Holding NOM and FRC Accountable for Hate Group Status

Holding NOM and FRC Accountable for Hate Group Status

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FBI outside of FRC headquarters following the shooting./AP Photo

An armed man walked into the headquarters of the Family Research Council (FRC) in Washington D.C., shot security guard Leonardo Johnson in the arm, and Johnson’s quick thinking and heroism may have saved countless lives.  In the days since the attack, FRC and other anti-gay organizations and individuals have placed the blame for the shooting on research organization Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), for having designated FRC a “hate group.”

In the past, when the targets of similar incidents have been those on the political or social left, conservative groups have been quick to place blame on the individual responsible. This time, anti-gay organizations have flipped the script and are exploiting Mr. Johnson’s heroism for political (and in the case of the National Organization for Marriage, monetary) gain. FRC, NOM and others have repeatedly stated that the “hate group” designation is what gave the shooter, in FRC President Tony Perkins’ words, a “license to kill.”

However, the Southern Poverty Law Center cites 24 paragraphs of actions that the FRC has taken, all of which explain exactly what Perkins and his organization did to earn such a designation.  

The LGBT community says there’s a simple solution to FRC’s stated dilemma. Don’t want to be called out for being vehemently anti-LGBT? Do better.

Perkins has told supporters that gay people are “pawns of the enemy” referring to the devil.  His organization distributes flyers that compare marriage equality to “man-horse marriage” (complete with horse graphic) and brochures that trumpet “reorientation therapy” for gay people, while falsely claiming gay men are more likely to molest children.

Journalist Michelangelo Signorile has challenged Perkins to discuss the reasons his organization has been labeled a hate group by SPLC and others, writing “It’s vitally important to have this dialogue now if you agree that we’ve all got to bring down the temperature, and if you sincerely want to clear up what you believe are misunderstandings. Let’s take this instance, this latest tragedy, and turn it into a moment of understanding and insight.”

GLAAD President Herndon Graddick added his voice to those shining the spotlight on the real FRC, writing “(a)nti-gay activists like Perkins accuse critics of trying to ‘silence’ them. Sorry Tony, but we’re doing the opposite. SPLC, GLAAD and many others are bringing more attention to Perkins’ and Brown’s words and exposing FRC’s and NOM’s actions. There are many Americans who might not yet support marriage equality, but also don’t think LGBT people are pawns of the devil, the way Perkins does.”

“Tony Perkins has gone so far as to defend a bill in Uganda in which gay men and lesbians would be subject to the death penalty on the basis of their sexual orientation,” added Graddick. “The bill has not yet passed, but tragically the leader of the opposition to the bill was murdered for being gay.  History is full of people like Tony Perkins who put a warm face on what is a essentially a cold-blooded effort to demonize and scapegoat a minority community.”

The FRC has publicly declared:

“[A]llowing homosexuals to openly serve in the military would likely result, for the first time, in heterosexuals being forced to cohabit with those who may view them as a potential sexual object.”
— Peter Sprigg, “Homosexual Assault in the Military,” 2010

“[W]elcoming open homosexuality in the military would clearly damage the readiness and effectiveness of the force – in part because it would increase the already serious problem of homosexual assault in the military.”
— Peter Sprigg, “Homosexual Assault in the Military,” 2010

“Since homosexual conduct is associated with higher rates of sexual promiscuity, sexually transmitted diseases, mental illness, substance abuse, and domestic violence, it too qualifies as a behavior that is harmful to the people who engage in it and to society at large.”
— Tony Perkins, “Christian compassion requires the truth about the harms of homosexuality,” Washington Post, 10/25/2010

“We believe the evidence shows … that relative to the size of their population, homosexual men are more likely to engage in child sexual abuse than are heterosexual men.”
— Peter Sprigg, “Debating Homosexuality: Understanding Two Views.” 2011.

“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

Background:

Source: GLAAD

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