The head of the Family Research Council on Thursday suggested theSouthern Poverty Law Centersparked hatred that led accused gunman Floyd Lee Corkins II to shoot a security guard at the conservative Christian lobbying group’s headquarters.
FRC president Tony Perkins called Wednesday’s shooting “an act of domestic terrorism.”
“Corkins was given a license to shoot an unarmed man by organizations like the Southern Poverty Law Center that have been reckless in labeling organizations as hate groups because they disagree with them on public policy,” Perkins said.
The SPLC tracks domestic extremists and lists the FRC as an“anti-gay” hate group. On Thursday, Perkins called “an end to the reckless rhetoric that I believe led to yesterday’s incident that took place right here.”
The SPLC's Mark Potok called Perkins' accusations "outrageous," and he said his group is committed to offering "legitimate and fact-based criticism."
"The FRC routinely pushes out demonizing claims that gay people are child molesters and worse -- claims that are provably false," Potok wrote on the SPLC's blog. "It should stop the demonization and affirm the dignity of all people."
Corkins, 28, of Herndon, Va., had volunteered at The DC Center, a gay advocacy group in Washington, D.C.
He has not been charged with a hate crime, but was found to be carrying symbols of a recent flare-up in the culture wars. Corkins was found to be carrying 15 Chick-fil-A sandwiches when he was arrested, along with a 9 mm pistol and 50 rounds of ammunition.
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