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August 16, 2012

FRC's Perkins: Shooter "was given a license" by SPLC

Faith Family Freedom
(The words carved above FRC's door. Photo by Rick Rosendall)

Here are a few notes from this afternoon's news conference in front of Family Research Council headquarters in DC.

Tony Perkins (I am paraphrasing): We thank the groups, even those who disagree with us, who condemned yesterday's violence. But we ask them to go one step farther and stop the hate speech. The shooter was given a license by the Southern Poverty Law Center to do what he did.

My (Rick Rosendall's) reaction: pointing out hate speech is not in itself inflammatory. Nothing SPLC ever did or said can remotely be taken to condone violence. But if Perkins now believes that intolerant speech can inspire others to commit violent acts, he should take his own words to heart and stop slandering LGBT people who simply want equal protection under the law. America is a socially and religiously and ethnically diverse country, and for us to live together peacefully requires respect for that diversity. Freedom of speech and religious freedom mean nothing if they are treated as a monopoly held by one group.

Politico reports here. Chris Geidner reports at BuzzFeed.

Tony Perkins at FRC presser
(Tony Perkins. Photo by Rick Rosendall)


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