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FRC blames ‘hate group’ designation for ‘reckless environment’ that led to shooting

SPLC: 'Allegations outrageous, FRC is a hate group'
Thursday, August 16, 2012

WASHINGTON — Family Research Council president Tony Perkins on Thursday said he blamed the Southern Poverty Law Center for the “reckless rhetoric” that led to a shooting at the FRC headquarters on Wednesday.

At a news conference earlier today, Perkins said that while the suspected shooter was responsible for wounding the group’s unarmed guard, advocacy groups such as the SPLC — which has labeled the FRC an “anti=gay hate group” — are responsible for creating the environment that let to the shooting.

FRC President Tony Perkins at a news conference Thursday.

On Wednesday, Floyd Corkins II, 28, from nearby Herndon, Va., tried to gain access to the FRC headquarters, and after complaining of the conservative group’s policies, brandished a 9 mm handgun when confronted by Leo Johnson, the FRC’s building operations manager, who also serves as security for the organization.

Johnson and Corkins reportedly engaged in an altercation, before Corkins fired, striking Johnson in the arm.

“Corkins 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,” said Perkins said Thursday.

“And I believe the SPLC could be held accountable for their reckless use of terminology that is leading to the intimidation and what the FBI here has categorized as an action of domestic terrorism. There is no room for that in a society such as ours that works through differences we have on public policy through a peaceful means,” said Perkins.

Perkins expressed appreciation “to the groups and organizations that we do not agree with on many public policy issues who have also expressed their outrage at what took place here yesterday,” and called for an end “to the reckless rhetoric” that he said led to the shooting.

The Southern Poverty Law Center was quick to respond, calling Perkins’ allegations “outrageous,” and said it was the FRC who “routinely pushes out demonizing claims that gay people are child molesters and worse…”

“For more than 40 years, the SPLC has battled against political extremism and political violence. We have argued consistently that violence is no answer to problems in a democratic society, and we have strongly criticized all those who endorse such violence, whether on the political left or the political right,” said Mark Potok, Senior Fellow of the Southern Poverty Law Center, in a statement posted on its website.

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“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.”

The SPLC charged that Perkins “and his allies” are exploiting Wednesday’s shooting as “an opportunity to score points” and are “using the attack on their offices to pose a false equivalency between the SPLC’s criticisms of the FRC and the FRC’s criticisms of LGBT people.”

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23 more reader comments:

  1. … MILK it for-ALL-you CAN “Closet Case” TONY!!!

    Posted on Thursday, August 16, 2012 at 4:34pm
  2. If they don’t want to be designated as a “hate group,” maybe they shouldn’t be one.

    Posted on Thursday, August 16, 2012 at 4:36pm
  3. Right, right… All the anger and resentment is caused by the *label*

    Posted on Thursday, August 16, 2012 at 4:37pm
  4. but they ARE a hate group. they are spouting religious-backed hate speech that gays and lesbians are dangerous deviants who are out to dismantle civilization as we know it, brainwash America’s children and take over the media. you can be a justified bully if you have a Bible in your hand, i guess.

    Posted on Thursday, August 16, 2012 at 4:38pm
  5. If the hate fits…….

    Posted on Thursday, August 16, 2012 at 4:40pm
  6. if they cant take the heat they should get out of the fire

    Posted on Thursday, August 16, 2012 at 4:42pm
  7. It would be easy enough to remove the rating, all they need to do is give up the Hate.

    Posted on Thursday, August 16, 2012 at 4:56pm
  8. Mr. Perkins is just being modest and not wanting the blame…uh “responsibility” for such a label.

    Posted on Thursday, August 16, 2012 at 4:58pm
  9. It’s all a bit like the Ku Klux Klan claiming that they’re just a white supremacy group not a hate group.

    Posted on Thursday, August 16, 2012 at 4:59pm
  10. Another negative repug with nothing but hatred to sell. Say, “hello Rove!”

    Posted on Thursday, August 16, 2012 at 5:10pm
  11. In their eyes, they aren’t a hate group. They believe they are doing good by what they do. They are completely delusional.

    Posted on Thursday, August 16, 2012 at 5:10pm
  12. if they don’t want to be attacked for being a hate group than don’t act like one. problem over.

    Posted on Thursday, August 16, 2012 at 5:19pm
  13. You know, there’s no winning when ppl are so delusional like this. We all know, without a doubt, if lets say Planned Parenthood had a shoot out occur, it would be god’s will for using being so immoral and deviant. They always have a way to spin it while clutching to that damn book.

    Posted on Thursday, August 16, 2012 at 5:21pm
  14. Using =us. Silly phone

    Posted on Thursday, August 16, 2012 at 5:22pm
  15. U MUST be kiddng!!!

    Posted on Thursday, August 16, 2012 at 5:27pm
  16. FRC = Radical Islam in the UK

    Posted on Thursday, August 16, 2012 at 5:29pm
  17. TALK BOUT DESPERATE! reckless Enviroment my Ass! WOW!!!!!!!!!!

    Posted on Thursday, August 16, 2012 at 5:31pm
  18. I love how they twist things to make it seem like they are disenfranchized. What great spin! (dripping with sarcasm)

    Posted on Thursday, August 16, 2012 at 5:33pm
  19. I’m all in for a “fair-fight.”However when that fight is fatal on one side, it is no longer fair.

    Posted on Thursday, August 16, 2012 at 5:43pm
  20. ….and the polarizing rhetoric goes on.,….

    Posted on Thursday, August 16, 2012 at 6:06pm
  21. notice when FRC causes a nut case to attack GLBT members not one GLBT organization has ever cried that FRC caused the outrage..and yes FRC is a terrorist group

    Posted on Thursday, August 16, 2012 at 8:32pm
  22. Do you think they came up with this on their own? Or maybe they’ve heard it before? weird….

    Posted on Friday, August 17, 2012 at 12:00am
  23. Splc helped you do what you wanted. they sped the word that you hate us. your own hate made someone hate you, and they acted on it. Tragedy? of course. Tragedy that you brought on yourself.

    Posted on Friday, August 17, 2012 at 8:16am