Editor's Note: Please be advised that the contents in this story and in the associated video are graphic in nature.
Dan Savage has come under major fire over the past two weeks following an inappropriate speech he gave to high school journalism students. But a separate story that has gone somewhat underreported occurred in the days following that controversy, during an address Savage gave at Elmhurst College in Elmhurst, Illinois, on Sunday.
During his speech, Savage and a conservative activist apparently got into a debate -- one that caused the activist to be kicked out. Additionally, the controversial founder of the "It Gets Better" campaign made some comments about the Pope that some may find generally unappealing.
Savage was apparently invited by the college to address students about his "It Gets Better" campaign. An announcement on the Elmhurst web site promoted the free and public event. While the college is saying that that the talk went off without a hitch, Peter LaBarbera, the founder of the group Americans for Truth About Homosexuality (an organization that works to expose the so-called "radical homosexual agenda") has a very different view.
LaBarbera has called the discussion crude and inappropriate. On the flip side, Elmhurst spokeswoman Desiree Chen says that it was a success that included "a great mix of people of all ages." According to the college, 1,200 people showed up to the event.
Now, here's where things get interesting. LaBarbera also claims he was unfairly removed from the event after questioning Savage and his past tactics. Here's what CNS News' Lauren Thompson reported earlier this week:
Conservative activist Peter LaBarbera claims he was removed from the “It Gets Better” founder's event after LaBarbera expressed his Christian views, and attempted to question Savage about his vile attack on conservative presidential candidate Rick Santorum. [...]
According to LaBarbera the “anti-bullying” bigotry was laced with profanity and filthy and distorted accusations about believing Christians. “Savage made wildly inappropriate comments,” he said. At one point Savage “claimed the only thing stopping his d**k from being put in Brad Pitt’s mouth is a piece of paper,” LaBarbera said, apparently referencing legislation.
LaBarbera apparently confronted Savage about the web site he created to disparage former GOP presidential candidate Rick Santorum. Thompson continues:
Savage famously created SpreadingSantorum.com and started a “Google bomb” with the definition of Santorum as: “The frothy mixture of lube and fecal matter that is sometimes the by-product of anal sex.” Many left-wing websites linked to that definition, boosting its online popularity. In the past, Savage also claimed he would love to hate-f*** Santorum. [...]
LaBarbera said he turned to the crowd and told them Christians do not want kids bullied...When he returned to his seat the woman next to him took his coat and belongings and threw them into the aisle.
LaBarbera said he was then escorted from the event because of his “disruptive behavior.”
The activist maintains that he did not heckle, nor was he disruptive. Following the event, Savage and LaBarbera continued their debate about what occurred at the address. Here is just a snippet of how heated it turned:
And here's another sampling (from Savage's end):
"Dan Savage is the face of progressive-hate and he himself is a walking hate-crime," LaBarbera said after the drama ensued.
As for the claims that Savage was, indeed, inappropriate, LaBarbera published a clip allegedly taken from the Elmhurst event. In much of it, the gay rights advocate is being comedic, but his comments will surely offend Catholics, among others.
"The Pope. I'm going to digress for a moment about the Pope. The Pope recently said that gay marriage is a threat to the survival of the human race," he said. "Because once...gay marriage is legal, everyone is going to get gay married. What he's saying is that there's no such thing as a straight person."
At this point, the audience roared with applause and laughter. Then, he continued with his statements about the Catholic leader's views on gay marriage:
"What the pope is saying is that the only thing that stands between my dick and Brad Pitt's mouth is a piece of paper. When the Pope says these things, gay writers like me, we go up on our blogs and write about it. I don't understand why straight people don't get mad. The Pope is projecting. He clearly meant nobody's straight. Not the Pope, not nobody else. You would think straight people would be insulted.
What the Pope is saying, once we're all gay married we're going to go extinct as a generation. Because once we're all gay married, we're going to forget which hole sh*ts babies."
Watch these comments, among others, below:
So far, the entire address has yet to be posted online and Elmhurst is claiming that the college doesn't have permission from Savage to do so. In fairness to Savage, though, the college was fully aware of who Savage was before his appearance.
While his words were certainly, by some standards foul, they cannot be fully assessed outside of the speech's entirety -- which has not been made available.