crossposted on Holy Bullies and Headless Monsters
The disagreement between the Southern Poverty Law Center and the new groups designated as anti-gay hate groups hit the Washington Post yesterday.
And while I am happy with the coverage, I am not happy with how these groups are trying to cover their tracks. They are trying to make it seem as if they are being attacked because they have made stands against gay marriage.
The key person pushing this argument is Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council.
Perkins has even had the temerity to demand an apology from the SPLC:
Family Research Council will continue to champion marriage and family as the foundation of our society and will not acquiesce to those seeking to silence the Judeo-Christian views held by millions of Americans. We call on the Southern Poverty Law Center to apologize for this slanderous attack and attempted character assassination.”
Let's be clear about something – the claim that these groups, particularly FRC, are being attacked merely for their stance against gay marriage or their stance against homosexuality is a lie.
FRC in particular has a long history of demonizing the lgbt community. Via studies, briefs, and research papers heavily reliant on junk science and fear tactics, FRC attacked the lgbt community long before discussions of gay marriage even came on the scene.
Unfortunately some of these past studies, briefs and press releases are no longer on FRC's web page. In December of 2008, I noticed this and emailed the organization asking for an explanation. I was told the following:
The papers that you inquired about have been removed from our website indefinitely due to the fact that they have outdated sources.
The email further pointed out that there were several other studies which remained on the web page. The irony is that these studies used the same material the “outdated” papers used, which is another way of saying that FRC got rid of the papers but used the same bad sources.
Luckily for me though, John Aravosis of Americablog created a webpage which featured statements by the Family Research Council (and other religious right groups and figures) pertaining to the lgbt community. The following are just a few things said about the lgbt community:
“Homosexuals say they don't want the children, but boy they put a lot of energy into going after them.” – Robert Knight of FRC writing in a Focus on the Family newsletter, quoted by People for the American Way, “Hostile Climate,” 1997, p.15.
“Gaining access to children has been a long-term goal of the homosexual movement.” – “Homosexual Activists Work to Normalize Sex With Boys,” Family Research Council publication, July 1999
“There is a strong undercurrent of pedophilia in the homosexual subculture. Homosexual activists want to promote the flouting of traditional sexual prohibitions at the earliest possible age….they want to encourage a promiscuous society – and the best place to start is with a young and credulous captive audience in the public schools.” – Robert Knight, Family Research Council.
“In the United States, homosexual activists are more circumspect about their efforts to gain access to children…homosexual activists publicly disassociate themselves from pedophiles as part of a public relations strategy”- “Homosexual Activists Work to Normalize Sex With Boys,” FRC publication, July 1999
“You don’t have to eat the stale crumbs off the dirty floor, which is basically what lesbianism is.” – AFTAH (Americans for Truth) Web site interview with FRC's Yvette Cantu.
I should mention that throughout all of the complaints and claims of persecution, neither Perkins nor any of the other persons or groups profiled by the SPLC have issued the short clarifying statements of “we have not done these things” or “our statements have been misconstrued.”
Make no mistake about it. These groups have been spooked by being called out on their lies and are on the defensive. And now they are attempting to flip the argument.
But you can't make yourself look like a victim when a paper trial exposes you as a bully.
No matter how Perkins tries to spin the situation, he has a lot of answering to do at the very least in regards to FRC's past statements against the lgbt community.
Perhaps he should be the one to make the apologies.