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Victories in court over gay activist targeting MassResistance! But the battle continues.
1. Background: Convicted homosexual sex offender targets MassResistance and director Brian Camenker with aggressive legal actions. Threatens and harasses others who help.
POSTED: Dec. 2, 2012
MassResistance has won two great court victories (see #2 and #3 below) over a convicted sex offender who has been filing a flood of legal actions against the organization. But the fight isn't over yet.
1. Background: Convicted homosexual sex offender targets MassResistance and director Brian Camenker with aggressive legal actions. Threatens and harasses others who help
One of the latest strategies by the homosexual movement to silence and punish those who expose their activities or refuse to submit to their demands has been to crush them with expensive and difficult legal action.
We've recently seen businesses which don't wish to cater to homosexual "weddings" being sued and forced to pay huge damages. In New England, an inn in Vermont was forced to pay $30,000 after being sued by a lesbian couple. (We have a report on that coming up.) Scott Lively is being sued for his activism. And there are more examples across the country.
In particular, the homosexual movement does not want their activities involving children exposed. As many of you know, back in 2000 we were (unsuccessfully) sued twice by homosexual groups in an attempt to silence our publication of the infamous Fistgate tapes of a GLSEN "workshop" with kids as young as middle school age.
"Gay clubs" that victimize vulnerable children
One of the most dreaded things for a parent is the homosexual "clubs" that try to attract vulnerable and often confused schoolchildren. Many of these clubs are independent of any schools, are often run by aggressive homosexual activists, and in some cases they even receive public funding. It is an invitation for horrible sexual abuse.
Homosexual activist distributes public letter
How bad are these "gay clubs" for kids? Adam Flanders is an adult homosexual activist and registered sex offender who was closely involved with a gay youth club in Maine. In January 2007 Flanders wrote and publicly distributed a letter documenting what actually goes on. He described drug use, pornography, men having sex with boys, and the resulting feelings of suicide that the kids would have. He described his own sexual relations with two young teenage boys there. As ghastly as that is, given what we've heard over the years we don't think this is unusual.
Various pro-family groups, including MassResistance, posted Flanders' letter as a warning to the public -- and shocking evidence of what's being done to children. Although the letter was also delivered to the local police, they declined to take any action then.
The following year Flanders was convicted of the equivalent of statutory rape of a teenage boy and was jailed. He is currently on Maine's sex offender list. He's also been convicted of a string other offenses, with a criminal history going back to 2006.
Flanders worked to pass "gay marriage" in Maine. His activism also included harassing the family of Mike Heath, then head of the Christian Civic League of Maine, by publishing online a disfigured photograph of Mrs. Heath.
Targeting MassResistance and Brian Camenker
Flanders' letter was a constant reminder of how horrible and dangerous these "gay clubs" actually are. So in late 2011, Flanders, contacted the various pro-family groups that still had it posted. He threatened them with legal action unless they completely removed it. Although there was no legal basis for his threats, all of them complied -- except MassResistance.
Just like with the "Fistgate" issue back in 2000, we decided that the public's legal right to know was too important for us to back down.
So Flanders focused his fury on MassResistance. In an email to MassResistance in late 2011, Flanders threatened to enlist "the assistance of GLBT advocacy organizations in Maine and/or Massachusetts" in a legal fight to stop us, and listed a laundry list of things he would do to us. He even threatened to have us criminally prosecuted. (Given the unusual legal skills required for his multitude of state and federal filings, he has apparently gotten a lot of help.)
Flanders is using many of the same tactics that the homosexual groups used in the Fistgate lawsuits: (1) to go after an individual (Brian Camenker, director of MassResistance) personally; (2) go to extreme lengths to portray himself as the victim, and (3) attempt to demonize and marginalize his target. This time his demonization included constantly using the phony Southern Poverty Law Center "hate group" label which has been widely discredited.
Gets a legal "protection from harassment" order against Camenker!
In November 2011, Flanders persuaded a local judge in northern Maine to issue a formal "Complaint for Protection from Harassment" action against Camenker. It was a complete abuse of the process and intent of harassment and restraining orders. Camenker had never met, seen, spoken to, visited, or communicated with Flanders. He put forth the absurd claim that by MassResistance not removing the 2007 posting from the website, this constituted "stalking" him, and that Camenker as director was liable. On the complaint, Flanders even stated that his complaint against Camenker involves "domestic or dating violence, sexual assault, or stalking." And the judge bought his story! Read our complete report HERE.
Using harassment order as a weapon against Camenker and MassResistance
The judge's "protection from harassment order" did not mention web postings or anything similar. So we continued to post the letter, and add reporting and commentary about the entire incident. Flanders was incensed and stepped up his attacks.
Once Flanders was granted the order he decided he could now claim that Camenker was officially recognized by the state of Maine as an "anti-gay" harasser and stalker and that our postings constituted illegal stalking of him.
Shut down website. Flanders contacted MassResistance's web hosting company and threatened them with legal action, citing the harassment order. The company caved in and shut our site down. Our entire site was down for days. When we got a new web hosting company, Flanders threatened the owner and his family! But nevertheless, this time the owner stood tall.
Threatened news agencies and websites who reported on this. Flanders didn't stop at that. When WorldNetDaily reported on the story, Flanders threatened them, citing the harassment order. Sadly, WorldNetDaily caved in and removed the postings! But when LifeSiteNews reported it and Flanders threatened them, they refused to cave in. Flanders also threatened various other web sites and even the video hosting company Vimeo.
$1 million lawsuit against Brian Camenker.
We still refused to back down.
So in July, Flanders (and his so far unknown collaborators) filed a $1 million lawsuit against Camenker, claiming that the posting of the 2007 letter and the subsequent MassResistance reporting of the situation constituted "defamation" against him. Though completely absurd as to the veracity of its claims, the lawsuit was quite detailed and carefully researched. But Flanders cleverly weaved throughout an emotional narration portraying himself as the victim. And he clearly felt he had the legal firepower to win this, particularly given the liberal nature of Maine's court system.
Thomas More Society to the rescue
Within days after Flanders' lawsuit against Camenker became public, the renowned Thomas More Society public interest law firm in Chicago called MassResistance and offered to take on the case pro bono. They also brought on board a prestigious Maine firm, Hale and Hamlin LLC, to work locally.
More importantly, the attorneys at Thomas More also "get it." They understand the vicious nature of the homosexual movement and their strategies to silence and punish anyone who speaks out or exposes their activities. They've made it clear they are not backing down no matter what happens.
2. Victory: Maine judge throws out outrageous "protection from harassment order"
Our victory came in two parts.
After the harassment order was granted back in late 2011, Flanders used it repeatedly to threaten Camenker (and others) into completely removing everything regarding the issue, and not even writing anything about it. But MassResistance refused to stop.
Flanders files temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction
So in June, Flanders went back into the District Court for "injunctive relief."
On June 19, 2012 Flanders and his alleged cohorts filed a "temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction" against Camenker and MassResistance. Flanders claimed that Camenker was violating the "harassment order" by continuing to post the 2007 letter and posting additional news and commentary about the incident. He wanted the court to order Camenker and MassResistance to "cease and desist."
The same judge who had issued the original harassment order also dealt with this. However, on June 26 the judge denied the temporary restraining order. The hearing for the preliminary injunction was scheduled for July 9.
Injunction denied: Judge cites First Amendment!
The hearing for the injunction took place as scheduled on July 9, again with the same judge who had issued the original order. Strangely, Camenker was never notified of that hearing, so he didn't show up. The judge held the hearing with Flanders present and no one to represent MassResistance!
But it backfired. This time the judge flatly denied Flanders' claims that anything MassResistance has posted constitutes either "harassment" or "stalking" against him, or that the "harassment order" implicitly states anything like that. (It's possible that the outrage generated in the conservative media by the original harassment order caused her to at least look at this more fairly.)
The judge said:
"Maine may not punish, through criminal sanction, an individual's actions that are protected by the free speech clause of the First Amendment to the United States Constitution."
The following day, in a desperate attempt, Flanders filed a second request for "injunctive relief", citing more alleged "violations" by Camenker. The judge flatly denied that, without a hearing.
Thus, the court officially recognized MassResistance was legally free to publish its material. But additionally, it was now quite clear now that the entire harassment order was issued in error (to say the least). The next step was to get it removed.
Thomas More Society files "Motion to vacate" harassment order
Soon after the Thomas More Society and their local counsel got on board, they began to work on vacating the absurd harassment order. As described above, Flanders was using it across the country to defame Camenker and MassResistance and threatening others who worked with them. Since it was issued improperly, it was necessary to get rid of it.
The normal time to contest a harassment order in Maine is thirty days from when they are issued, which had long past. So on August 29 the local counsel filed a 28-page Special Motion to Vacate with the Belfast District Court, citing jurisdictional problem of that order, besides the other issues. In other words, since Camenker was a Massachusetts resident with no ties to Maine, the court had no jurisdiction to issue the order in the first place, our lawyers argued.
On August 31, Flanders filed an objection to the motion -- a long, rambling, ridiculous diatribe accusing Camenker of a long laundry list of acts against him and even against the court.
Judge vacates and terminates the harassment order against Camenker!
The hearing took place on October 22, again with the original judge presiding. Flanders apparently realized that he had no chance of winning and declined to attend the hearing, even though it was at the court close to his home.
At the hearing, the judge completely vacated and terminated the harassment order against Camenker and MassResistance!
Flanders, clearly knowing he would not prevail, did not even bother to appeal the ruling.
3. Victory: Federal judge dismisses $1 million lawsuit against Camenker! Homosexual activist appeals.
The $1 million "defamation" lawsuit against Camenker was clearly meant as a vehicle for harassment and punishment. About the same time they filed the motion to vacate the harassment order, the Thomas More lawyers and their local firm got to work on that.
Since Camenker is a resident of Massachusetts, the first step was to move the suit from the state court to the Federal court. In August, they filed the necessary paperwork to do that.
The next step was to move to get the lawsuit dismissed. On Sept. 4, they filed a formal 42-page Motion to Dismiss.
This was followed by a lengthy response by Flanders, which basically repeated the laundry list of alleged acts against him by Camenker and MassResistance. In keeping with the homosexual movement's general "everything but the kitchen sink" approach, Flanders also threw in numerous issues which were not pertinent to the situation, as well as personal charges against Camenker including absurd claims that Camenker lied and perjured himself.
Besides the response, Flanders filed a demand for "discovery" (which was declared to be out of order).
Federal judge rules for dismissal of case
On November 14, Federal Judge Margaret J. Kravchuk issued a 17-page recommendation for dismissal of the case.
Judge Kravchuk's ruling is very interesting. She took the time to pick apart all of Flanders' arguments, including his numerous defamation claims against Camenker and his additional claims of harassment, intentional infliction of emotional distress, and invasion of privacy. Her writing shows that she had read all of the supporting documents, the original letter from Flanders, as well as the MassResistance website, and she applied law and logic (rather than political correctness) in her decision.
Thus Judge Kravchuk states:
I conclude that in light of the now well-developed state of the pleadings, Flanders has failed to state a claim, and dismissal with prejudice is warranted.
Flanders files objection to dismissal
Flanders and his apparent legal team are not giving up on this $1 million lawsuit.
On November 20 Flanders filed a 30-page objection to the dismissal. The objection basically re-hashes many of the same charges he has been flogging all along, which largely amount to hair-splitting alleged mistakes (i.e., whether the boy he sexually molested was actually 15 years old, and not 14).
Our legal counsel will filed a response early this week. Needless to say, it evicerates Flanders objection from several directions.
Homosexual movement not used to losing in court!
The homosexual movement is not used to losing in court, and they don't react well to it. Flanders clearly is angry and obsessed with "punishing" Camenker and MassResistance. But this time, our lawyers (and reasonable judges) are standing in his way.
We'll keep you up to date on what happens.
4. The importance of fighting back.
Facing the viciousness and ruthlessness of the homosexual movement can be pretty harrowing. This experience has been a challenge on many levels not only for us and our lawyers, but for a number of others across the country who have also been threatened and harassed by Flanders because they reported on this or publicly supported us.
But in times like this, we believe it is of utmost importance to stand and fight rather than back down despite the risks or consequences. Our first responsibility is making sure you know the truth and can act on it.
It's embarrassing how many pro-family people we know were afraid to post Flanders' letter once he started his threats. Or the news sites that censored themselves because he threatened them. There were also a number of brave people who stood tall. But there should have been more.
Unfortunately, we're seeing too many pro-family groups, politicians, public officials, religious leaders and others who in these kinds of situations take the easy way out. Forget about the threat of being sued. Too many people are scared to death of being called names if they stand up for their principles. Too many people compromise because they don't want to be perceived as "extreme." It's the road to hell.
Fighting back makes all the difference. And no one ever wins these battles by backing down.
We appreciate all the support we're getting on this. We won't let you down.