Maine GayNet - Student faces civil rights complaint

Friday January 30, 1998

Student faces civil rights complaint

AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) - A civil rights complaint has been filed against a University of Maine student - the fifth student to be named in a such a lawsuit this academic year.

According to Attorney General Andrew Ketterer, Kirk R. Daigle, 26, entered another student's dormitory room on Jan. 23 at 2:30 a.m., without knocking and without permission. The student had posted a "Maine Still Won't Discriminate" brochure on his door, and had been urging people to vote in support of civil rights protection for gays and lesbians.

"Law enforcement will not tolerate attempts to threaten and intimidate people over the upcoming referendum on retaining anti-discrimination protection for gays and lesbians," Ketterer said in a statement released Thursday.

Earlier this academic year, three hockey players were accused of leaving racially charged phone messages on a black student's answering machines. Another student was accused of using the university e-mail system to send anti-gay threats.

Daigle allegedly asked the student if he was a "fag," and made a variety of other homophobic comments.

The attorney general's complaint also alleges that Daigle said, "I'm from Bangor and three of my best friends threw a fag off the bridge, and now I come home and find this on your door."

The statement was an apparent reference to a 1985 crime in which three teens threw a gay man off a bridge to his death, according to Assistant Attorney General Stephen Wessler.

University of Maine President Peter S. Hoff issued a statement denouncing the alleged incident.

"The University of Maine will not tolerate acts of discrimination ... We take these situations very seriously and have made it clear to students and staff that should they feel discriminated against or threatened, we will intercede quickly," Hoff said.

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