Saturday, December 15, 2007

National List Of Openly Gay Public Officials Attracts Media Response From Raleigh News-Observer

The cross-posting of Actwin's national list of openly gay public officials in the United States, which triggered a mini-firestorm in the blogosphere, mostly centered around Chapel Hill Town Council Member Mark Kleinschmidt when he decided to respond to it on his blog, has generated a reaction from a mainstream media outlet. The Raleigh News-Observer published a story about it on December 14th, 2007.

CHAPEL HILL - Town Council member Mark Kleinschmidt has started locking the deadbolt on his door, and he has contacted the Chapel Hill police, just in case visitors who frequent a neo-Nazi Web site decide to engage him in "direct action."

Kleinschmidt's personal blog (no longer available - "cache" captured
HERE) has been jammed with traffic ever since he posted a link to the Vanguard News Network's site Monday. VNN, which has the motto, "No Jews. Just Right," featured a "National List Of Openly-Homosexual Public Officials."

The list includes Kleinschmidt, Orange County Commissioner Mike Nelson and N.C. Court of Appeals Judge John Arrowood.

The editorial comments posted with the list don't call for any violence against these officials, but they do advise "activists" to investigate further before taking "direct action."

After Kleinschmidt posted the link to VNN, wondering what "direct action" meant, a VNN "senior member" bearing the online moniker "Melcur" responded, using derogatory language.

"I would never encourage my readers to take direct action in the form of violence" because that would be illegal, he or she wrote. But if violence against gays were ever to become legal, "Melcur" went on, "I'll be more than happy to provide this information to those that might legally string you degenerates up." [Ed. Note: Melcur is the editor of the highly prominent PC Apostate blog, just taken down by its host, Wordpress, less than 24 hours ago.]

Melcur also posted Kleinschmidt's home address and phone number. "I have not received any phone calls," Kleinschmidt said.

Still, the Town Council member felt sufficiently threatened to tell local police. "Should an actual assault have occurred, I wanted our police department to know about [the postings]," he said.

Kleinschmidt said the only other time he has felt uncomfortable as a gay policy-maker was in 2005, when about 30 conservative Christians, most from outside Chapel Hill, rode a bus to Town Hall to protest his call for the state to recognize out-of-state same-sex marriages and for the town to add "sexual orientation" to its nondiscrimination policy.

Police Chief Brian Curran said this is the first time his department has had to investigate online intimidation against an elected official. Thus far, he said, he doesn't think anyone posting has broken any laws.

"They were pretty careful not to make a direct threat," Curran said. "They're obviously trying to intimidate, at the very least. It's just hateful bigotry."

"That's all part of their First Amendment rights," he said. "It's just sad that people see [Kleinschmidt] as a target."

Arrowood said he wasn't aware of the list and has never felt threatened about his status as a gay official. He said as a judge he has to remain impartial and couldn't share his views about the online remarks.

But Nelson said the list was an obvious and "disgusting" threat, comparing it to lists that have circulated on the Internet of doctors who perform abortions.

"I've received nasty anti-gay stuff, but nothing like this," he said. "It doesn't make me feel very comfortable." [Ed. Note: It's not designed to make you feel conmfortable, rump ranger.]

Kleinschmidt's supporters have reacted online by donating to two of his favorite causes, Equality NC and the Fair Trial Initiative -- $5 for every anti-gay comment posted to his and other related blogs. The donations totaled nearly $200 as of Tuesday December 11th.

Other prominent liberal blogs to discuss this issue include Pam's House Blend and Orcinus and the Daily Kos, as well as a couple of minor blogs, and

The homosexual rights lobby earned this. They couldn't leave well enough alone. They couldn't be content with our efforts to ensure that existing laws worked better for them. No, they had to challenge the definition of marriage. They had to challenge the moral foundation of the Boy Scouts. They had to demand access to our kids through the 3,577 gay-straight clubs on our high school campuses. They had to demand public subsidization of their lifestyle through laws granting spousal benefits to domestic partners.

Well, guess what, nancy-boys? You demanded too much, and now its total political war against you. The mainstream American population doesn't speak out against you for fear of losing employability and social standing. But they feel the way I do. You wanted a war - you got one!

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