Gay holiday camp owners claim they suffered hate crimes

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The owners of a popular gay holiday resort in Ozarks Missouri, USA are finally retaliating by taking their neighbours to court accusing them of violating the hate crime law, which includes crimes based on sexual orientation.

Charles Franzke and James Thideman owners of Cactus Canyon Campground, claim to have endured seven years of torment including their guests being shot at and having rocks hurled at them, a petition to close the campsite down from day one, and even a hog farm being opened nearby which polluted the campsite’s streams.

The case claims that their neighbours worked together “for the purpose of harassing, intimidating and disrupting the business of Cactus Canyon Campground and the rights of the owners to peacefully enjoy their property.”

“That is the whole crux of the harassment: that we are gay and that we run a successful gay business,” Mr Thideman said.

Those accused include Ricky Moon a federal employee at the Mark Twain National Forest Service, Carrie Moon, Dan Fish of Fish and Sons Lumber and a member of the Ava Church of the Nazarene, Shannon and Trish Watterson of Show Me Real Estate also a member of the Ava Church of the Nazarene.

“From my perspective, the case is a land dispute at its heart,” said Brian Malkmus acting for Messrs Fish, Moon and the Wattersons.