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Homosexual’s hate website suspends death wish for pro-family opponents

WASHINGTON (BP)–Amid intense public and legal scrutiny, a San Diego-based website that advocated “a horrible death” for public figures opposed to the homosexual lifestyle deleted the names and profiles of public officials it targeted for attack from its web pages, citing “design changes,” CNSNews.com reported Nov. 29.

“Usqueers.com,” an Internet site that called for the death of former President Ronald Reagan and other leading conservative figures because of their current or former stands on homosexual advocacy, also deleted solicitations of its readership for private information on the people it targeted.

“That page is offline while we contemplate design changes which will allow us to freely express our opinions of the ‘sacred cows’ on the list — as they have so freely expressed similar opinions about us — yet which will not subject usQueers.com to tedious and unnecessary legal entanglements,” according to an update on the website late Wednesday, Nov. 28.

The move came amid intense pressure from legal and family groups on law enforcement officials and the Internet service provider to shut down the site.

The Human Rights Campaign, a national organization that promotes homosexual rights, also joined in the condemnation of the site Nov. 28.

“Calling for the death of people is reprehensible and in no way, shape or form should be condoned by anybody,” David Smith, an HRC spokesman, said after viewing the contents of usqueers.com.

“These types of sites, on either side of any debate, should be condemned in the strongest possible way,” Smith said.

A spokeswoman for Planned Parenthood, a national abortion provider whose doctors and clinic staff have been subjected to criminal harassment after their names were posted on other extremist websites, also denounced the tactics employed by usqueers.com.

“It’s tacit terrorism as far as we’re concerned,” said Virginia Martin, vice president for external affairs with Planned Parenthood in Washington.

“We have physicians and clinic staff who are on the Nuremberg website, and, regardless of what the courts say, their families and the physicians and staff themselves feel that basically a bounty has been put on their head,” Martin said.

Law enforcement officials also have expressed an interest in usqueers.com. A spokesman for the Secret Service, the federal agency responsible for the protection of current and former presidents, said the agency is aware of the site and is investigating it. “We take every threat seriously, small or big,” the spokesman said.

Besides the content, family groups were concerned for their safety because the webmaster has a history of violent behavior.

B. Allen Ross, a homosexual rights activist who runs the site, attacked a Baptist minister in San Diego in June in protest against the Southern Baptist Convention’s stances against homosexual behavior.

In a plea bargain in October, Ross pled guilty to kidnapping. At a sentencing on Jan. 7, Ross faces a maximum of eight years imprisonment, a spokeswoman for the San Diego County district attorney’s office said.

Earlier on Nov. 28, a spokesman for Aplus.Net Internet Services in San Diego, the website’s Internet services provider, said the company was examining whether it should continue providing services to their client.

“We’re investigating to find out if [the content] violates our acceptable use policy, and if it does violate our acceptable use policy, the Internet site will be shut down,” said Mark Drake, a company spokesman.

Ross’ conviction stemmed from a June incident when, brandishing a broken bottle, he entered the fellowship hall of First Southern Baptist Church in San Diego and confronted David Powell, the church’s minister of maintenance and media. Ross forced Powell to contact a local TV station, Powell told CNSNews.com.

Ross was incensed by media reports about the SBC annual convention in New Orleans. He also complained that there were too many Christians in government, Powell said.

After establishing contact with a local TV station, Powell used his cell phone to leave a message with colleagues, who alerted police. Officers stormed the office and shot Ross with “beanbag” ammunition after he refused to drop the broken bottle.

Police charged Ross with burglary, assault with a deadly weapon and kidnapping.

First Amendment attorney John B. Thompson told CNSNews.com Ross’ website violates state and federal law for advocating the murder of specific individuals, including former President Reagan.

“Ronald Reagan, ex-president, deserves to experience a horrible death soon, and is getting what he deserves” (Alzheimer’s), the site had said.

Other “het[erosexual] supremacists” who “deserve” a “horrible death” include Sens. Jesse Helms and Strom Thurmond, Pat Robertson, Beverly LaHaye of Concerned Women for America, Peter LaBarbera, Gary Bauer, Paul Weyrich, Rev. Lou Sheldon and James Dobson, the site had said.

The site also solicited information on its targets, including home address, home phone, office address, office phone, studio address, church address, favorite hangouts, family members, details about automobiles — “just about anything which could be useful in spotting these dangerous het[erosexual] supremacists when they are wandering around loose.”

“I look at [Ross] almost in the same fashion as I would look at a bin Laden type of guy,” said Douglas Hagmann, a private investigator who specializes in cyber crime. “He’s not going to do the dirty work himself, but he certainly wouldn’t mind if he recruited others to do that kind of thing, and therein lies the serious nature of it.”

Prior to removing the call for “a horrible death” from his website, Ross had sought to respond to increased media and law enforcement interest by strengthening the language in a “disclaimer” to incite violence.

“usQueers.com does not authorize, ratify, or directly or indirectly threaten or encourage acts of violence toward the people or organizations on this list. Our sincere wishes — that these viciously anti-Queer crusaders die soon — stop at wishes. Wishes have no power,” the “disclaimer” read.

But people on the target list were not appeased. “The main concern we have about the site is not necessarily that the owner intends to follow through with any of that,” said Buddy Smith, assistant to the president at the American Family Association in Tupelo, Miss.

“However, we know that unfortunately there are a lot of weak-minded people in our culture today and the concern we have, and it is a legal concern, is that a website that is wishing for the death of our president, vice president and other political and pro-family leaders around the country is all it takes to plant an idea in someone’s mind that they might actually follow through on,” Smith said.

Smith said Ross’ site is similar to one owned by Fred Phelps, who hosts a site he calls “godhatesfags.” Phelps, a self-proclaimed independent Baptist minister, “does that in the name of Christianity and the church and we think that’s wrong as well, and that he shouldn’t be allowed to do that,” Smith said.
Morahan is a senior staff writer with www.CNSNews.com. Used by permission.

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  • Lawrence Morahan