NEW HAVEN, CT, April 17, 2013 (LifeSiteNews) – An Enfield, CT man who pleaded guilty to sending hundreds of threatening letters to the head of a pro-life, pro-family group in Hartford was sentenced Tuesday to five years’ probation by a federal judge.
Daniel Sarno, 54, who is homosexual, admitted to sending over 300 letters to Peter Wolfgang, executive director of the Family Institute of Connecticut, expressing his anger over the Family Institute’s opposition to same-sex “marriage.” The letters he sent were uniformly abusive. Many contained death threats.
“No mercy for homophobes,” one letter read. “I suggest you make your funeral arrangements real soon, Mr. Wolfgang. (I should know.)”
Another letter said, “I sure hope somebody blows you away. Yer dead.”
Yet another asked, “Are ‘family values’ worth dying for, Mr. Wolfgang?”
Sarno pleaded guilty last August to sending the threatening letters. Sentencing guidelines called for up to 16 months of jail time, but Lawrence Taffner, the Family Institute’s operations director, wrote a letter to Judge Ellen Bree Burns asking her to “temper justice with mercy and prayer.”
Even so, prosecutor John H. Durham asked Judge Burns to impose a tough sentence, arguing that Wolfgang – who has a wife and six young children – along with his co-workers and neighbors were forced to “change [their] whole lifestyle” in light of the death threats, which were sent over a period of six months.
But the judge was apparently swayed by a letter from psychiatrist Jonathan Greenberg and psychologist Coleen Dobo claiming imprisonment “would make [Sarno] vulnerable to victimization and a disintegration of his mental status.”
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Judge Burns declined to put Sarno behind bars, sentencing him instead to five years of probation.
The judge called Sarno “a disturbed individual who needs a great deal of help.”
Peter Wolfgang could not be reached for comment Wednesday, but he told the local Journal Inquirer after court Tuesday that he agreed “with every word” of Lawrence Taffner’s letter, “including mercy.”
“I do forgive Mr. Sarno,” Wolfgang told the paper.
But he said the case highlighted “a growing campaign of intimidation” by militant homosexuals who would like nothing more than to silence those who defend traditional marriage.
Homosexual activist Floyd Corkins II recently pleaded guilty to shooting Family Research Center security guard Leo Johnson after entering the group’s headquarters with a gun and a backpack full of Chick-Fil-A Sandwiches, announcing, “I don’t like your politics.” Johnson survived the shooting.
In a videotaped confession, the 28-year-old Corkins he intended to “kill as many as possible and smear the Chick-Fil-A sandwiches in victims’ faces, and kill the guard.” He said hoped his crime would “make a statement against the people who work in that building … their stance against gay rights and [for] Chick-fil-A.”
Chick-Fil-A had recently been the target of boycotts and protests by gay activists because of CEO Dan Cathy’s support for traditional marriage.
In April 2012, a group of self-proclaimed “angry queers” smashed the windows of a 100-year-old church in Oregon because it opposed redefining marriage. They left a note behind which read, “The only dialog we need with scum like Mars Hill [church] is hammers through their windows.”
Traditional Values Coalition President Andrea Lafferty told LifeSiteNews.com in August that while her organization has received “many, many threats from the homosexual and transgender community” as far back as the 1980s, the Obama administration’s leadership has been uncooperative in working to put an end to the threats. Obama’s Department of Justice “does not believe they need to protect us,” she told LSN, adding that Attorney General Eric Holder “has put Christians at a low priority.”