SPLC Responds to Tony Perkins

[Content Note: Guns; violence; terrorism; homophobia.]

Yesterday, in my piece about the shooting at the Family Research Council, who is blaming their being called a "hate group" for the shooting, I noted: "Attributing [the shooter's] actions to the identifying as bigoted and/or hateful groups that want to entrench second-class citizenship of people belonging to the LGBTQI community is a parody of legitimate concerns about violent and eliminationist rhetoric."

As if to prove the point, FRC President Tony Perkins amped up the rhetoric, specifically blaming the Southern Poverty Law Center, which tracks hate groups and has thus identified the FRC. According to Perkins, the shooter, Floyd Corkins, "was given a license to shoot an unarmed man by organizations like the Southern Poverty Law Center. I believe the Southern Poverty Law Center should be held accountable for their reckless use of terminology."

Which is pretty rich, coming from a guy who has said: "If you look at the American College of Pediatricians, they say the research is overwhelming that homosexuality poses a danger to children." (A gross lie.)

The SPLC has responded, and it is terrific:
Perkins' accusation is outrageous. 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.

Perkins and his allies, seeing an opportunity to score points, 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. The FRC routinely pushes out demonizing claims that gay people are child molesters and worse — claims that are provably false. It should stop the demonization and affirm the dignity of all people.
Right the fuck on.

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