The West Virginia politician who told liberals to “get you’re [sic] coathangers [sic] ready” in preparation for the overturning of abortion rights by the Supreme Court is now being sued for different Facebook comments he made.
Parkersburg City Councilman Eric Barber, the outspoken Christian lawmaker who deleted his controversial comment celebrating the possibility of dangerous back-alley abortions, was hit with a defamation complaint after implying that a pro-LGBTQ psychologist was actually a child molester.
Tom Roten, a radio talk show host in West Virginia, said allowing children to express themselves that way amounted to “child abuse.” Douglas Evans, a psychologist in Parkersburg, left a simple comment saying that allowing such behavior is not, in fact, child abuse. After someone said Evans had no business arguing over what constituted child abuse because he didn’t have kids of his own, he offered a reasonable reply saying he very much knew what he was talking about (before questioning what made the initial commenter such an expert).
Speaking as a Psychologist, it is not abuse. By the same logic I assume you have a lot of unmarried childless police officers who “tell others what constitutes good parenting and what is abuse.”
After some more attacks on Evans, Coat Hanger Councilman Barber joined in with an attack of his own.
I think Douglas Evans may be quick to defend this form of child explotation [sic] because he may be one of the many gay men who enjoys watching pre puberty boys compete in drag shows.
Little boys dressed in this manner excite some gay men…I suspect Douglas may be one of these men based on how quickly he was to defend this form of child explotation [sic].
(The post says it’s edited, but the previous version just transposed two words. The meaning, even after the edit, was unchanged.)
Evans ultimately defended himself, rightfully pointing out that Desmond is “being allowed to explore and express himself and his parents are giving him the safety, tools and information to shape his own decisions while giving him an understanding of the world.”
While I may not have children, I have seen too many kids lost to Suicide at the hands of ignorant parents attempting to change, repress, or “fix” them. The approach here, while some may say is overly permissive, is allowing their child to feel loved and supported as they explore who they are. They acknowledge the reality their child is going to face and they are not protecting him from it, but are preparing him for it. They are making him more resilient to adversity.
He didn’t stop there. On Tuesday of this week, Evans filed a formal lawsuit against Barber calling his comment defamatory. The lawsuit has received some coverage locally but has largely been ignored in light of Barber’s “coathanger” comments. The complaint spells out what happened from Evans’ perspective.
“The defendant alleged that the plaintiff is a pedophile, knowing that the plaintiff is not a pedophile and with wreckless disregard for the truth still made that assertion,” the suit says.
It claims Evans has suffered “loss of reputation in the community, public embarrassment (and) humiliation” and the remarks adversely affect his ability to perform his job seeking out and communicating with potential donors for Marietta College, as well as potential future employment. It asks for a jury trial and damages as determined by a jury.
Told about the lawsuit Tuesday, Barber said he was not surprised.
“He’s an ACLU activist and he’s routinely targeted conservatives,” Barber said.
There’s no targeting happening here. Just as with the “coat hanger” scandal, Barber is being challenged on his own ignorant and malicious comments. He should blame his typing fingers, not the people on the receiving end of his cruelty. Whether the defamation can be proven remains to be seen, but as an elected official, Barber shouldn’t be surprised that people are holding him to account for his own words.