The gay marriage opponent seen in a viral video accidentally setting a fire outside the General Mills headquarters is a Minnesota real estate broker who has previously recorded a series of anti-gay YouTube clips.
In the above video, Michael Leisner, 65, can be seen outside the General Mills corporate campus in Golden Valley. He is carrying a box of "bust-A-Honey Nut Cheerios" in one hand and a blowtorch in the other.
Leisner announces that he is there to protest the company’s advocacy of gay marriage, a reference to the food conglomerate’s June announcement that it opposes a November ballot initiative banning such nuptials. “So we are going to torch some cereal,” Leisner says, as cars can be heard zooming past on nearby Interstate 394.
[The location of Leisner's Cheerios protest can be seen in this Bing aerial photo, to which we've added a red arrow.]
But after Leisner torches the Cheerios box, he somehow allows flames to spread to the lawn in front of a giant General Mills sign. After trying--and failing--to stamp out the flames with his feet, Leisner tells two young companions, “Okay, get out of here guys.”
Leisner’s inability to extinguish the fire drew giggles from a girl off camera, who advised the male cameraman, “Keep it running, keep it running.” As Leisner gathered up a wood stool and a cereal bowl, he said, “Quick get in the car.” At that point, the trio apparently made their getaway in a silver coupe.
The video was posted yesterday to a YouTube account with the name “LeisnerProds.” That page contains several videos of two brothers (both with the Leisner surname) boxing and wrestling. On Michael Leisner’s YouTube page (Live4Chr1st)
he can be seen attacking Representative Barney Frank and Bill Maher, while noting that President Barack Obama has “bent forward to accommodate the sodomites of New York.” He also makes reference to "gay perverts," "fierce faggots," and the "depraved, debasing debauchery of gay activists."
In an interview this afternoon, Leisner said that his son posted the video to YouTube and that he did not check to determine the legality of his blowtorch protest before arriving at General Mills a few days ago. He said that he believed the company’s lawn was “saturated” and that there was little chance of the fire spreading.
Leisner told TSG that he has previously taught the Bible on radio shows and has done “campus preaching with some notorious right wing Holy Ghost preacher types.” Asked if he thought law enforcement officials might want to speak with him about the General Mills protest, he replied, “I suppose it’s possible.”
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