The shooting and wounding of a guard at the Family Research Council building in D.C. was a tragic violent episode. While the true circumstances behind the shooting, it appears the perpetrator was displeased with some aspect of the FRC agenda. Regardless of motive, it was a tragic decision and thank goodness the victim was not more seriously wounded.
I’m pleased that dozens of LGBT organizations have taken a firm stance against the violence, the same sort of firm stance we call upon when LGBT organizations or people are the victims of similar violence.
What is sad that the FRC is laying blame at the foot of the Southern Poverty Law Center for labeling the FRC as a hate group. It is even more sad that the FRC distorts that classification as a “difference of opinion” on issues such as marriage equality. Using the shooting of an innocent man to take a political shot is deplorable.
Nothing could be further from the truth. The Southern Poverty Law Center issued a statement.
The SPLC has listed the FRC as a hate group since 2010 because it has knowingly spread false and denigrating propaganda about LGBT people — not, as some claim, because it opposes same-sex marriage. The FRC and its allies on the religious right are saying, in effect, that offering legitimate and fact-based criticism in a democratic society is tantamount to suggesting that the objects of criticism should be the targets of criminal violence.
As the SPLC made clear at the time and in hundreds of subsequent statements and press interviews, we criticize the FRC for claiming, in Perkins’ words, that pedophilia is “a homosexual problem” — an utter falsehood, as every relevant scientific authority has stated. An FRC official has said he wanted to “export homosexuals from the United States.” The same official advocated the criminalizing of homosexuality.
It is an unfortunate reality that the Family Research Council has a “solid” history of promoting a hate agenda based upon debunked medical research, stereotypes and inflammatory rhetoric.
That does NOT mean they deserved to be targeted by violence. I refuse to say they ‘brought it on themselves’ because the shooter made a conscious choice to embrace violence.
But it is equally untrue that the Southern Poverty Law Center’s hate crime designation has a connection to this incident. To suggest otherwise is a sad response to the violation of the safety and sanctity of your organization.
Our wishes for the full recovery of the victim of this crime and hope that the culprit will be held fully accountable.