Gay Minnesota college student Paul Marquardt apparently misspoke when he told police that his attackers spouted anti-gay speech.
The Minnesota State University-Moorhead pupil originally told police that the hooligans screamed homophobic epithets. Now he claims the story got away from him, according to Police Chief Bob Larson. From In-Forum:
Deputy Police Chief Bob Larson said Paul Marquardt, 23, had recanted major parts of a story he first told police Friday and as a result, â€œit is no longer believed that a bias-motivated crime took place.â€
Marquardt told investigators that he was not confronted, nor did he hear any anti-gay comments, Larson said.
Larson said Marquardt maintains he was pushed down and injured by persons unknown.
â€œHe told us that the story had gotten away from him,â€ Larson said.
â€œThe important thing to us is that if there is a bias-motivated crime, we need to hear about it and weâ€™ll investigate,â€ Larson said, adding police are still looking into Marquardtâ€™s claim that he was assaulted.
Gay rights activists scheduled a march for this evening, but have called it off.
One of the event’s organizers, James Sink of The Ten Percent Society, said:
The thing that weâ€™re most concerned about is preserving the legitimacy of the organization and making people, and students of course, feel that itâ€™s appropriate to go to the police if you feel youâ€™ve been a victim of a crime.
Marquardt’s erroneous claims erode the strong case for anti-hate crime laws, laws the House will debate today. It’s things like this that give homophobes just cause in fighting such legislation.
Concerned Women for America’s Matt Barber wrote a scathing op-ed today in which he highlights Marquardt and Andrew Anthos’ cases as proof hate crime laws are overblown. He concludes:
Folks, although “hate crimes” legislation may very well make its way through Congress, the case for this “gay”-friendly legislation continues to rapidly unravel. It’s a fraud on its face, and America is beginning to catch on and speak out against it.