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October 27, 2012

U.S. Attorney’s Office Accused Of Anti-Gay Bias In Charging FRC Shooting Suspect As A Terrorist

Tony Perkins is the President of the anti-gay hate group FRC
Tony Perkins is the president of the anti-gay hate group Family Research Council.
2009 U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum Gunman Was Not Charged As A Terrorist

By Roy Steele

Washington, D.C. -- On August 15th in Washington, D.C., a lone gunman walked into the lobby of an office building at 801 G Street N.W., brandishing a 9 mm pistol. After telling the security guard "I don't like your politics," he shot the guard in the arm.

The gunman was quickly subdued. When the police arrived, they found 50 rounds of ammunition, and 15 Chick-Fil-A sandwiches, in the gunman's backpack.

The gunman was 28 year old Floyd Lee Corkins II of Herndon, Virginia. Corkins was a volunteer at the Washington, D.C. LGBT Community Center. His alleged target that day was the Family Research Council (FRC), the Christian right-wing extremist anti-gay and anti-women organization, and political action group. Their offices are in the building where Corkins shot the security guard.

Willard Mitt Romney issued a statement after the shooting:
"There is no place for such violence in our society. My prayers go out to the wounded security guard and his family, as well as all the people at the Family Research Council whose sense of security has been shattered by today's horrific events."
“[The SPLC] repeatedly and without cause demonized FRC, and have spent years stirring up anger in the homosexual community and directing that anger toward an organization whose only crime is to promote and defend the classic American values of faith, family, and freedom. The SPLC, by their own hateful and malicious rhetoric against FRC and AFA, essentially claimed responsibility for this shooting, and they too should be held to account in the court of public opinion.” 
Tony Perkins, the president of FRC, issued a statement that day, alleging that the shooting was "an act of domestic terrorism."
 “Corkins was given a license to shoot an unarmed man by organizations like the Southern Poverty Law Center [SPLC] that have been reckless in labeling organizations as hate groups because they disagree with them on public policy.”
Chris Lissee of the Religion News Service reported:
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 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.”
Just to summarize, FRC's Tony Perkins says that when they lie, demonize, slander and deride the LGBT community on a regular basis, that they shouldn't be labeled as a hate group, because their rhetoric is within the context of a public policy debate.

This is rich coming from a man who has ties to the Klu Klux Klan's David Duke, and has spoken to a white supremacist organization, don't you think? And he's obviously a Romney supporter to boot.

I abhor violence, and I detest gun violence even more. I think that we as a society must address the rampant gun violence plaguing our cities and towns, sooner rather than later. Violence never solves any problem, and it only adds to it and makes it worse.

I don't condone what Corkins did, and hope that he gets the obvious help that he needs. And thank God the security guard was able to subdue Corkins, and he has fully recovered and is back at work.

Floyd Lee Corkins is the alleged gunman in the Family Research Council shooting
Floyd Lee Corkins II, 28 years old of Herndon, Virgina is alleged to have shot a security guard at the Family Research Council office building in Washington, D.C.

On Thursday, the alleged gunman was indicted on additional charges. According to the Washington Newspaper Metro Weekly, John Riley reports:
Floyd Lee Corkins II, the man accused of shooting a security guard at the Washington headquarters of the anti-gay Family Research Council (FRC) in August, pleaded not guilty to 10 charges against him, including a charge of ''terrorism,'' in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia Friday morning.

Corkins, 28, of Herndon, Va., was indicted by a grand jury on all 10 charges Wednesday, Oct. 24, becoming the first defendant charged with an ''act of terrorism'' as defined under a section of the District of Columbia's Anti-Terrorism Act of 2002. The law's definitions of terrorism include an act or actions committed with the intent to ''intimidate or coerce a significant portion of the civilian population of the District of Columbia or the United States.'' The terrorism charge alone is punishable by up to 30 years in prison.

Bill Miller, a spokesman for the U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of Columbia, confirmed to Metro Weekly that the charge against Corkins is the first time someone has been charged under D.C. law of committing an act of terrorism under that specific section of the 2002 law, although he added that another section of the law was used in the prosecution of another case.

Corkins was previously indicted on a federal count of interstate transportation of a firearm and ammunition, as well as two local counts of assault with intent to kill while armed and possession of a firearm during a crime of violence, charges to which he pleaded not guilty at his last court hearing, Aug. 24.

Wednesday's indictment incorporated the three previous charges, along with one count of committing an act of terrorism while armed, one count of attempted murder while armed, one count of aggravated assault while armed, one count of second-degree burglary while armed, and three counts of possession of a firearm during a crime of violence.
The U.S. Attorney's office has NEVER charged someone with committing an act of terrorism before, and they indict a gay gunman who shot one bullet, never got past the security guard, and this is domestic terrorism? I smell discrimination. Big time discrimination.

Washington, DC Mayor Vincent Gray awarded the Mayor's Medal of Honor to FRC security guard Leo Johnson this past week. According to ABC7 news station WJLA, they asked Johnson if he was frightened when he confronted Corkins.
"No it wasn't frightening it was just a situation where I had to react and that's what I did,” he says. “There wasn't any fear involved in it."
Again, I do not want to minimize what Corkins did. Does he sound like a terrorist? Is he worthy of a domestic terrorism charge?

The scene outside the Family Research Council on August 15, 2012
The scene outside the offices of the Family Research Council in Washington, D.C. on August 15th, 2012.

FRC's Tony Perkins wasted no time to issue a press release.
"The terrorism indictment announced today - the first under the District's ten-year-old anti-terrorism statute -- makes clear that acts of violence designed to intimidate and silence those who support natural marriage and traditional morality violate the law and undermine the security and stability of our form of government.

"We again call on organizations like the Southern Poverty Law Center to stop its reckless practice of labeling organizations that oppose their promotion of homosexuality. The SPLC's 'hate' labeling of Christian organizations is fostering a dangerous and deadly environment of hostility and it needs to stop.

"The Family Research Council and our supporters understand the essential nature of our First Freedoms of religion and speech in the survival of our constitutional republic and remain unequivocally committed to our mission of advancing faith, family and freedom," concluded Perkins.
Tony Perkins and his right-wing extremist pals have been lobbying for a terrorist indictment since the shooting occurred, and FRC got their wish. As you can see from Perkins' statement, they continue to demonize our community, and the SPLC, while abrogating any responsibility for the slanderous lies and hateful remarks they have made for the past 20+ years.

When Perkins mentions a "deadly environment of hostility," he conveniently ignores the blood on his own hands. His hateful rhetoric has caused more deaths by suicide, than any other political figure alive today. His vitriolic words and actions directed toward the LGBTQ population, in the name of public policy, is an outrage, as is his blaming SPLC, which is a feeble attempt to obfuscate his own reckless behavior.

Let's look at another recent shooting in Washington, D.C.

On June 10, 2009, a lone gunman walked into the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, and shot a security guard. Sadly, the guard was killed.

The gunman, James W. Von Brunn, 89, from Annapolis, Maryland, was a known white supremacist and Holocaust denier. At the time, CNN contacted SPLC and asked about the shooting subject.
"He is in our files going back way into the 1980s," said Heidi Beirich, a researcher for the Southern Poverty Law Center, based in Montgomery, Alabama. "He has an extremely long history with neo-Nazis and white supremacists. He's written extremely incendiary publications, raging about Jews, blacks and the like." 
James Von Brunn died on January 6, 2010 before he could go to trial. Despite that, a federal grand jury had convened earlier and indicted him for his crimes. According to the Washington Post, Von Brunn was charged as follows:
Von Brunn was indicted by a federal grand jury on charges of first-degree murder, committing a hate crime and gun violations. If convicted, he would have been eligible for the death penalty.
Von Brunn was a straight white male. Corkins is a gay white male. Von Brunn murdered an innocent man with a young child at home, and went to the museum to kill. We don't know what Corkins intent was, and he shot a security guard in the arm.

CNN described the scene at the Holocaust museum like this:
Witnesses described blood on the floor and chaos within the museum's halls.

Visitor Maria Hernandez told CNN she heard five shots and saw the wounded security guard.

"It was definitely a security guard; he was down bleeding on the floor," said Hernandez, 19. "He was face down. His back ... blood was coming out."

Sirens blared as emergency vehicles converged on the area, which is near the Washington Monument and other popular tourist attractions. The museum was full at the time, with a "couple of thousand" people inside, said William Parsons, chief of staff at the museum.

Dave Pearson, a sixth-grade teacher in the Washington area, said he was on the museum's fourth floor when he heard a loud noise.

"At the time, we're visiting and all of a sudden there's like a boom, and all of a sudden they told us to stop where we're at," he told CNN. "Only thing we heard was a boom, and that was it."
Tony Perkins did NOT issue any press releases calling on the U.S. Attorney to indict Von Brunn on terrorism charges. Does he think we can’t do the math? Tony Perkins and David Duke and white supremacists would never condemn one of their own.

James W. Von Brunn was not charged as a domestic terrorist, when he clearly was. Floyd Lee Corkins was charged as a domestic terrorist when he clearly wasn't.

The U.S. Attorney's office must have bought the baloney in FRC's press releases, and as a result they are exhibiting anti-gay bias with their indictment. Tony Perkins will continue to use the court of public opinion to cast the LGBT community as terrorists, along with the SPLC, unless we call him out on it.

Tony Perkins knows that I'm like a pebble in his shoe - that he can't get rid of - and I'll continue to point out his hypocrisy every chance I get. 

As for the gay gunman Floyd Lee Corkins, I hope he has a good attorney.

Otherwise he's doomed.



straight talk in a queer world.     jiveinthe415.com        
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