Today, the Family Research Council’s Tony Perkins held a press conference to comment on the shooting that took place at the organization’s Washington, DC headquarters yesterday.
While Perkins put the blame for the attack on the shooter, he declared that the Southern Poverty Law Center was also responsible for the attack, saying the gunman “was given a license to shoot an unarmed man by organizations like the Southern Poverty Law Center that have been reckless in labeling organizations ‘hate groups’ because they disagree with them on public policy.”
Perkins claims that SPLC labeled FRC a “hate group” back in 2010 simply because “they disagree with [us] on public policy,” and many in the media have parroted the claim. But it’s utter nonsense. As the SPLC explained, FRC received the designation “because of its dissemination of false and demonizing propaganda about gays and lesbians” and even produced a report chronicling FRC’s long history of biased anti-gay activism complete with a collection of the sorts of claims made by the organization:
“Gaining access to children has been a long-term goal of the homosexual movement.”
— Robert Knight, FRC director of cultural studies, and Frank York, 1999
“[Homosexuality] … embodies a deep-seated hatred against true religion.”
— Steven Schwalm, FRC senior writer and analyst, in “Desecrating Corpus Christi,” 1999
“One of the primary goals of the homosexual rights movement is to abolish all age of consent laws and to eventually recognize pedophiles as the ‘prophets’ of a new sexual order.”
-1999 FRC pamphlet, Homosexual Activists Work to Normalize Sex with Boys.
“[T]he evidence indicates that disproportionate numbers of gay men seek adolescent males or boys as sexual partners.”
— Timothy Dailey, senior research fellow, “Homosexuality and Child Sexual Abuse,” 2002
“While activists like to claim that pedophilia is a completely distinct orientation from homosexuality, evidence shows a disproportionate overlap between the two. … It is a homosexual problem.”
— FRC President Tony Perkins, FRC website, 2010
Obviously, the attack on FRC yesterday was deplorable and has been roundly denounced by a variety of LGBT groups. Political disagreement is never a justification for violence, but FRC should not seek to exploit this tragedy in an attempt to gloss over the organization’s long and documented record of anti-gay extremism.