Between Chick-fil-A and Wednesday’s shooting at the Family Research Council’s (FRC) offices, there’s been a lot of discussion about something called a “hate group.”
Groups such as the FRC, the National Organization for Marriage, Focus on the Family, Public Advocate, American Family Association and many others frequently refer to themselves as “pro-family,” “pro-marriage” and sometimes “Christian” organizations.
And when asked, the leaders of these groups will be the first to tell you they hold nothing against the gay community. It’s their actions though, that you need to take a look at.
As I’d mentioned in some discussions last week, Richard Nixon can say “I’m not a crook” all he wants, that doesn’t mean he’s not one.
While these groups may do some excellent work with Christian charities, their primary focus is on fighting to have the rights of LGBT people denied. But over the years, they’ve been able to frame what it is they do with those “po-family” and “Christian” modifiers.
It’s a frustrating fight for those of us seeking nothing more than equal treatment under the law, when these incorrectly identified groups can lie by claiming they are being attacked by people who are “anti-Christian” or “anti-family.”
Even Wednesday’s attack, though details are still not complete, it’s become clear that the suspect was angered over FRC’s anti-gay policies. If it was an organization that was simply hosting soup kitchens, running orphanages and caring for the poor, I can almost guarantee he wouldn’t be driven to opening fire in their offices.
That’s where the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) comes in.
According to their website, “SPLC is dedicated to fighting hate and bigotry, and to seeking justice for the most vulnerable members of our society. Using litigation, education and other forms of advocacy, we work toward the day when the ideals of equal justice and equal opportunity will be a reality.”
One of the ways SPLC does this is by exhaustively researching the work of groups like the Ku Klux Klan, neo-nazis, racist skinheads, black separatists and border vigilantes and identifying them as “hate groups.”
Identifying an anti-gay group as a “hate group” is based on their propagation of known falsehoods — claims about LGBT people that have been thoroughly discredited by scientific authorities — and repeated, groundless name-calling. Viewing homosexuality as unbiblical does not qualify organizations for listing as hate groups.
While identifying themselves as “pro-family” groups, these organizations are actually fighting against more than 1 million American families with more than 2 million kids who are being led by LGBT parents. Without marriage protections, some of these families are legal strangers to one another.
Anti-gay adoption laws, which were lobbied for and won by these organizations keep kids from ever finding forever homes. And anti-gay marriage laws assure that these families will suffer from a crippling lack of legal protections.
There is nothing “pro-family” or “Christian” about allowing families to be ripped apart or seeing children raised by a foster care system when there are thousands of loving couples ready to adopt.
In addition to the work of these groups in the U.S., some of them have been linked to anti-gay legislation in other countries.
The Ugandan “Kill the Gays” bill would penalize acts of homosexuality with life imprisonment or in “aggravated” cases, gay people could be put to death.
While the U.S. Congress was preparing to pass a condemnation of the Ugandan legislation, the FRC spent $25,000 on lobbyists to stop them from denouncing the law. They claim that they were only trying to change the language of the denouncement, but in prior lobbying documents from FRC, they’d indicated they were attempting “to amend” legislation, whereas the tax documents for this action contained no such itemization of amendments.
These groups have painted themselves with bright colors to make people think they are fighting for tradition, for family, for morality and for freedom. But the truth of the matter is they don’t fight for anything.
They are only fighting against LGBT people so that we can’t experience the same freedoms they do.
How else can you explain the National Organization for Marriage, whose mission statement is “to protect marriage and the faith communities that sustain it,” attacking things like bathrooms for transgender people, gender identity in children, or children being taught that gay people even exist.
They’ve even worked to falsely link gay people to pedophilia. None of those things have anything to do with “protecting marriage,” so why are they fighting them? Because they are not pro-anything, they are anti-gay.
Folks, none of this is about marriage and none of this is about “protecting” anything. These groups have spent years weaving a myth shrouded in flowery and false “pro-Christian” memes.
Wednesday’s attack on FRC is something that was perpetrated by a man who was clearly out of his mind. And just as these groups’ motivations have very little to do with marriage, I don’t believe the shooter’s motivations did either.
And despite Family Research Council’s lobbying against the Matthew Shepard Hate Crimes Act, we believe that what happened today was a hate crime and should be investigated as such.
The LGBT community understands all too well violence against people based on their political beliefs and personal lives.