The owners of a
gay men's campground in southwestern Missouri have filed
a lawsuit alleging that their neighbors have harassed them
for years in an effort to drive them out of business.
Charles Franzke and James Thideman own the
Cactus Canyon Campground near Springfield. In court
papers, they claim five of their neighbors conspired
to drive them off their property.
They say the defendants shot at them, threw
rocks, threatened them, and circulated petitions
against the campground. Franzke and Thideman also
claim the neighbors vandalized the campground and started a
hog farm on the property line to "create hazardous runoff."
They say the harassment violates Missouri's
hate-crimes law, which covers a victim's sexual
orientation. The neighbor's lawyer, Brian Malkmus, told
the News-Leader, "The case is a land dispute at
But another neighbor who's a friend of Franzke
and Thideman told the newspaper the men have tried to
talk to the defendants without success and filed the
lawsuit as a last resort. (Sirius OutQ News)