Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Executive Director of Log Cabin Republicans dodges thrown pie at UNC-Chapel Hill Coming Out Day Event

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From the Raleigh News & Observer: GOP gay leader dodges a pie By JESSICA ROCHA, Staff Writer CHAPEL HILL -- The head of a national gay Republicans group got "pied" Monday night while giving a speech at UNC-Chapel Hill for National Coming Out Day. Patrick Guerriero, president of the Log Cabin Republicans, was speaking on the future of sexual politics when a person ran down toward the lectern and hurled a chocolate-laced cream pie at him. A few minutes later someone pulled a fire alarm, and the building was evacuated. Guerriero finished his speech on the front steps of Carroll Hall. "I've had a lot of political rhetoric thrown at me, but that was the first pie," he said. The UNC-CH Department of Public Safety is investigating the incident but had made no arrests as of Tuesday afternoon. Between 100 and 200 people came to Carroll 111, an auditorium-style classroom, to hear Guerriero speak at 7 p.m. Monday. About five minutes into the speech, part of a week-long observance of National Coming Out Day, a person wearing dark clothes and a baseball cap launched the pie, witnesses said. Guerriero, a former college soccer player, dodged the pie, but his suit coat got splattered. "I faked to the left and moved to the right, which is probably something I do in politics sometimes," he said Tuesday. Guerriero took off his coat and continued with his speech, but was soon interrupted by the fire alarm, according to witnesses. Most people stayed on to hear the rest of the speech outside on the hall's steps. Both gay liberals and conservative opponents of homosexuality often find Guerriero controversial. But in this case, Bernard Holloway, one of the organizers of Monday's speech, said some people think the assailant came from the left. "I think there was a lot more unease amongst queer-identified people on campus just seeing Patrick come than amongst conservative-minded people on campus," Holloway said. Guerriero said he was impressed that the students who attended the talk stayed on despite the interruptions. As part of the week's National Coming Out Day events, openly gay Chapel Hill Town Council member Mark Kleinschmidt is scheduled to speak on campus Thursday. He doesn't anticipate any pie attacks since he's not a Republican. "But if they do, I guess that's fine," he said. "I guess that's what dry cleaners are for." Staff writer Jessica Rocha can be reached at 932-2008 or Source: