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, “it is no longer believed that a bias-motivated crime took place.”
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.
“He told us that the story had gotten away from him,” Larson said.
“The important thing to us is that if there is a bias-motivated crime, we need to hear about it and we’ll investigate,” Larson said, adding police are still looking into Marquardt’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 we’re most concerned about is preserving the legitimacy of the organization and making people, and students of course, feel that it’s appropriate to go to the police if you feel you’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.