Gay blogger accused of terrorism by religious right-wingers
A gay US blogger whose readers warned that radical gays and lesbians could attack right-wingers has been accused of terrorism and reported to the FBI.
Joe Jervis, who runs the blog Joe.My.God., criticised anti-gay figure Peter LaBarbera in a post last week for suggesting gays and lesbians should not have any relationship rights at all.
LaBarbera, the president of Americans for Truth About Homosexuality, wrote on his group’s website that civil unions and domestic partnerships would “dismantle traditional marriage”.
When Jervis attacked LaBarbera’s argument on his blog, one commentator was concerned that radicals could take over the currently peaceful gay rights movement.
The reader wrote: “What I fear is that once gay and lesbian people give up hope of achieving equality through nonviolent means, there will be radicals who will begin to hunt down haters like LaBarbera and Gallagher.”
Others wrote: “Maybe a bit of well-organised terrorism is just what we need” and “Will someone please give me a gun?”
The anti-gay group Liberty Counsel then contacted the FBI to complain, citing the recent shootings at Fort Hood. The alleged perpetrator had apparently been writing messages on internet boards.
Matt Barber, of Liberty Counsel, told conservative website World Net Daily: “Anybody who is willing to make these types of comments, and suggest it is time for acts of terrorism against Christians because they have a disagreement with the homosexual lifestyle, we have to take it seriously, in the wake of what we saw at Fort Hood, Texas.”
In an email to US LGBT site Advocate.com, Jervis responded: “Even a casual reading of the comments in question will show that no direct threats of ‘terrorism’ were made towards anyone.
“In fact, the comment that LaBarbera has fed to every right wing news site in the country actually expresses concern that an unbalanced person might do something violent and hurt the LGBT cause in doing so.
“But that doesn’t matter to the Christian right, who in an internet game of ‘Telephone’ have ratcheted up the story to the point where it looks like I, myself, have made terrorist threats.”
Jervis has removed the post and comments from his website.