At the headquarters of the anti-gay Family Research Council in Washington, D.C., a security guard was shot in the arm Wednesday morning by a man posing as an intern.
According to media reports of the incident, the shooter walked into the lobby of the building and was confronted by the guard. He opened fire on the guard, who tackled him to the ground, disarmed him, and waited for police.
The shooter, suspected to be 28-year-old Floyd Lee Corkins II, was taken into custody. Corkins had been volunteering at a local LGBT center for the past six months and made a negative comment about the Family Research Council before the shooting, according to HuffPo. Fox News also claims:
Sources told Fox News that after guard took away his gun, the suspect said, “Don’t shoot me, it was not about you, it was what this place stands for.”
Outlets have also reported that the shooter may have been carrying a bag from Chick-fil-A and/or Chick-fil-A promotional materials, which, at this point, could mean anything or nothing — though for what it’s worth, FRC’s Tony Perkins has been a staunch supporter of Chick-fil-A president Dan Cathy.
The Family Research Council works actively against LGBT rights and has been classified by the Southern Poverty Law Center as a hate group, but LGBT groups like GLAAD, HRC, PFLAG, The Trevor Project, GLSEN, Family Equality Council, Freedom to Marry, and many others have released a joint statement denouncing the incident. While the SPLC was also quick to release a statement condemning violence and questioning the shooter’s motives, this will undoubtedly launch another round of heated debates about whether either side of the gay rights movement can or should be considered “hateful.” For example:
“Today’s attack is the clearest sign we’ve seen that labeling pro-marriage groups as ‘hateful’ must end,” Brian Brown, the president of the National Organization for Marriage, said in a statement.
In case it isn’t already obvious: extremists don’t represent the majority. The Family Research Council’s stances do not reflect every Christian’s views on homosexuality, just as this incident doesn’t reflect how the rest of us feel about the Family Research Council.