Sunday, May 11, 2014

Peter LaBarbera threatens to sue Salon over "Are you fucking kidding?"

Peter LaBarbera
These days I only write about Peter “Porno Pete” LaBarbera when his outlandish anti-gay bigotry amuses me. On April 9, Pete was invited to speak at Sinclair Community College by the school's Traditional Values Club. He entered the meeting room to find over 100 students awaiting his arrival. Shortly after starting his presentation most of Pete's audience got up, en bloc, and walked out — leaving about a dozen attendees behind.

On April 16, Kate Geiselman, a professor at the school, wrote a piece about the incident for Salon titled “You’re leaving? Are you effing kidding?” An anti-gay bigot gets humiliated.

Charles LiMandri
Charles LiMandri
Last Friday, May 9, attorney Charles LiMandri, claiming to have been retained by LaBarbera, sent a letter to Salon demanding a retraction and apology … or else. At issue seems to be the claim that Pete said “[a]re you effing kidding” or, perhaps, “[a]re you fucking kidding?” Is it possible that Mr. LiMandri, a graduate of Georgetown Law, is unaware of New York Times Co. v. Sullivan? LaBarbera is clearly a public figure making the legal burden nearly impossible to meet. Essentially, Pete would have to prove that Professor Geiselman knew the statement to be false.

Aside from his lack of legal erudition, LiMandri is a piece of work himself. A defender of the Catholic faith, LiMandri served as general counsel to National Organization for Marriage during its first two years of operation. Limandri has refered to gay family members by saying he loves them but can't support “their destructive lifestyle.”

LiMandri is currently president of Freedom of Conscience Defense Fund, a 501(c)3 not-for-profit whose board members include Maggie Gallagher. 

A Proponent of “ex-gay” therapy, LiMandri is representing JONAH in the fraudulent business practices lawsuit initiated by SPLC. LiMandri has described gay men as deviant perverts and warns of a “potential civil war in this country by imposing same-sex marriage on this nation.” He pretty much toes the religious line, framing homosexuality as disordered behavior. More recently LiMandri represented San Diego County Clerk Dronenburg in a last ditch effort to halt marriage equality in California after the Supreme Court chose not to hear the Proposition 8 case (Perry v. Brown).

I am reasonably certain that Salon has more competent counsel than Mr. LiMandri. This is going nowhere. Meanwhile LaBarbera can, and will, claim that he is being persecuted by radical homosexual activists. It's tough being a white heterosexual Christian male. LaBarbera's real problem is that he was, once again, publicly degraded. As a Christianist, Pete should know that as you fertilize, so shall you reap.
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