Good job by HRC, and its new head, Chad Griffin. HRC enters the fray and lays down the line that the FRC is a hate group, period – and no amount of lies (or crazy one-time shooters) will change that fact. From Chad Griffin in the Washington Post:
Designating the Family Research Council a hate group has nothing to do with disagreements about marriage equality, nondiscrimination laws or any other policy debate. The real issue is the Family Research Council’s well-documented and continuous pattern of hateful rhetoric.
Linking gay people to pedophiles is hateful. Consider Perkins’s words from 2010: “While activists like to claim that pedophilia is a completely distinct orientation from homosexuality, evidence shows a disproportionate overlap between the two. . . . It is a homosexual problem.”
Calling for the expulsion of gays from this country is hateful, as is arguing for making homosexuality a crime. In March 2008, a senior fellow for policy studies at the council, Peter Sprigg, said of uniting gay partners through immigration: “I would much prefer to export homosexuals from the United States than import them.” He later apologized but in 2009 told an interviewer, “I think there would be a place for criminal sanctions on homosexual behavior.”
Using junk-science to spread propaganda about LGBT people is hateful — as Sprigg does when he says in his 2010 pamphlet “The Top Ten Myths about Homosexuality” that gay men and lesbians can change their sexual orientation.
Now, a word about why this piece is important.
The FRC and the Traditional Values Coalition, among others, continue to hyperventilate about an understandably upsetting incident last week in which some guy walked into FRC headquarters and shot a security guard in the arm. FRC is convinced that the Southern Poverty Law Center is to blame for the shooting since the SPLC had the nerve to call out the FRC for its decades of defamation against the gay, lesbian and trans communities. Of course, FRC also blamed the shooting on President Obama, so any credibility they had on this issue (which was nil to start with) went out with the window with that bit of nuttiness.
TVC went even further yesterday and claimed, falsely, that the SPLC threatened TVC with violence, while offering “proof” that showed the opposite. As “proof,” TVC quote a letter the SPLC wrote to TVC in which the SPLC didn’t threaten anything at all, and in fact was talking about the threat the far right’s anti-gay lies pose to gay people as potential victims of violence.
I’d say it was beyond bizarre that the TVC made this absurd claim, and then had the gumption to offer up “evidence” that proved its claim false, but this is what makes a hate group a hate group. Their intentional defamation of an entire class of people in order to further subjugate, and harm, that people. So we should all really thank the TVC for helping make the case that it, and the FRC, truly are hate groups.
And one final word. A few are asking why we’re writing about this at all. Because as John Kerry can tell you about his war medals, or the President can tell you about death panels, you need to be awfully careful about letting a right-wing lie lay there unchallenged. If you’re not careful, it can quickly become truth and be used against you.
Clearly the religious right has seen this shooting as an opportunity to gin up increased hatred of gays and the left generally, so it’s important to have a written record proving that their lies are just that, lies.