Lesbians Under Investigation for Child Abuse Accusations
July 7, 2008 - 8:02 PM
(CNSNews.com) - Some participants and organizers of a self-proclaimed lesbian-slanted festival in Michigan could face legal troubles if allegations of sexual abuse toward children hold true.
The "Womyn's" Music Festival held in mid-August on wooded campgrounds near Hart, MI, has come under fire from both a family organization and the law for post-event messages on its Internet site that reportedly depicted several occasions of lewdness in the presence of children.
Various law enforcement personnel are currently investigating the validity of those postings, interviewing a woman identified recently as a possible witness, according to a statement from state Senator Bill Schuette's office as released by the American Family Association of Michigan.
"There is an ongoing investigation of the matter" by the Oceana County prosecutor and sheriff's department, Schuette's chief of staff stated Monday. "Wednesday, evidence emerged suggesting that an Ann Arbor, Michigan woman may be the first person identifiable as an eyewitness to alleged criminal behavior at the lesbian festival."
The six-day event, as advertised on the festival's Internet site, was a way for women to unleash "the feelings about the burden of being closeted at home" while attending various musical and cultural seminars.
Gala coordinators also warned prospective heterosexual participants of their potential to feel a "disquieting sense of separation or invisibility," especially if they "have never been in a community where the dominant sexual preference was other than [their] own."
Children were allowed at the festival. Organizers offered various day and night programs to keep those of toddler and preteen ages separate from some of the events.
But segregation plans may have run awry as Internet postings reportedly indicated children were privy to some of the homosexual acts performed by women unable or unwilling to seek privacy.
"I was struck by how many young children now attend," one Internet posting from a festival participant read, according to the AFA press release. "I thought it inappropriate for them to be exposed to some of the very sexual, unabashed displays of affection that I witnessed."
"A couple making love at the dinner area in front of everyone is not acceptable," another posting from a participant upset at some of the festival proceedings reportedly stated. "Eating p---- [aka slang for performing oral sex on a woman] on the shuttle is just downright disrespectful to everyone. Children are coming in droves to the fest ... a butt[f---] workshop should not be at the [area] where every single person walking by can witness it."
Others posting comments about the festival detailed an instance of 8-and 9-year-olds chatting nearby the unzipped tent of a lesbian couple engaged in homosexual activity and one of a young boy "watching and laughing" as a group of "girls/women played drinking games that required sex acts as punishments."
Gary Glenn, president of the AFA in Michigan, requested the state attorney general and two counties' prosecutors investigate the validity of the Internet postings and uncover whether child abuse was prevalent at the festival.
Glenn specifically asked whether state statutes were violated in respect to "child sexually abusive activity," "lewd and lascivious cohabitation and gross lewdness," "indecent exposure," indecent language in the presence of children, and "gross indecency" of females.
Our organization, he said, is "greatly concerned about the family and about children in particular. All we've done is point the law enforcement agencies to investigate."
Festival organizers and participants have called the AFA a "right-wing extremist" group for its members' efforts to promote investigation of the event, and they accused them of making "false allegations."
In reaction to the accusations, festival officials removed their message forum from their Internet site. It was reposted just recently, albeit the inclusion of warnings from a woman named Lisa Vogel.
"The forum is back up," Vogel wrote. "It has been down while we were busy dealing with a campaign of misinformation and harassment ... [but] there is no benefit to us of taking up their challenge" to defend the allegations beyond responding in writing to various news stories on the issue.
"As we start the bulletin board up again, please remember that this is an Internet bulletin board and that anyone has access to it," she continued. "The things that get said here can and will get twisted by people who oppose us, and our board, like many other alternative boards, is being monitored and distorted by people who would like to see the festival shut down and lesbian culture made lewd."
Glenn cited the actions of the festival officials in removing their Internet message board postings as an example of their inability to defend themselves against the allegations of child abuse.
If the allegations were indeed false, he said, "The best way to alleviate that would be to leave everything untouched" on the message board area so that visitors to the Internet site could discern the truth from falsehood.