Man whose General Mills anti-gay marriage protest went up in smoke has died

Michael Leisner's bungled effort had gone viral on YouTube

Man whose General Mills anti-gay marriage protest went up in smoke has died
15 August 2012

Michael Leisner was largely unknown until during a few moments in the last weeks of his life, he tried to light some Cheerios on fire in a bungled anti-gay protest that went viral.

Leisner, 65, of Andover, died over the weekend of unknown causes while waiting in his car for his sons to finish playing tennis, Dwight Denyes, senior pastor at Emmanuel Christian Center in Spring Lake Park tells the Star Tribune.

On 5 August, Leisner staged a one-man protest in front of General Mills headquarters in Minnesota because of the company’s support of same-sex marriage.

‘One out of every eight boxes of cereal in this country is Cheerios,’ he was seen saying. ‘This is really the treat now for the homosexuals. This is our protest of General Mills, because they’re advocating same-sex marriages. So we are gonna torch some cereal.’

However, his attempts to set the popular breakfast food on fire don’t quite go to plan when the box went up in flames instead.

Throwing the box on the ground,  Leisner tried to tackle the blaze, stomping on the cereal fireball in vain. He did not appear to see the funny side of his failed attempts to smite the Cheerios company but the camera crew can be heard laughing.

Leisner could be heard shouting: ‘OK, get out of here, guys. Quick!’

The video quickly went viral and Leisner the object of ridicule.

His pastor admitted to not knowing Leisner well but said the video doesn’t accurately reflect who he was as an individual. He was a very loving and caring father of his four children, a loving husband and he seemed to get along with other people.’



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