Louisiana Gay Men’s Trip To Streisand Flick Ends In Assault

JamisonPolice in Lafayette, LA, arrested 37-year old Joseph Menard Jr. after he allegedly assaulted four gay men at a recent showing of the Barbra Streisand and Seth Rogan flick Guilt Trip.

Walt Jamison says he and his boyfriend and two other gay men were settling into the showing when Menard, sitting behind them with his children, began spewing anti-gay invectives and then, when asked to be quiet by them and another patron, attacked them.

The Advertiser has more:

The men took their seats dur­ing the previews, Jamison said, and almost immediately a man in the row behind them said, “Oh great,” and called them a derogatory name aimed at their sex­ual preference.

When one of the four said, “Ex­cuse me?” Men­ard “stood up and leaned over us and started scream­ing hate slurs pep­pered with profanities,” in front of his own child and wife, Jamison said.

A woman about three rows in front stood and asked Menard to stop because she had chil­dren with her, but, according to Jamison, Menard insulted her and told her to sit down.

Menard “sat down and stood back up and popped my partner in the back of the head,” said Jamison, adding that he was also struck by Menard.

Before the police arrived, Menard and his family left The Grand in their SUV. Police [pursued] them and arrested Menard on the simple battery charges.

Menard has been charged with simple assault, while his wife was also charged with resisting arrest.

Two very different family outings ruined by the same thing: ignorance and hate.

Comments

  1. Nat says

    “Two very different family outings ruined by the same thing: ignorance and hate.”

    There was most likely some hate, but I think it’s increasingly tough to characterize some of these cases as ‘ignorance’.

    I don’t know the history of this alleged assailant, but I suspect he is someone with some rather deep-seated personal issues that are brought out by seeing gay people enjoying themselves (at least as much as they can watching Guilt Trip)

  2. johnny says

    It actually IS ignorance.

    Menard was ignorant of the fact that he’d be chased down and arrested for assault. He was ignorant of the fact that gay people are not going to have a lack of response, simply sit back and take it these days. He was ignorant of the fact that he was in the wrong.

    And his name is out there for all to see, it’s no longer a secret that Joe Menard Jr. is a bigoted, violent nutcase.

  3. Lars says

    @Johnny are you certain that is the perpetrator’s facebook page?? The picture does not look like him. And his wife is listed as Danell, while the article identifies her as Carissa.

    It would highly irresponsible of you to put this guy’s info out there unless you happen to have something to back up your claim.

  4. Me says

    I know if I didn’t want to be around gay people I would definitely seek refuge at a Barbra Streisand movie.

  5. Francis says

    That’s not the perp’s FB page because the perp is much skinnier, and younger, with a different wife. However they are in the same family so you can let him know what you think about what occurred here anyway.

    The reality is it is still VERY unsafe to be gay the farther south and middle you go. It’s incredibly unsafe, in fact. Hate crimes do happen everywhere but bashings like this occur far more frequently on average in conservative states and lower-income areas. Unfortunately in the South you can’t even live in your own house, walk to the store or go to the theater without being harassed for who you are.

    Sometimes people in…………a Chelsea or WEHO underestimate just how bad things are elsewhere. What’s good is to see people fighting back and no longer being forced into silence. That’s the only way to force change.

  6. Yupp says

    You Towleroad guys better be damn careful handing out peoples’ contact info. That’s what got you in trouble before. (Especially if you wind up pulling a Spike Lee and giving out the address of the wrong Zimmermans).

  7. Yupp says

    Because he’s in “the same family” it’s okay to go after him ?? There are people in my family I despise, so why should I suffer for what THEY might do?

  8. Peter M. says

    “arrested Menard on the simple battery charges”.

    Pardon me? This is clearly a hate crime. If Menard had attacked 4 black men that way it would be clear to anyone. Welcome to the homophobic double standard of the south where homophobia is not hate but “disagreement”. Outrageous.

  9. Scott says

    @Francis – I certainly do not want to minimize this assault. It is an insult to us all. However, your response would lead one to believe that to be open and public about one’s sexual preference in the south is dangerous. For myself and my partner of nearly 20 years, it has not been menacing. We live our lives openly here as a couple and have been active in civic and city governance for over 12 years now. We run a business that interacts with the public. Yes, bigots are here, as they are anywhere.

    It is not as fraught with peril as it once was. It is a good place to live, visit, and do business. We have learned much from the gay rights movement as accomplished elsewhere. These men who were attacked have done the right thing by making this an issue publicly at some concern for their own safety. In doing so, the bigots will push back to try to preserve their power, but it to will fade. But only when there is a local face that puts to the grave the old “gay menace” stereotype.

  10. Francis says

    I’m sorry, Scott, but there are simply too many assaults and attacks to be ignored. Virtually all of the latest reported gay bashings have been from Baltimore/DC southward. I should actually say “conservative states” since that’s really where the hate crimes happen on an regular basis, and inner-city communities in all states…..so more or less socially conservative areas. HOWEVER there are some very good places in the South, some towns that you wouldn’t think of as accepting that very much are, like Research Triangle, Fort Lauderdale and Savannah, Florida. Orlando is one of the gayest cities in the US. There are unexpected places such as Boston where there are a lot of hate assaults, or parts of Los Angeles. But on average, it is conservative states in general that have the worst hate crime numbers, and the South is largely conservative. Cities such as Seattle, Columbus, Cambridge, San Jose, WEHO and others don’t have high hate crime rates, especially in relation to the number of gays within these cities. NYC has a hate crime rate comparable to DC and Atlanta with far more gay people within the city. Especially in Manhattan and Queens, the hate crime rates are low in comparison to the number of gays within the city.

    The numbers are the numbers. Hate crimes aren’t even classified as hate crimes in these conservative areas and LGBT people don’t trust the police in these places and often don’t speak out when they are harassed or bashed. Police won’t document them, as was done here. But I will say things are getting better everywhere, slowly but surely. Hate is everywhere undoubtedly. I respect you so much, Scott, and I respect this couple and everyone standing up, and speaking out, and not allowing fear drive them in the closet. But we can’t ignore the obvious: There are certain communities and areas that are violently anti-gay.

  11. Francis says

    Oops, I meant to say Savannah, Georgia. Which quite frankly is much more safe than Atlanta is.

    I don’t blame these men for not getting violent. We’re not violent people, by and large. Homophobes know that. What’s important is to carry mace, a stun gun, brass knuckles, something where if your put in a physical situation, you can defend yourself without getting into a scrap. Awareness of hateful incidents such as these are what make change.

  12. luminum says

    Andrew, I’d like to believe that they knew enough about being men not to punch a guy back, no matter how douchey, in front of his kids.

  13. Artie_in_Lauderdale says

    @ Yupp,

    The Towleroad post simply cited the news story that ran in the Lafayette newspaper, “The Daily Advertiser,” on its online version, “TheAdvertiser.com.” Towleroad, like any blog site, has every right to link to other media stories, as long as they quote their source. From your comment:

    “You Towleroad guys better be damn careful handing out peoples’ contact info.”

    Well, that does sound threatening, doesn’t it? You must be pretty important. Actually, I think *you* had better be damn careful about what you post or you could easily make a jackass out of yourself.

  14. Artie_in_Lauderdale says

    @ Scott,

    Thank you for acknowledging the progress in gay rights that has come about in the South during the last decades. No thoughtful person will claim otherwise. Personally, I’ve always admired Howard Dean’s electoral strategy: never write off a single state. The 2008 election proved that Howard Dean was right and Rahm Emanuel was wrong: Obama carried North Carolina and Virginia, both of which are Southern states.

  15. Fensox says

    Lol, Kiwi isnt even in this thread.

    Also, what the hell guys? You can’t make a point and make a gross oversimplification. Type out your point. Read it back. Then, read it back as if someone else wrote it and you want to break their argument apart. Remove/reword any things that no longer work.

  16. Artie_in_Lauderdale says

    @ Yupp,

    You IDIOT! If you’ve ever read any of the posts on this blog, you’d realize that Kiwi and I are two completely different posters. In fact, during many debates between Kiwi and Rick, I’ve sometimes argued on behalf of an occasional point that RICK makes, although I’ve also occasionally agreed with a point that Kiwi makes. If you don’t believe me, ask Kiwi.

    Yupp, did your nurse drop you on your head when you were an infant? Could that account for your illogical conclusions?

  17. Francis says

    Kiwi and Artie are two clear different people.

    Yupp, yes, a whole lot of us are prepared to throw down when necessary and will beat a cowardly bigot(s) down. But we don’t throw down for the sake of fighting. Gay men in general are less bluntly aggressive. When provoked, you better be careful. We will react when we need to react. You can call it a stereotype if you please since I didn’t say gay men can’t fight.

  18. Derrick from Philly says

    Yupp, it is impossible that Artie and Kiwi could be the same person. They are both too sincere to try such subtle deception. And, Lord knows, Kiwi is too emotional and firey to attempt Artie’s more relaxed style of writing.

    When Kiwi does a different persona on the blog it is obvious, and it is for effect. He does a parody of Rick that is ruthless, often hilarious…and justified.

  19. Artie_in_Lauderdale says

    Yupp claims that my comment offended gay conservatives. I only claimed that Towleroad (or any other blog site) has every right to link to other stories in newspapers, etc. How does that offend gay conservatives? When Yupp threatens the bloggers at Towleroad and tells them that they’d better be “damn careful”… or else, Yupp is not being a gay conservative. He’s just making a jackass of himself.

  20. Stefan says

    A break for some levity in a comment thread that has become downright contentious: without my glasses I read the “li” in the word “flick” as a “u”, and I was seriously scratching my head for a few seconds as to what a “Streisand f**k*” is.

  21. Artie_in_Lauderdale says

    And Yupp, if you don’t want to dialogue with Kiwi, then ask Rick. Rick will verify that I have indeed agreed with some of his points (although not all of his points) on those occasions when Kiwi and Rick have debated. Yes, I am a different poster than any of the other posters. Get a clue, Yupp.

  22. Mike says

    Once again, gay men are shown to be fearful, weak cowards. This time, the gays outnumbered their attacker by 4-1. The lone attacker accurately determined that these pathetic clowns would take their lumps passively.

    The guy hits one of them in the back of the head and abuses them verbally with anti-gay taunts. And what do they do? Did they beat the crap out of the attacker? Did they work together to restrain the guy? Did they act collectively to toss this guy onto the street? Nope. They slunk off to find someone from “management.” Translation: They were all cowards and went to look for a real man who could tackle the bully.

    Even worse, the guy who was punched was the partner of another of the guys in the group. But even seeing his own partner attacked wasn’t enough to get this person to act.

    This incident reminds me of another one covered on Towleroad a few years ago, in which gay guys were attacked right in the middle of Chelsea. Of course, none of these pansies did anything until a straight bus driver stopped his bus and got out and chased off the bashers.

    This is what happens when you have a gay culture that celebrates effeminacy and equates being gay with transvestitism and transsexualism. After a while, gays internalize this and start to act like little girls.

  23. Artie_in_Lauderdale says

    @ Yupp,

    Did I imply that your parents hate you in previous comments by way of adding some humor? My apologies for my “inappropriate” humor. For all I know, your parents don’t hate you at all, and you make stupid comments on this board because your nurse dropped you on your head when you were an infant. I don’t know what the source of your mental dysfunction is, but the bloggers at Towleroad are doing just fine, and I’m sure they’re not shaking in their boots just because you can’t think.

  24. Joey says

    Being from a small city 50 miles west of Lafayette, LA, I can say with certainty that it is harder and you must be more careful in the middle south than most other places. Here people are proud of their ignorance, and it is a shame, but sometimes you must hide to live to fight another day. I understand what my brethren in Lafayette went through, and I personally feel, that they should have fought back. However, they chose the safe road and just contacted the proper authorities. It turned out well, and they did not cause the matter to escalate and become deadly, which we all know could have happened. Ignorance and hate are dangerous things.

  25. Caliban says

    I wouldn’t blame them if they HAD attacked this guy, but the likely result is that ALL of them would have been arrested. Given that the local police are stonewalling charging this as a hate crime when it clearly was one, expecting that once everything was explained the gay men wouldn’t also have been charged is… optimistic.

    This way the man and his wife were both arrested and will be charged with a crime, IMO the best case scenario.

    I’m all for gays standing for themselves but how you react to a verbal or physical assault is necessarily different in a crowded movie theater or restaurant than if it’s on the street.

  26. TampaZeke says

    @Scott, I’ve lived in the South all my life, mostly in Mississippi but also in Florida. If you want to make the point that the South doesn’t get enough credit for its good and wonderful things I’ll be right there with you. But if you want to claim that we don’t deserve the grief we get for our current and historical ignorance, racism, homophobia, general bigotry, xenophobia and fundamentalist Christianity insanity then I could disagree with you more. We probably don’t get as much grief as we deserve. I used to be defensive about this too until I faced reality. Again though, I do take offense that too many of the WONDERFULLY FABULOUS things about the South and our people, are overlooked, avoided or ignored.

  27. Artie_in_Lauderdale says

    Mike suggested that these guys are just cowards for not beating the attacker in a crowded theater. Maybe that’s true if this happened on the street, but I’ll have to agree with Caliban about the outcome at the local police station. If they had fought back in a crowded theater, they would all wind up at the police station. Would the police take their side when they found out that the gay guys were attacked first? It depends on the region of the country. In the Northeast, the police would probably say the gay guys acted in self-defense. In Lafayette, Louisiana? I don’t think so. The South has a ways to go before the police and the general population react fairly in situations like these. That is just a fact of life in a region dominated by Bible-believing Christians.

  28. Mousie says

    Real men throw punches, but women and cowards don’t? What is this, the 50s?

    Thanks for clearing up your warped ideas about masculinity and responding to hostility, guys. And keep throwing those punches, so you can be taken off the street just like the bigot in this story!

  29. Stefan says

    @Mike: Get off your high horse.

    Maybe you should realize that in cases of self defense it’s very hard to prove who escalated an incident. If you used more force than your aggressor, then it’s no longer self defense and it can become the victim suddenly getting counter-sued for battery. I’m not sure I’d trust a jury of my “peers” to take the word of me and my gay friends against that of a straight man and his family.

    Also, people carry guns and knives and other weapons, and escalating a fight might not be a great idea if you’re interested in avoiding a serious injury. So, in that sense, these actions might be understood as just being smart, rather than cowardly. Would I have wanted to punch the guy? Yeah, obviously. But if I had other options that were safer I’d take those. And that’s whether I’m straight or gay.

  30. Sammy says

    AJ that is clearly not the same person, there’s a mugshot on The Advertiser and they look nothing alike. Get your facts straight before you throw something like that around

  31. says

    what a sad and insecure man.

    ten bucks says he beats his wife, too.

    as for the men: good. don’t throw punches in a theatre. the bigot will be arrested, and hopefully the man’s kids will learn the lesson that their sad-@ss mother didn’t learn: don’t marry a violent, hateful, ignorant, abusive neanderthal.

    we’re better than that. this was not a street fight. this was a cinema, where a violent idiot’s violent idiocy can be used against him.

    fists are what you use when you don’t have brains at your disposal.

    and folks – ignore the trolls. i’m guilty of having fed ’em for too long. “mike”/yupp/etc are the same bloody idiot. don’t feed. they’ll die off.

    you really need to question the mental stability of a grown-man who can’t even be in the same presence as gay men without freaking the f**k out. that’s beyond mentally unhinged.

  32. jamal49 says

    @MAWM: He was probably pissed off that his wife and kids didn’t want to be dragged by him to see a Streisand flick.

  33. Inis says

    The perpetrator’s kids should be removed from him by the state’s child services agency because being raised by that troglodyte is tantamount to child abuse.

  34. Rick says

    @Mike

    Thank you, my brother. I was going to say exactly what you said, but your own comment said it all for me.

    Physical cowardice is an integral component of the culture of effeminacy and until that entire culture and the behaviors associated with it are eradicated, gay men will not be truly respected by other men and by people in general…..and they will not deserve to be respected.

    As for the cops in this case being “biased”, first of all there were witnesses (as the story indicated) who could have corroborated the fact that the man who attacked the four was indeed the instigator….and secondly, as a matter of culture, they would have had far more respect for these guys if they had fought back, even if they were gay, than they do having observed their predictable cowardice. Anyone who thinks otherwise really does not understand Southern culture or American male culture, generally.

    Nothing will get you disrespected faster as a man, anywhere in the world, than being a coward and a pu$$y, gay or not.

  35. Rick says

    “We’re not violent people, by and large. Homophobes know that. What’s important is to carry mace, a stun gun, brass knuckles, something where if your put in a physical situation, you can defend yourself without getting into a scrap”

    In other words, think of yourself as a woman and behave like a woman, rather than having enough self-respect to defend yourself the way any other self-respecting man would, despite the fact that you are perfectly physically capable of defending yourself (in a way that a woman is not), especially when you are part of a group that outnumbers the attacker 4-to-1..

    Yes, this is the mindset that the culture of effeminacy results in.

  36. says

    fun fact – can the “non-coward”, “non-pu**y” gay men who complain about “effeminacy” be Real Brave Men and put a face to their comments?

    No. Because they’re the actual cowards. So wimpy, they can’t even speak their minds from a visible place on the internet, let alone the real world.

    So, ignore the trolls. Complaining about other gays, and women, anonymously online is the one thing distracting them from the shameful cowardly existence that constitutes their own lives.

    So don’t feed – you show me a “femme hating” gay man and I’ll show you a coward who never grew the pair needed to stand up to be counted as a gay man.

  37. Artie_in_Lauderdale says

    @ Rick,

    I don’t claim to know what the current situation in the South is, since Fort Lauderdale has an entirely Yankee population, with a little Hispanic mixed in. Change MAY have already occurred fast enough in the South for the police, and the witnesses in a crowded theater, to agree that the gay guys acted in self-defense if they fought back. If this is the case, I’m glad for it. I would be happy to say that you’re right about the South because it would mean that the world has changed for the better.

    By the way, since I’m basically agreeing with you on the issue of fighting back, don’t assume that the majority of Fort Lauderdale’s population is Jewish (not that there’s anything wrong with that). The city to our north that you’re thinking of is Boca Raton.

  38. Tanoka says

    @ Rick:

    I totally would have punched this guy in front of his kids and other witnesses. Is it because I’m a manly man? No, I’m a woman.
    Is it because I’m a manly woman then? No, I’m not a manly woman.
    Then what could it possibly be?!?

    Because I have a short fuse, and I lose my ability to think rationally when I’m angry.

    I consider it a flaw. You consider it a strength.

  39. says

    Tanoka – Rick/Mike/Same Troll is just doing the same thing: anonymously, as a closeted adult, boasting of his own masculinity while denigrating others….and yeah…all from an untraceable faceless position.

    because that’s the mark of toughness and strength and courage.

    let’s not feed ’em. logic and reason won’t work on the people whose lives exist only by ignoring both.

  40. beef and fur says

    Four gay men attacked by one bigot and a c*nt? Um, no. If this had been me and four of my friends, there would be only one outcome: four gay men getting arrested and one bigot and one c*nt going to the hospital. Save your preaching about fighting back. F*ck that. I’m fighting back.

  41. Rick says

    @TANOKA You know perfectly well that you can hit a man and not get any retaliation from him because the code of chivalry that most men live by prohibits them from hitting a “lady.” So THAT would be the base of your “courage”, because you know that you would be no physical match for a man any more than any woman is going to be. And you also know that not only would the man most likely not hit you back, but that if he did, another man or men would come to your defense.

    That code of chivalry does not apply in the case of men, including gay men, so their behavior in this instance cannot possibly be regarded as anything other than abject cowardice.

  42. Rick says

    And I don’t need to give any proof of who I am as a gay man because facts and proof are for liberal effeminates and I refuse to ever do anything that would associate me with liberal effeminacy.

    I don’t need to show anyone who I am. I will tell you that I’m a very masculine gay man and you’ll have to believe me, because if there’s one thing masculine manly non-effeminate gay men do best it’s tell people how masculine they are on the internet.

  43. Zia says

    Ah, look at Rick the internet tough guy. There are plenty of women capable of beating men up, especially you.

  44. Rick says

    I watched my father beat the crap out of my mother for years, and she deserved it, so I think I learned a thing or two about the best way to keep a woman in her place.

  45. Marty says

    I hate to say it, but it does seem “odd” that four men couldn’t handle one guy. I’m not saying beat him to death, but you couldnt even restrain him? Hold him down until the cops came? Nothing? You tell him to be quiet, he punches you and your boyfriend and nothing?

  46. Bollux says

    I can’t think of a more despicable hell on Earth than 90 torturous minutes of Seth Rogen AND Barbra Strident. This just proves it.

  47. beef and fur says

    Dear Abby (Pauline Philips) passed away today. Came across this column while reading about her writings:

    March 15, 1962

    Dear Abby:

    The boy behind me in Freshmen English brings a knitting bag to school and knits in class! He appears to be normal in every aspect, but how can this be? At first everyone giggled and made remarks, but now nobody pays any attention to it. He is very good looking, clean-cut and polite, but a little on the effeminate side. I would really like to get to know him better but my dorm sisters tell me there must be something wrong with him. Can a boy be normal and knit in public?

    Signed,
    On The Level

    Dear On:

    He certainly can. And any male who kits in public is obviously masculine enough to defend himself.

  48. Derrick from Philly says

    Wow, BEEF AND FUR, that pretty much sums up this whole discussion.

    Rick, read BEEF AND FUR’s comment and STFU.

  49. beef and fur says

    @DFP

    It won’t do any good. The group of 3 – 4 malcontents highlighted here are never happy unless everyone agrees only with them. They can’t accept that everyone has an opinion and that if they want to force everyone to march to what they deem the enlightened beat of their drum, they should just get their own F*cking blog.

  50. ratbastard says

    @Francis,

    Cambridge and Boston essentially one and the same. They’re technically separate cities but are right on top of each other.

    Boston and Cambridge are both very urban, very diverse and densely populated. These characteristics lead to statistically large numbers of ‘assaults’, mostly people arguing over some BS that happens in crowded urban areas, over parking spaces, etc., And the Boston/Cambridge/Somerville area has a lot of ‘progressives’ and people in general who’re more likely to contact police over incidents they believe to have been bias related. Aside from that, the violent crime rate for a big city is pretty tame compared to many other U.S. cities.

  51. andrew says

    If gay men don’t physically fight back when threatened or assaulted they are enablers. Bullies and bigots want to hurt people without being hurt themselves. Stand up! Fight back! Playing the victim only encourages further victimization.!!!!!!!

  52. andrew says

    Little Kiwi should stop posting in Rick’s name. It just shows us who follow the postings on this site how truly sick and evil Little Kiwi really is !!!!!!!!!!

  53. disgusted american says

    ..well I read everyones comments…and I gotta say – I agree with everyone – at least some pints in each of thier comments—- I say – Unless YOU are there WHILE its happening – you dont know exactly How you;d react…..sure, we’d all like to beat the crap outa him…but,again – you werent there….ad the outcome seems to be positive. It could have gotten Real Ugly Un-necessarily

  54. Contrarian says

    Towleroad needs to talk to Prof. Waldman or whomever gives you legal advice on defamation law. Several of the comments here are actual or borderline defamatory, including those misidentifying the accused and attributing criminality to him apart from this arrest. It appears Menard is a somewhat common Cajun or French ethnic name in that state. Be careful what you guys post about someone if you don’t have your “facts” down–ahem– straight. He already has a lawyer I suppose so Towleroad (and those bigmouths not masking their IP address here) better hope said lawyer only knows criminal law.

  55. jleo71 says

    @luminum,
    I am anti violence for the most part but punching him out in front of his kids might just have been exactly what should have happened. At least one generation would then understand the consequences and repercussions of homophobic violence.

  56. BETTY says

    Don’t get into a “debate” with YUPP. As soon as he disagrees with someone he accuses them of being Kiwi.

    This guy IS ignorant. Ignorant in his views on gay people and clearly ignorant to know that if he didn’t want to associate with gay people, he shouldn’t have gone to a Streisand movie. Duh.

    AJ and the rest. STOP giving out contact and personal info on people that is incorrect. A) It is wrong on many levels. B) Don’t give fuel to trolls like Yupp.