In a protest gone awry, a man challenging same-sex marriage inadvertently set a Cheerios box on fire in front of General Mills' headquarters in Golden Valley, Minn., on Sunday. A video of his fiery protest has been sweeping the Internet.
- (Photo: YouTube/Screenshot)
"One out of every eight boxes of cereal in this country is Cheerios. This is really the treat, now, for the homosexuals," 65-year-old Michael Leisner, a local real estate broker from Minnesota, tells the camera.
Leisner holds a box of General Mills Cheerios cereal in one hand and what appears to be a blow torch in another. Above him is the General Mills headquarters sign, and to the right of him is a three-legged stool holding a large cereal bowl.
"And this is our protest against General Mills [for] advocating same-sex marriages. So we are gonna torch some cereal," he tells the camera.
Leisner then attempts to torch the cereal as it falls out of the box and into the bowl, presumably to create a bowl of flaming Cheerios. Instead, the Cheerios cardboard box catches on fire.
Eventually, a somewhat unruly fire spreads on the green grass leading up to the General Mills Corporation, at which point Leisner and his crew take off.
Gossip website Gawker describes Leisner as a "YouTube hatemonger," however the link to Leisner's YouTube account has been deleted with the statement: "This account has been terminated due to repeated or severe violations of our Community Guidelines and/or claims of copyright infringement."
The video of the Cheerio-burning currently remains on YouTube, however, and reports indicate that Leisner could face criminal charges for his protest.
General Mills has been an outspoken supporter of same-sex marriage, with CEO Ken Powell donating money to pro-same sex marriage organizations and speaking out against Minnesota's proposed amendment that would ban gay marriage.
In July, the National Organization for Marriage, a nonprofit that advocates for the protection of traditional marriage, gathered over 20,000 signatures on its petition, entitled "Dump General Mills," protesting the company's public position regarding Minnesota's upcoming November amendment.
While proponents of traditional marriage have advocated for boycotts and protests of pro-gay companies such as JCPenny, Target, and Ben and Jerry's, those who support redefining marriage have challenged Christian companies, such as Chick-fil-A and Amway direct supplies, for opposing their movement.