Stadtlander adamantly denies the charges and says Balk misquoted and misrepresented him in print. Another gay-oriented newspaper, the Vital Voice, also reported on the award, but in a more tempered tone.
"[Balk] lied in his publication about me," fumes Stadtlander. "He said that I'm friends with people on the Pride board, which is why I got the scholarship. He misrepresented the entire situation and had caused this huge controversy for no other reason than to give him something to write about."
Charles Stadtlander, president of the St. Louis chapter of the Log Cabin Republicans
As far as he and John Lovin being friends, Stadtlander says, "Apparently we were at a party together at some point a year and a half ago. We shook hands or whatever. I didn't even know his name. But EXP is making it sound like he and I are going to parties together and that we co-conspired to get this scholarship."
Stadtlander says that he's grown increasingly frustrated with many of his peers. "The gay and lesbian community, unfortunately, likes to focus on negatives and likes to focus on hate," he says. "When they do that, our cause is damaged. We've done more in six months than a lot of gay and lesbian organizations in this state have ever done."
Pride St. Louis, for its part, wants to move on. This year's party had low turnout, and vendors say it was disorganized. And, of course, it's never good to see the president of the board escorted away in handcuffs.
To that end, Pride offered one final press release, seemingly directed at Balk. It reads, in part: "Over the past month or so, statements made by individuals in this organization have been taken out of context, and there has been a general sense of miscommunication between us and the community. This is very unfortunate. We condemn all false statements, the rumors and lies that have been spread, and the personal attacks that have been made against members of this community."