footage captured over the weekend at a Proposition 8
rally in Bakersfield, Calif., shows Kern High
School District trustee Ken Mettler assaulting a No on
8 protester, BakersfieldNow.com is
reporting. But Mettler, a politically conservative
activist, said he threw the punch in self-defense.
Prior to the
assault, Mettler was reportedly snatching signs away from No
on 8 protesters. According to reports, the signs originally
read Yes on 8, but same-sex marriage supporters had
altered the signs. Proposition 8 is a ballot measure
that would rescind same-sex marriage rights in
shows Mettler taking back the signs to boos and jeers from
the crowd. Mettler then walks toward a protester; footage
shows him grabbing a sign and appearing to punch and
kick 21-year-old Robert Badewitz.
assaulted," Mettler told Bakersfield Now. A fellow
threw a punch at me. He missed. And I did hit
authorities a different story.
"He hit me
on the left jaw with his fist and then he kicked me as
well," he said.
reporters an assault did take place. Mettler was questioned,
but no arrests have been made. Police also said there were
accusations that signs had been stolen.
police, neither Mettler nor Badewitz wished to file a
In addition to
his work in the school district, Mettler serves as the
Kern County chairman for Yes on Prop. 8 and is the president
of the county's chapter of the California
Republican Assembly, a group promoting conservative
stances without the party.
County made headlines when a county clerk said
she would stop performing all marriage ceremonies shortly
before the state supreme court order legalizing
same-sex marriage took effect. (The Advocate)