A Lansing area business owner, caught on video hurling a series of antigay invectives against three gay men, says his actions were not motivated by hate.
“I don’t hate faggots,” Victor Sadet told Between The Lines in a phone interview. He preceded his comments by declaring he was a “re-born” Christian. “Leviticus states that homosexuality should be stoned and put to death,” he noted. He owns Sadet’s Handyman and Maintanance (sic) on Lansing’s eastside.
Sadet says the invective was the result of three gay men having sexually explicit conversations as they were leaving the Fire Mountain in Delta Township. But two of the three men to whom Sadet directed his verbal assault say that’s untrue; another patron of the facility, who wished not to be identified, supported the two gay men’s version of the story.
The incident unfolded some time between 6:30 and 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 3, say Fire Mountain officials. Sadet says it happened at about 4 p.m.
Based on several interviews, Sadet was apparently standing outside the doors of Fire Mountain smoking a cigarette when Isiah Tweedie, 27, and Montrell ‘Delicious’ Jackson, 35, were exiting the buffet style restaurant. Tweedie and Jackson were accompanied by one other person, who is also gay. Witnesses say Sadet started calling the three “faggots” and telling them to leave the state.
Sadet agrees that he did tell them he “hated faggots” and that they should leave the state, but claims he was antagonized when one of the men talked about having anal sex with another’s boyfriend. Tweedie and Jackson say none of the three men is currently involved in a relationship with anyone.
The invectives were launched, Sadet contends, because he was morally offended and worried that children might overhear the men’s sexually explicit conversation. He says there were no children present during the incident. However, the patron was present with her children and witnessed the entire exchange. Tweedie and Jackson also confirm there were children present.
Tweedie said he was fumbling with his smart phone in an attempt to remove the lens cap from his camera during the initial verbal barrage. He finally was able to get the lens cap off when the three men arrived at the car. He began recording, and the resulting video shows Sadet calling them “fucking faggots” and saying they are not Americans.
The three gay men then got into their car.
Shortly thereafter, a manager exited the building. Kim Miller, a spokesperson for Fire Mountain, says he was originally coming out to confront Sadet for smoking too closely to the door. But when he overheard the antigay verbal assault, he told Sadet he had to leave.
Sadet says he immediately complied with the manager’s request that he leave the property, but Miller says that the man returned to the restaurant and sat down with his family.
“At that point, the manager told him, ‘I said you have to leave. I am calling the police, now,'” Miller says of the incident. Sadet and his family left shortly after this, but the Eaton County Sheriff’s Department was called. Sadet says he was called within five minutes of leaving the buffet by the police. Tweedie and Jackson say they have not been contacted by the sheriff’s office.
Delta Township is home to the Lansing Mall, and less than a year ago adopted a local human rights ordinance which prohibits discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity or expression.
Officials in the township say the incident did not appear to implicate the new ordinance. Township Supervisor Ken Fletcher tells BTL he was disappointed that the incident occurred.
“We don’t know enough about the incident that took place in Lansing last night to speak to it directly,” Matt Weesaw, director of the Michigan Department of Civil Rights, said in a statement on the incident Wednesday. “But the fact remains that under current Michigan law, LGBT individuals have no protection against discrimination or crimes of hate based on their sexual orientation or gender identity. The Michigan Department of Civil Rights has advocated for more than two decades for expanding Michigan’s civil rights law to add this important protection. We are proud to join a broad coalition of business leaders and advocates who are calling for change, recognizing that for Michigan to prosper, we must build a culture of respect, inclusion and fairness for all people.”