Family Research Council President Tony Perkins took to Fox News Thursday to say groups that oppose his organization are responsible for creating the atmosphere that led to the shooting at its headquarters Wednesday.
“Let me be very clear here that Floyd Corkins was responsible for the wounding of one of our colleagues and friends at the Family Research Council,” Perkins said. “But I believe he was given a license to do that by a group such as the Southern Poverty Law Center who labeled us a hate group because we defend the family and stand for traditional orthodox Christianity.”
In late 2010, the Southern Poverty Law Center labeled the FRC a “hate group” over its opposition to gay rights and condemnation of same-sex behavior. The SPLC rating put the FRC — long a mainstay in Republican political circles — on the same list as the Aryan Nations, Nation of Islam and KKK.
The FRC and other social conservative groups rejected the label. And in the wake of Wednesday’s shooting, which was allegedly perpetrated by a man who was opposed to the group’s politics, Perkins said the SPLC needs to watch its words.
“I think it’s time for people to realize what the Southern Poverty Law Center is doing with their reckless labeling of organizations they disagree with,” he said.