On Wednesday, a 28-year-old man came into the group's office pretending to be an intern. After allegedly saying that he didn't agree with FRC's anti-gay policies, he pulled a gun and fought a security guard. The guard was able to take the gun away from him after sustaining a wound in his arm.
During yesterday's press conference and on Fox News, Perkins blamed the Southern Poverty Law Center for incident. In 2010, SPLC labeled FRC as a hate group because of how it spreads lies, distortions, and propaganda against the gay community.
Perkins said the following at the press conference:
Perkins said “reckless rhetoric” helped lead to a man shooting firearms in the office. He “was given a license to shoot an unarmed man by organizations like the Southern Poverty Law Center,” Perkins said.
For its part, SPLC refused to back down, calling Perkins' claims outrageous. The organization denounced the young man's violence but stood firm in its reasoning for declaring FRC to be a hate group. SPLC's Mark Potok said the following:
The FRC is listed as a hate group because it has knowingly spread false and denigrating propaganda about gay and lesbian people and “not, as some claim, because it opposes same-sex marriage.”
During his media excursion, Perkins was careful not to go into detail as to the claims his group has made in the past about the gay community. During an interview on Fox News, he said that his organization was merely "defending the family."
However, the publication Metro Weekly discovered something during Perkins' press conference:
Perkins claims that FRC was designated a "hate group" for its political stance against marriage equality, even though SPLC and others have long documented the organization's stances and statements on homosexuality, including the consistent linking of gays to pedophilia. Metro Weekly captured the entire press conference on video. Despite some audio issues, what really stands out is, just over Perkins's right shoulder, a man wearing a priest collar and a t-shirt for emblazon with www.tearsforchildren.org, along with quotes about Sodom &Gommorrah and stickers promoting the National Organization for Marriage.
Metro Weekly goes on to say:
On its website, Tears for Children -- led by Maryland's "Minister Leroy" -- lists the Family Research Council as one of its partners, along with other anti-gay groups such as the American Family Association. From the website's home page: "I weep because of sadness in the world. I can not look into the eyes of a child and tell them that they have a choice of being a heterosexual or homosexual. My heart weeps when I think about the wolves and snakes who seek to manipulate innocent minds to believe that sin should be celebrated. We must speak truth in spite of evil and wickedness."
Reverend Leroy is Leroy Swailes, a man who gave what was described as "unhinged" testimony in front of the District of Columbia Board of Elections and Ethics in 2009 about a referendum which would have overturned the law recognizing marriage equality in that area. During his testimony, Swailes connected homosexuality with pedophilia, bestiality, the Anti-Christ, Satanism, and the destruction of humanity:
And there lies the grand irony. If Perkins wants to call out "reckless rhetoric, maybe he should start with FRC's alleged partners.That is if he feels the need to talk about it during his tour of martyrdom.
Related post - Family Research Council exploits shooting to cover up its homophobia