Radio Host Hal Turner Arrested for Threats to Gay Lawmakers
In March I reported on the arrest of New Britain, Connecticut resident and Catholic Timothy Kane for threats he made against two gay legislators, state senator Andrew McDonald, and state representative Michael Lawlor, over a church oversight bill that would have altered the legal, financial, and administrative structure of local parishes, giving local parishioners more control. At the time, at least one newspaper saw Catholics using this as an excuse to exercise their anger over the state's same-sex marriage decision, targeting the two gay lawmakers.
According to the Hartford Courant, "Last week, the controversy flared again when the Diocese of Bridgeport filed a federal lawsuit against state ethics officials, who are investigating whether church officials violated lobbying laws by organizing a rally at the state Capitol to protest the measure earlier this spring and not registering as lobbyists."
This inspired Hal Turner, a radio host with ties to white-supremacist and neo-Nazi organizations, to incite violence against Lawlor and McDonald, as well as another Connecticut state employee.
"Turner, who has been identified as a white supremacist and anti-Semite by several anti-racism groups, hosts an Internet radio program with an associated blog. On Tuesday, the blog included a post that promised to release the home addresses of state Rep. Michael Lawlor, state Sen. Andrew McDonald and Thomas Jones of the State Ethics Office...The remarks on the blog were a reaction to the recent controversy over a bill that would have changed the way the Roman Catholic Church is governed, taking power away from church officials and turning it over to lay members. It was pulled in mid-March following an outcry from Catholics across the state and questions about its constitutionality.
Wrote Turner in the blog post: "It is our intent to foment direct action against these individuals personally. These beastly government officials should be made an example of as a warning to others in government: Obey the Constitution or die...If any state attorney, police department or court thinks they're going to get uppity with us about this, I suspect we have enough bullets to put them down, too."
Turner is being held in New Jersey, pending extradition to Connecticut, where he will be formally charged.