A Nebraska gay-rights activist who works with youth is under unofficial investigation over a series of disturbing messages justifying violent retribution toward those who bully gay students.
The messages have appeared on several websites owned by Brian Wyant, coordinator at the Rainbow Outreach Metro Omaha GLBT (Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender) Center but have changed several times since several concerned Christians and gay-rights advocates brought it to their attention and went public with the material on their blogs.
The original message that caught the eye of prominent former homosexual Alan Chambers of Exodus International stated in all-capital letters:
"Without GSA (Gay-Straight Alliance) access, students are forced to simply kill classmates who taunt & bully - shooting, stabbing and poisoning are the common forms of retribution. Far too many government officials like bullying children to the point where retribution against classmates and faculty is only option to redress relentless human rights violations in many regions. Speciously-named 'pro-family' leaders are child molesters who make money stigmatizing homosexuality to silence gay victims."
The offensive statement was posted on GayStraightAlliance.org, which Chambers and others confirmed is not connected to the official GLSEN (Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network) movement focused on ensuring safe schools for all students regardless of sexual orientation.
David Roberts, a gay-rights advocate and editor of Ex-Gay Watch, which monitors ex-gay organizations, reported that such "malicious" comments appeared as early as July 27, 2007 but believes they may date back even further.
"I honestly think this guy has been doing this for some time. We just haven't found it," Roberts told The Christian Post.
Roberts began investigating the website and other sites registered to Wyant but found all his sites were set to block all search engines and archiving of any kind. He soon found additional text on the GayStraightAlliance.org website that would not display but showed on the HTML Comment Tag. The message stated:
"Without GSA access, students are forced to simply kill classmates who taunt & bully.
Option: Start a Gay-Straight History Club or Gay-Straight Science Club to be curriculum related; in regions without GSAs but with religious clubs start a 'Jesus is Gay Club' at your school celebrating all things gay about Jesus such as being conceived thru non-hetero means, 'Do unto others', 'Love one another', being descended from King David - another homosexual, male harem or disciples, his beloved disciple boyfriend, acknowledging his boyfriend to his mom while on the cross, etc. Then sue for millions based on religious viewpoint discrimination if they disallow it - use money from suit for scholarships, community centers, etc."
Roberts and others probing the site raised the possibility of a hacker exploiting the "Gay Straight Alliance." However, multiple queries sent to Wyant and the GLBT community center have not been responded to since last week; the sites are updated as frequently as daily; and the sites where violent messages have appeared have not been taken down and replaced by a maintenance page, which is the most likely thing to do in the case of a hacker.
"It's hard to support a hacking theory in my mind," said Dr. Warren Throckmorton, a noted expert in sexuality counseling who has been investigating the Wyant sites.
Throckmorton understands why Wyant may not respond to his e-mails and phone messages, but questions why he has not responded to Roberts who supports gay rights. The "Gay Straight Alliance" also did not respond immediately to The Christian Post.
"The silence from Omaha is very loud," Throckmorton wrote on his blog (www.wthrockmorton.com).
While Wyant may not be connected with any "legitimate" organizations, the main concern raised is Wyant's involvement with youth as a coordinator at the GLBT community center.
"It's a little frightening to think that he might be conveying this kind of information to kids who could be being bullied, frustrated and angry and not know how to handle it," Throckmorton told The Christian Post.
"We know from some school violence events that it only takes one or two kids," he added, alluding to the Columbine and Virginia Tech shootings.
As of Wednesday morning, the violent messages have been either removed or blocked from view on the websites. Just last night, GayStraightAlliance.org had contained a statement that Roberts believes to have been a message for those who have been probing.
"Violence is a stark reality for children globally. Tormentors remain pathetically silent or harass the grieving family when bullied children commit suicide but disingenuously become vocal when reminded of the fact that these days bullied students may choose retaliation rather than killing themselves; evil tormentors think their version of religion gives them special right to torment gay children unchecked; every 2 minutes in the USA another GLBT American dies from human rights violations," the message, which is now removed, read Tuesday night.
While questions remain unanswered and the sites remain under scrutiny, Roberts states, "In a world with Columbine and the Virginia Tech massacre, we have learned that we must not be silent when something seems this far out of whack."