Louisiana retreat vandalized again

By Advocate.com Editors

Originally published on Advocate.com April 07 2003 11:00 PM ET

A gay rustic retreat outside Pollock, La., was attacked by vandals for the second time since February, the camp's owners reported. Joe Gary and Skip Ward said that in late March a gate and fence, built to replace another gate and fence destroyed by vandals in February, were torn down. Gary, 40, runs the camp each year from mid March to mid November with his partner, Ward, 82, who is a gay rights activist. No one has been arrested. Grant Parish sheriff's deputies said they are investigating the incident. The camp's existence only recently came to light, prompting some area residents and ministers to condemn it. "Why are they bothering me?" Ward said. "I think it's simply hatred and homophobia."

The camp, which once served as a boys' church camp, is used primarily by gays and lesbians as a wilderness retreat. The acts of vandalism are estimated to cost about $1,500 to fix, Ward said.