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Michelangelo Signorile Challenges FRC’s Tony Perkins To Debate

Jim Burroway

August 20th, 2012

Radio host and Huffington Post Gay Voices editor Michelangelo Signorile is tired of the Family Research Council’s attempt to pin the blame for last week’s shooting on the Southern Poverty Law Center’s ranking the FRC as among just twenty-six anti-gay hate groups. Signorile has penned an open letter to FRC’s Tony Perkins challenging him to a discussion about hate and its consequences:

But let’s be clear about why FRC is in that category. After all, there are thousands of conservative and religious groups across the country that are opposed to marriage equality, many of which also believe homosexuality to be a sin, but the SPLC does not deem them all hate groups. It’s only a tiny handful of conservative groups that have been given that distinction by the SPLC. They are listed as hate groups “based on their propagation of known falsehoods — claims about LGBT people that have been thoroughly discredited by scientific authorities — and repeated, groundless name-calling.” Also, two years ago, an FRC official said “homosexual behavior” should be outlawed. You wouldn’t repudiate him. It was also revealedthat the FRC contributed $25,000 to stop a congressional resolution to condemn the “kill the gays” bill in Uganda, which would have made homosexuality punishable by death. You worried that the resolution could make it appear as if homosexuality is acceptable. If that Ugandan bill, and even tacit approval of it, isn’t “hate,” what is?

Perhaps you recall that in July 2008, a man armed with a shotgun went on a shooting rampage inside a church in Knoxville. The Tennessee Valley Unitarian Universalist Church, like many Christian churches and denominations across the country, is welcoming of LGBT people. The gunman killed two people and severely wounded several others. Police said that the killer’s motive was to target gays and liberals. “This isn’t a church, it’s a cult,” the killer wrote in a four-page letter he had left behind. “They embrace every pervert that comes down the pike…. [T]he only way we can rid ourselves of this evil is kill them in the streets, kill them where they gather.”

I wouldn’t claim, as you did with regard to the SPLC, that the FRC gave that killer a “license to shoot.” No one knows what’s inside the mind of a premeditated killer. But I would ask: Where do people like this killer get the distortions and ugly mischaracterizations that convince them that gay people are evil? More so, where do others who wouldn’t engage in gun violence but who do harm to LGBT people in other ways — firing them from their jobs, throwing them out of their homes, bullying them in schools — get their misinformation about gay people? They get it from a wide array of sources that contribute to a culture that demonizes LGBT people. And you and the Family Research Council are among those who feed into that culture.

Comments

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Truthspew
August 21st, 2012 | LINK

Oh I hope he posts it on YouTube. This should be interesting.

Ryan
August 21st, 2012 | LINK

Perkins would never agree to that. The media never holds him accountable for the things his hate group stands for, and that’s the way he likes it. Meanwhile, I believe Dan Savage and Brian Brown’s debate will be released soon, so that should be interesting.

Hunter
August 21st, 2012 | LINK

Perkins will only agree to it if he’s allowed to dictate the format. And if he does it, he will tone down the rhetoric, so Signorile should be prepared to nail him on the statements FRC has made “to the choir.”

Mark F.
August 21st, 2012 | LINK

Can you really hold that homosexual behavior is a “sin” and not have it influence people in a bad way? Even if you don’t lie about gay people?

If you think gay sex is a sin, you must think it has negative consequences and should be discouraged, at the very least.

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