Southern Poverty Law Center takes heat after D.C. shooting

By Eric W. Dolan
Wednesday, August 15, 2012 20:14 EDT
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Conservatives on Wednesday blasted the Southern Poverty Law Center after a gunman shot a security guard in the front lobby of the Family Research Council in Washington, D.C.

The Southern Poverty Law Center had labeled the organization a hate group in 2010 “because of its dissemination of false and demonizing propaganda about gays and lesbians.” The Southern Poverty Law Center is frequently attacked by some conservatives, who claim it is politically-biased in favor of liberals.

“Today’s attack is the clearest sign we’ve seen that labeling pro-marriage groups as ‘hateful’ must end,” said Brian Brown, President of NOM.

“For too long national gay rights groups have intentionally marginalized and ostracized pro-marriage groups and individuals by labeling them as ‘hateful’ and ‘bigoted’ — such harmful and dangerous labels deserve no place in our civil society and NOM renews its call today for gay rights groups and the Southern Poverty Law Center to withdraw such incendiary rhetoric from a debate that involves millions of good Americans,” he added.

Similarly, the Christian Broadcasting Network wondered “Did ‘hate group’ label stir FRC shooting?” Numerous conservatives asked the same question on blogs and social networking sites.

“We’ve seen news of the shooting of a security guard today at the Family Research Council office in Washington, D.C., and are getting media inquiries about it,” the Southern Poverty Law Center said in a statement. “There are unconfirmed reports that the shooting was ideologically motivated. We condemn all acts of violence and are following the story closely.”

The suspected gunman, 28-year-old Floyd Corkins II, had volunteered at a community center for LGBT people, according to the Associated Press. He reportedly expressed disagreements with the Family Research Council’s work before shooting a security guard. He was subdued by other guards and taken into custody by FBI agents.

NBC News reported that Corkins had a backpack that contained materials about Chick-fil-A restaurants. The Family Research Council became a major supporter of the fast food chain after Chick-fil-A President Dan Cathy expressed his opposition to same sex marriage.

[Hate via Shutterstock]

Eric W. Dolan
Eric W. Dolan
Eric W. Dolan has served as an editor for Raw Story since August 2010, and is based out of Sacramento, California. He grew up in the suburbs of Chicago and received a Bachelor of Science from Bradley University. Eric is also the publisher and editor of PsyPost. You can follow him on Twitter @ewdolan.
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