START A PETITION 25,136,189 members: the world's largest community for good
START A PETITION
x

Montana Man Lies About Anti-Gay Attack

Montana Man Lies About Anti-Gay Attack

A young Montana man pleaded guilty on Tuesday to giving a false report to police officers. The 22-year-old Joseph Baken called authorities early on Sunday morning reporting that three men had beaten and attacked him outside of a local Missoula bar. A video of the young man’s face, bruised and beaten, spread like wildfire across the internet appearing on multiple LGBT rights pages, like Wipe Out Homophobia.

In his original report, Baken had made it sound as though the attack was made upon him because he is gay. He reportedly named his attackers outright and said they attacked him after he asked where the gay bar was, according to Queerty. What actually happened on Sunday morning made many of those very LGBT activists who were outraged on his behalf feel anger and frustration. Baken finally confessed to authorities on Tuesday that he had made up the anti-gay attack completey.

A video surfaced on Tuesday that showed Baken trying to complete a back flip off of a curb at around 2:30 in the morning. The Missoulian reports that the video shows the young man fall, bruising and scraping his face. The video made Baken quickly confess that he had concocted the entire anti-gay beating during his original report.

At this moment there are no answers as to why Baken decided to make up the story, although many  news outlets hoped to get answers. Many activists and commentators working on LGBT rights feel particularly upset about the recent change in the story. Originally, many people in the community of Missoula felt fear and concern about the safety of the city. Derek Lactaoen of the blog Unicorn Booty had this to say about the sudden shift in the case:

And because we take care of our own, we rallied around him on Wipe Out Homophobia’s Facebook Page after they posted the image.

So I’m sorry if I’m a little peeved at hearing the news that the dude made the whole thing up.

According to reports, Baken received a $300 fine for lying to authorities about the incident. Many people in the LGBT community worry that this story could hurt the credibility of people who have sustained serious attacks. Just a few weeks ago, a woman was mercilessly attacked in her home in Nebraska for being a lesbian. A huge rash of internet doubters caused the woman to make a statement about the hurt and fear that the attack caused her.

The reality of her physical scars and fears cannot be understated. Who knows why Baken decided to lie about his own attack in Montana. Was he trying to force greater awareness of discrimination onto the public through a false account? In any case, Wipe Out Homophobia and many other LGBT outlets feel betrayed by the turn in events.

James Greer of the Montana Human Rights Network had the most positive take on the whole string of events, telling the Missoulian:

Members of the Missoula community responded to reports of an anti-LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) assault in a productive and swift way, and that is great news for this community and all the people who live here.

Related Stories:

Victim of Horrific Hate Crime Speaks Out After People Doubt Her Story

Sexual Harassment on European Streets Revealed in Documentary (Video)

Denver Baker Would Shut Down Before Making Gay Wedding Cake

Read more: , , , , , ,

Photo Credit: Micah on Flickr

have you shared this story yet?

some of the best people we know are doing it

29 comments

+ add your own
1:58PM PDT on Aug 14, 2012

Dont be stat anymore. It can be so difficult to stand up to cronysm.

Huber.

9:03PM PDT on Aug 10, 2012

Some like notoriety.

5:00PM PDT on Aug 10, 2012

With all the crap that's going on, on both sides, this just didn't need to happen.

3:49PM PDT on Aug 10, 2012

Interesting.

12:23PM PDT on Aug 10, 2012

Foolish, thoughtless man; the classic crime of crying wolf...

11:08AM PDT on Aug 10, 2012

I think the jerk should spend a year in jail, do another year of community service and make a public apology to the LGBT community.

11:04AM PDT on Aug 10, 2012

It is these false reports that takes credence away from legitimate cases and it waters down all efforts at fair and equal treatment for legitimate victims.

10:28AM PDT on Aug 10, 2012

Maybe he was trying to make a point that a gaybashing attack can happen to anyone? I'm not supporting him though, I don't think you should lie about thhese things. It just makes everything togher for anyone who has been assulted or raped.

10:23AM PDT on Aug 10, 2012

thanks

9:54AM PDT on Aug 10, 2012

This is why you should never blindly accept the statements made by anyone even victims of violence or rape. You should always ask questions and do a reality check. Not to say that you shouldn't be supportive just be careful.

add your comment



Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

ads keep care2 free

Recent Comments from Causes

So, the fracking didn't cause the contamination,m it was the they drilled to get the gas and oil that…

If the fracking itself isn't doing this and their well casing is cracked, perhaps the fracking caused…

13 Misconceptions About Global Warming https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OWXoRSIxyIU&feature=em-uploademail It's…

meet our writers

Colleen H. Colleen H. is an Online Campaigner with Care2 and a recent transplant to San Francisco from the East... more
Story idea? Want to blog? Contact the editors!
ads keep care2 free

more from causes




Select names from your address book   |   Help
   

We hate spam. We do not sell or share the email addresses you provide.