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Sunday, September 16, 2007
WND Still Pushing Folger's Less-Than-Factual Anti-Gay 'Facts'
Topic: WorldNetDaily

WorldNetDaily is still promoting Janet Folger's not-so-factual "facts" about "hate crimes" laws being used to silence anti-gay protesters.

In a Sept. 12 article, Bob Unruh -- as he has done in the past -- cited Folger's laundry list of purported descriptions of "arresting people for stating their religious beliefs that homosexuality is wrong" as "the facts." But as we've detailed, Folger and Unruh leave out the full context of the incidents. There's another incident on the list we seem not to have covered:

Madison, Wis. David Ott, a former homosexual, was arrested for a "hate crime" for sharing his testimony with a homosexual at a gas station. He faced a $10,000 fine and one year behind bars. Seven thousand dollars in legal fees later, [he] was ordered to attend re-education classes at the University of Wisconsin conducted by a lesbian. 

Folger and Unruh don't state that the incident is not a recent one; it dates to 1997. And as the court's summary of the case shows, Ott was not "arrested for a 'hate crime'"; he was charged with disorderly conduct with a "hate crime" modifier -- not the same thing. (h/t Snopes comment thread.)

Ott's case has apparently been a anti-gay rallying point for some time. From the June 28, 1999, issue of of the Moonie-run conservative Insight magazine:

Meet David Ott, a former homosexual who approached a practicing homosexual and engaged in conversation. David, holding his toddler at the time, was making no threats but merely disagreeing. A few months later he got a knock on the door and a court summons. He was charged and convicted of a "hate crime" and sentenced to a reeducation class led by a lesbian whose opening premise was, "Homosexuality is normal." It cost Ott more than $7,000 in legal fees to fight the alleged "hate crime" of disagreeing. Seven thousand dollars for disagreeing? So much for freedom of speech. 

There is no easily available independent information about the Ott incident, but we can assume by their track record that Folger and Unruh are misrepresenting what happened and leaving out important information.

This information has been added to our article on Folger. 

Posted by Terry K. at 2:06 PM EDT

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