
The Ventura County Star elaborates:
His lawyers put McInerney’s family members on the stand who testified of the abuse that his father, Billy, would exact on McInerney and his two half-brothers. Billy McInerney had drugs and alcohol in his system in 2009 when he fell down, hit his head and died.
Billy would hold Brandon’s brothers down and make Brandon kick them in the face, one brother testified. Billy would punch Brandon in the stomach or the nose when he thought his son was out of line, the brother said.
Billy taught his son to hate gays at a young age and would call them names when they saw them on TV or in the street.
Brandon was on a downward spiral of depression in the months leading up to the shooting, when his father would take him to houses at all hours of the night where Billy would pop pills and drink heavily.
Prosecutors provided evidence that Brandon was a “budding white supremacist who hated King because he was gay and wearing women’s boots and makeup.”
Eliza Byard, Executive Director of the Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network (GLSEN), responded to the mistrial:
“The mistrial declared today is hardly a surprise. This was always destined to be a case with little resolution and no winners, whatever the verdict. The central facts remain the same: homophobia killed Larry King and destroyed Brandon McInerney’s life, and adults failed both young men because of their own inability to deal forthrightly and compassionately with the multiple challenges they each faced. The jury’s indecision is a sad reflection of our collective inability to find common ground and invest in a better future for all youth and a culture of respect for all.”