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Rhode Island Judge Orders Woman To Stop Making Anti-Gay Comments July 30, 2006 8:14 PM

Defendant claims his First Amendment rights violated PROVIDENCE, R.I. | Jul 29, 11:21 AM A judge ordered a Warren woman to stop directing anti-gay slurs at her homosexual neighbor, saying the insults amounted to "hateful conduct" and interfered with the man's right to live in peace. The attorney general's newly formed civil rights advocate's office sued Theresa R. Deschenes in its first case, accusing her of harassing a gay neighbor with AIDS and threatening him with violence. Superior Court Judge Netti Vogel on Friday ruled that Deschenes, 33, had deprived Kenneth W. Potts of his right to live peacefully under the state's Fair Housing Practices Act, which protects against discrimination, and issued an injunction forcing her to stop her behavior. Deschenes' lawyer, Christopher Millea, said his client's comments were protected by the First Amendment and were merely part of a "kindergarten name-calling contest." But the judge rejected that argument. "She has intimidated him," Vogel said. "She has threatened him with physical violence ... all connected to his sexual orientation." Potts, 48, accused Deschenes of making anti-gay insults, threatening to kill him "if you do anything to my daughter," playing loud music and stomping on her floor. He said that when Deschenes was arrested last month on a disorderly conduct charge, she threatened to assault him once she was released. Deschenes admitted making comments about gays to Potts under questioning by her lawyer, but said she was not homophobic. She said she had made the remarks out of anger, and had been mad when she was arrested and when Potts had called child-welfare officials. "I shouldn't have said what I said," Deschenes said. "I'll apologize right now. I'm sorry." Millea said he would talk with his client about whether to appeal the judge's decision. -- New York Blade  [ send green star]  [ accepted]
Typical August 04, 2006 6:28 AM

If I had a dollar for every case I've heard about this I'd be a BILLIONAIRE. Sadly, this type of behavior is just 'more of the same' for a country in which anti-gay civil rights violations have hit a new LOW in this climate of political superiority brought on by the bigoted Bush administration. I think it is time for us queers to take a stand and/or resort to POETIC forms of Justice. It's the only way we're ever going to make our case against hate and bigotry. And since groups like 'Focus on the Family' and other groups that keep the gay-hate industry going, I think we should create our OWN groups to battle this TERRORISM! I would like to see everyone get involved in massive LAWSUITS and turn the country upside down with them. If EVERY gay person who's faced this type of bashing filed cases in courts across America when they are denied the right to marry or are faced with the hateful lies of the CHRISTIAN fundies, we could turn the legal system UPSIDE DOWN!  [ send green star]  [ accepted]
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