While it is still far too early to ascribe definite motivations to the shooting, from the CBS report on the situation, Floyd Corkins II had been volunteering at an LGBT community center in the months leading up to the shooting and had made a "negative reference about the work of the Family Research Council" in the moments before opening fire.
I won't mince words here: his choice of action was simply unacceptable. Multiple different LGBT organizations released a similar statement:
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.So of course, we began the process of healing and recovery from this terrible tragedy, and thanked our respective deities that it wasn't any worse than it was. Heaven knows I've been accused of "politicizing" tragedies so many times - and I've been doing my best to hold my tongue in the wake of the last, oh, four or five shooting incidents in all of a month. Surely no one would think of trying to make this about...
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.
Of course not.
Brian Brown, the president of NOM, pointed to a recent blog post by the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), one of the largest gay-rights groups in the country. The post, “Paul Ryan Speaking at Hate Group’s Annual Conference,” called attention to the vice presidential candidate’s scheduled appearance at the FRC’s national summit next month.
“Today’s attack is the clearest sign we’ve seen that labeling pro-marriage groups as ‘hateful’ must end,” Brown said in a statement issued following the shooting.
“For too long national gay rights groups have intentionally marginalized and ostracized pro-marriage groups and individuals by labeling them as ‘hateful’ and ‘bigoted.’”
One day after a Virginia man is alleged to have shot a security guard at the D.C. headquarters of the anti-gay Family Research Council, the organization's president, Tony Perkins, held a press conference to blame the shooting on the Southern Poverty Law Center -- the group that in 2010 named FRC a "hate group" based on the SPLC's documentation of FRC's efforts to "knowingly spread false and denigrating propaganda about LGBT people" -- declaring that the watchdog group had given the shooter a "license" to shoot.So now I speak to the National Organization for Marriage and anyone who might be inclined to make similar statements, apparently now including the FRC itself. I ask you - do words actually have meaning, or not? Because if they do, if calling someone hateful or wrong contributes to subsequent violence against them, then you need to stop and think. Ask yourselves why nine out of ten LGBT students report harassment of some type at school. Ask yourselves what your words are doing to them. Ask yourselves, every time one of them commits suicide, what your actual marginalization and ostracization of those children is accomplishing!
If our words have that kind of effect, that might cause this attack... well, go back and read that statement above. We've answered, as best we can, for the blood on our hands. Now it's your turn to answer for yours. Until you can do that, calling you out as hateful and bigoted will be nothing less than accurate.