Brian Brown, the president of the
National Organization for Marriage (NOM), has suggested gay rights
groups were in part complicit in Wednesday's shooting at the
Washington DC headquarters of the Christian conservative group Family
Research Council (FRC).
Twenty-eight-year-old Floyd Lee Corkins
allegedly walked into the group's lobby and shot the security guard
before he was wrestled to the ground. The guard, identified as Leo
Johnson, was taken to a nearby hospital and is in stable condition.
An FBI spokeswoman said he was shot in the arm.
Corkins, who previously had volunteered
at a local gay community center, reportedly criticized the group
during the altercation.
Brown, whose group actively opposes gay
marriage, blamed the shooting in part on the rhetoric of gay marriage
supporters, and in particular the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC)
which last year labeled the FRC a hate group.
“Today's attack is the clearest sign
we've seen that labeling pro-marriage groups as 'hateful' must end,”
he said in a blog post.
Appearing on CNN, Brown denied that the
FRC's rhetoric is anti-gay or hateful.
When CNN anchor Soledad O'Brien quoted
the FRC as saying, “One of the primary goals of the homosexual
rights movement is to abolish all age of consent laws and to
eventually recognize pedophiles as the 'prophets' of a new sexual
order,” Brown denied that the statement was hateful.
“Just because you disagree with that
statement, you should argue with it. By no means can you say just
because of a statement like that this is the same as the KKK or the
Aryan Brotherhood. That's totally unacceptable.”
“Saying it's spewing hate and that we
are therefore going to label you a hate group, that's totally
irresponsible. … This tragedy highlights how irresponsible
something like this is,” he added. (The video is embedded on this
our video library for more videos.)