Ex-Gay Leader Claims Gay Activist Said He Should Be Injected With AIDS
|Wayne Besen doesn't wish AIDS on anyone|
Quinlan appeared on WDCW-TV in October 2011 and told viewers that Wayne Besen, executive director of Truth Wins Out, a nonprofit critical of the ex-gay movement, said Quinlan should get run over by a bus -- or better, injected with AIDS.
A Virginia judge ruled that Quinlan, the president of Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays, didn't technically defame his gay nemesis.
Here's exactly what Quinlan said on the air:
"Wayne Besen. He's asked for people, you know, 'somebody needs to run Greg over.' 'He needs to be hit with a bus.' 'Somebody should inject him with AIDS.' Those are the things Wayne Besen and Truth Wins Out says about me."
Quinlan later indicated that he knew Besen wasn't serious and that it was obviously "Wayne just being Wayne -- one part bluster, two parts hyperbole, and three parts hot air."
|Greg Quinlan doesn't wish homosexuality on anyone|
Judge Henry Hudson -- who must have been given a hard time in geography class growing up -- chalked this up to nothing more than an emotionally charged public dispute about sexual orientation. He dismissed Besen's claims that Quinlan had defamed him on television.
"As a public figure, plaintiff must show that the allegedly defamatory statements were made with knowing falsity or with reckless disregard for the truth," Hudson wrote. "Reckless conduct is not measured by whether a reasonably prudent man would have published, or would have investigated before publishing. There must be sufficient evidence to permit the conclusion that the defendant in fact entertained serious doubts as to the truth of his publication."
The judge noted that establishing actual malice is no easy task, because the plaintiff needs very clear and convincing evidence that malice occurred. "Plaintiff has not met his burden, and his defamation claims must be dismissed," Hudson added.
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