Gay rights group hits out after US shooting

GLAAD president condemns anti-gay stance of FRC and NOM

Gay rights group hits out after US shooting
24 August 2012

Herndon Graddick, the president of the Gay And Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation, has hit out at anti-LGBT organizations following the shooting at the Family Research Council’s (FRC) headquarters last week.

Writing in the Huffington Post, GLAAD’s President Herndon Graddick said: ‘The shooting that took place at the Washington, D.C. headquarters of the Family Research Council last week was a tragedy. The security guard who apprehended the shooter is a hero.

‘The actions of anti-gay groups in the aftermath have been nothing short of reprehensible.’

Last Wednesday (15 August), an armed man walked into the headquarters of FRC in Washington DC and shot security guard Leonardo Johnson.

In the days since the attack, FRC, other anti-gay organizations and individuals have placed the blame for the shooting on research organization Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), which branded FRC a ‘hate group’ for its ‘damaging misinformation campaigns against the LGBT community’.

Graddick’s article comes amid an intensifying battle between the group and Tony Perkins, president of the Christian right think tank.

Graddick continues: ‘Anti-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 the National Organization for Marriage’s (NOM) 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.’

Speaking of the way NOM had reacted to the shooting Graddick added: ‘We were shocked earlier this year when internal documents revealed that NOM was proudly trumpeting race-baiting and was planning to attack equality by "fanning the hostility" between the LGBT community and the Black and Latino communities.

‘This week we were shocked again to see it brazenly using the shooting at FRC to ask for money.’

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