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Family Research Council Shooter Gets 25 Years in Prison

Corkins

Floyd Corkins II, who shot a security guard at the Family Rearch Council headquarters in August 2012, has been sentenced to 25 years in prison, the AP reports:

Floyd Corkins II was sentenced Thursday. Prosecutors had asked that he spend 45 years in prison. But Corkins’ lawyer said his client was mentally ill when he entered the Family Research Council building and shot and injured a security guard. He says an 11 1/2 year sentence was appropriate. Corkins was carrying 15 Chick-fil-A sandwiches during the shooting. He said he planned to smear them in his victims’ faces as a political statement.

23 LGBT groups condemned the shooting in a joint statement shortly after it took place.


FRC Shooter Floyd Corkins Pleads Guilty

Floyd Corkins, the Virginia man charged with shooting a Family Research Council employee in August, pleaded guilty today, CNN reports:

CorkinsFloyd Corkins, 28, pleaded guilty to three charges related to the shooting at the conservative policy group's Washington headquarters. The counts included committing an act of terrorism, interstate transportation of a firearm and ammunition, and assault with intent to kill while armed. Prosecutors dropped seven other charges. It's unclear whether the plea deal will reduce the 70 years in prison that he could face following his conviction. Corkins will be sentenced April 29, prosecutors said.

...Prosecutors proposed in December that he plead guilty to the three charges, although his attorney, David Bos, had expressed concern about the offer at the time. The act of terrorism charge alleges that Corkins wanted to kill Johnson and other Family Research Council employees "with the intent to intimidate and coerce a significant portion of the civilian population of the District of Columbia and the United States." It's a District of Columbia law that was passed in 2002 but had never been used.


Accused FRC Shooter Floyd Corkins Indicted

Corkins

Floyd Corkins, the 28-year old accused of shooting a security guard at Family Research Council's DC HQ last week, has been indicted on both the local and the federal level.

TPM's Ryan J. Reilly offers the details:

[Corkins] has been charged with the federal offense of interstate transportation of a firearm and ammunition and a local charge of assault with intent to kill while armed and possession of a firearm during a violent crime. The federal charge carries a maximum of 10 years, while the local charges both carry a mandatory mimimum of five years.

The suspect was not, however, charged under a D.C. hate crimes law, which offers additional penalties for crimes motivated by political bias. Corkins allegedly said words along the lines of "I don’t like your politics" before the shooting.

But David Miller, a spokesman for the U.S. Attorney’s office for the District of Columbia, left open the possibility that Corkins could be charged with a hate crime down the line.

This brings up a question: Would FRC, which as Reilly points out have actively rejected the legal concept of hate crimes, agree with such a charge being leveled against someone accused of being their ideological nemesis? Probably.


HRC President Explains FRC's 'Hate' Status as NOM Fundraises by Accusing 'Gay Activists' of Attempted Murder

Human Rights Campaign PResident Chad Griffin writes an op-ed in the Washington Post discussing the Corkins shooting and why the Family Research Council is labeled a hate group:

GriffinIt is not unexpected that, when such incidents occur, people want to understand them and question why someone could be so callous with human life. But the logic that the Southern Poverty Law Center or LGBT organizations are to blame is preposterous, outrageous and irresponsible. No matter one’s political views, we can all agree that acts of violence are never justified and should always be condemned.

Designating the Family Research Council a hate group has nothing to do with disagreements about marriage equality, nondiscrimination laws or any other policy debate. The real issue is the Family Research Council’s well-documented and continuous pattern of hateful rhetoric.

For a long list of FRC's hateful rhetoric, look HERE.

Griffin concludes: "We welcome the calls for reasoned discourse about LGBT equality. But that discussion must be predicated on truth, not demonization. No right-thinking person can believe a difference of opinion is license to do harm. At least on that, all of us can agree."

BrownMeanwhile, the National Organization for Marriage is fundraising off the shooting, using the line: 'We're not going to allow gay activists to get away with attempted murder!'

Writes Jeremy Hooper: "He is seriously laying the attempted act of one crazed person at the feet of me, you, and anyone who debates on the side of civil marriage equality. That is not an overstatement. Brian Brown, National Organization For Marriage president (i.e. the man leading all four state ballot fights), just said "We're not going to allow gay activists to get away with attempted murder!" as if that is what "gay activists™" want/seek. His attempted conflation is as obvious as it is dangerous and it is outrageous! Oh, and by the way Brian—virtually every LGBT activist I know is either fine with or insistent that Floyd Corkins' act of violence be investigated as a hate crime! Remember, we are the ones who argued in favor of bias-motivated crimes being investigated for what they are. FRC is the organization that vehemently opposed the idea!"


Dana Milbank: The Southern Poverty Law Center's 'Reckless' Name-Calling

DanamilbankDana Milbank, the generally pro-gay Washington Post columnist, yesterday published a column in which he repeatedly insisted that he wasn't blaming the non-fatal Family Research Council shooting on the Southern Poverty Law Center's labeling of the FRC a "hate group." Nevertheless, he claimed that such "reckless" label-throwing "stirs up the crazies" and leads inevitably to violence:

... the organization that deemed the FRC a “hate group,” the Southern Poverty Law Center, [should not] be blamed for a madman’s act. But [it is] reckless in labeling as a “hate group” a policy shop that advocates for a full range of conservative Christian positions, on issues from stem cells to euthanasia.

... The National Organization for Marriage, which opposes gay marriage, is right to say that the attack “is the clearest sign we’ve seen that labeling pro-marriage groups as ‘hateful’ must end.”

Milbank's argument rests on the assumption that the Family Research Council is, as he puts it, a "mainstream conservative think tank"; one which operates in good faith, eschews violence, and generally tries to manage its affairs in such a way that it will not contribute to the ruination or end of any human lives. RightWingWatch has disemboweled this argument rather neatly:

The reality is that FRC is not a “mainstream conservative think tank.” That’s why FRC is one of only a handful of the many, many groups that oppose equality for gays and lesbians to be designated a “hate group” by SPLC. There’s a big difference between being conservative and being an extremist, but many in the media are missing the distinction ...

RWW pulls out the most egregious example of FRC's unique craziness: FRC president Tony Perkins's support for Uganda's "Kill The Gays Bill," about which he lied to make the bill more palatable to American audiences. In 2010, on his radio show, Perkins said:

At the recent National Prayer Breakfast, President Obama took the podium calling for greater civility in Washington, which in my opinion is a laudable goal. However, his comments quickly turned to his preoccupation with defending homosexuality.

The President criticized Ugandan leaders for considering enhance penalties for crimes related to homosexuality. The press has widely mischaracterized the law which calls for the death penalty, not for homosexual behavior which is already a crime, but for acts such as intentionally spreading HIV/AIDS, or preying upon vulnerable individuals such as children, which has been a problem in Uganda for years because the large number of orphans.

The President said that “We may disagree about gay marriage, “but surely we can agree that it is unconscionable to target gays and lesbians for who they are.” Mr. President, as long as you characterize efforts to uphold moral conduct that protects others and in particular the most vulnerable, as attacking people, civility will continue to evade us.

Actually, the bill did call for the death penalty for those convicted of "aggravated homosexuality" -- which is to say, repeat offenders. Those caught engaged in homosexual acts before having the opportunity to become repeat offenders were to suffer mere life imprisonment.

The relevant bits of the bill:

2. The offence of homosexuality.

(1) A person commits the offence of homosexuality if-

(a) he penetrates the anus or mouth of another person of the same sex with his penis or any other sexual contraption;

(b) he or she uses any object or sexual contraption to penetrate or stimulate sexual organ of a person of the same sex;

(e) he or she touches another person with the intention of committing the act of homosexuality.

(2) A person who commits an offence under this section shall be liable on conviction to imprisonment for life.

3. Aggravated homosexuality.

(1) A person commits the offense of aggravated homosexuality where the
(a) person against whom the offence is committed is below the age of 18 years;
(b) offender is a person living with HIV;
(c) offender is a parent or guardian of the person against whom the offence is committed; (d) offender is a person in authority over the person against whom the offence is committed; (e) victim of the offence is a person with disability;

(f) offender is a serial offender, or

(g) offender applies, administers or causes to be used by any man or woman any drug, matter or thing with intent to stupefy overpower him or her so as to there by enable any person to have unlawful carnal connection with any person of the same sex,

(2) A person who commits the offence of aggravated homosexuality shall be liable on conviction to suffer death.

(3) Where a person is charged with the offence under this section, that person shall undergo a medical examination to ascertain his or her HIV status.

Very unambiguous. Which in no way means it's okay to shoot Tony Perkins or the security guards outside his office. It only means Milbank is a bit confused when he suggests that:

... the Southern Poverty Law Center should stop listing a mainstream Christian advocacy group alongside neo-Nazis and Klansmen.

Nope. That's right where they belong. Incidentally, it's not okay to shoot neo-Nazis or Klansmen, either.


Michael Heath Claims Marriage Equality Breeds Violence Like FRC Shooting

MichaelHeathMichael Heath is really taking the new conservative meme — equality activists are violent like Floyd Corkins — to the next level. Heath, the outspoken anti-gay stalwart who called same-sex marriage "monstrous insaneness," released a statement today in which he says allowing marriage equality in Maine would lead to the "sort of violence" seen at Family Research Council's HQ this week.

"If Maine doesn't end this decades long conflict over the evil of sodomy with an overwhelming NO vote in November we can expect to see this sort of violence in Maine in the near future," said Heath, referring to the referendum that could legalize marriage equality.

"Homosexuality can lead to the most horrific and violent consequences in individuals and society. The twin cities of Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed because of it."

Heath then takes the fear-mongering one step further by noting that he's getting a gun to protect himself, and others. From his press release, which is written in third person: "Heath is awaiting receipt of his concealed weapons permit from the Maine State Police. He claimed it is the responsibility of all good men to be prepared to protect innocence from evil. Force must be met with force so that innocent people are not harmed."

The statement also notes that Heath will be speaking at Beastfeast, an event at which - and this is a quote - "men who respect hunting and firearms come together to enjoy the results of the hunt -- they eat meat."


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