23 gay rights leaders condemn Family Research Council shooting
WASHINGTON, August 15, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Twenty-three organizations supporting gay rights have condemned a shooting at the Family Research Council headquarters Wednesday morning, saying that although the motive of the attack hasn’t been clearly established, the leaders “utterly reject and condemn” such violence.
“We were saddened to hear news of the shooting this morning at the offices of the Family Research Council. Our hearts go out to the shooting victim, his family, and his co-workers,” said the leaders in a statement Wednesday afternoon, hours after the shooting took place.
One security guard employed by the pro-family conservative group was shot in the arm after confronting a heavily armed man who attempted to enter the group’s headquarters, reportedly while making inflammatory statements about FRC’s views. The suspected shooter is in custody, while the guard, identified as head security guard Leo Johnson, is in stable condition, according to D.C. police.
Fox News reports that sources have told them that the shooter “may” have been carrying a Chick-Fil-A bag. Tony Perkins, the head of FRC, had spoken out in favor of Chick-Fil-A CEO Dan Cathy’s statements in support of traditional marriage.
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The statement from LGBT rights leaders said that, “The motivation and circumstances behind today’s tragedy are still unknown, but regardless of what emerges as the reason for this shooting, we utterly reject and condemn such violence.
“We wish for a swift and complete recovery for the victim of this terrible incident.”
Signatories include Wayne Besen of Truth Wins Out (TWO), Dr. Eliza Byard of the Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network (GLSEN), Chad Griffin of the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), Jennifer Chrisler of the Family Equality Council, and Evan Wolfson of Freedom to Marry.
LGBT groups such as Truth Wins Out and HRC routinely characterize FRC as “a certified anti-gay hate group” for its stance against redefining marriage, and have encouraged boycotts of businesses that fund the conservative group as supporting “hate.” In 2010 the Southern Poverty Law Center endorsed opponents’ characterization of FRC as a “hate group.”