ANSWERING THE SOUTHERN POVERTY LAW CENTER'S ATTACKS UPON FAMILY RESEARCH COUNCILBy Rob Schwarzwalder Senior Vice-President
In November 2010, the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), a left-wing fundraising powerhouse, announced that it considers Family Research Council (FRC) to be an "anti-gay hate group"--lumping us together with neo-Nazis and the Ku Klux Klan. Ever since, the charge that FRC is a "certified hate group" has been used by the SPLC and other groups--such as the Human Rights Campaign and Campus Pride--in an attempt to discredit FRC's work and cut us out of public policy debates and media coverage over homosexuality and same-sex "marriage." Ironically, the unfounded "hate group" label has deepened hatred toward FRC, which has now resulted in violence--a shooting in the lobby of our headquarters building on August 15, 2012, in which one of our employees was wounded while courageously defending his colleagues.
Instead of being chastened by these events, the SPLC has merely repeated its defamatory accusations against FRC. Here are brief answers to some of the distortions of our positions by the SPLC and those who have embraced the "hate group" charge:
Does FRC claim that "gay people are child molesters?"
FRC has never said, and does not believe, that most homosexuals are child molesters. However, it is undisputed that the percentage of child sex abuse cases that are male-on-male is far higher than the percentage of adult males who are homosexual. This suggests that male homosexuality is a risk factor for child sexual abuse. Homosexual activists argue that men who molest boys are not actually "homosexual;" but scholarly evidence undermines that claim. It also cannot be disputed that there is a sub-culture within the homosexual movement that advocates "intergenerational" sexual relationships. FRC's writings on this topic--unlike the SPLC's--have been carefully documented with references to the original scholarly literature.
Does FRC want to "criminalize" homosexuality?
FRC has made no effort to reinstate sodomy laws since the U.S. Supreme Court struck them down in the 2003 case of Lawrence v. Texas. In a 2010 interview on a different topic, the question of whether we should "outlaw gay behavior" in U.S. civil law was raised not by an FRC spokesman, but by MSNBC's Chris Matthews. The spokesman affirmed that FRC (like three Supreme Court justices) believed Lawrence was wrongly decided; but the interview left some viewers with the mistaken impression that "re-criminalizing" homosexuality is a policy goal for FRC. It is not.
Does FRC want to kick homosexuals out of the country?
Just days after an interview was posted online in 2008, an FRC spokesman publicly apologized on the FRC website for having used the words "import" and "export" as metaphors for voluntary immigration and emigration by homosexuals. The interview related to legislation which would grant special preference in immigration to foreign nationals who are the homosexual partners of American citizens.
Does FRC support the execution of homosexuals in Uganda ?
This charge was refuted as soon as it appeared in 2010. FRC has publicly opposed the much-publicized bill (never adopted) in Uganda that would have imposed criminal penalties for various offenses related to homosexual conduct, and the death penalty for something known as "aggravated homosexuality." We responded to requests from Congressional offices for advice on the wording of a resolution condemning the Uganda bill--then reported those contacts as "lobbying," as is required by law. FRC did not "lobby" against the resolution; our advice was limited to suggestions for language that would accurately describe the Uganda bill and the state of international law.
Does FRC "hate" homosexuals?
As a Christian organization, we have an obligation to love our neighbor--including our neighbors who experience same-sex attractions. However, we believe sexual acts between persons of the same sex are objectively harmful to those who choose to engage in them and to society at large, in addition to being forbidden by Scripture. Since the essence of love is to desire the best for a person and act to bring that about, we believe the most loving thing we can do is discourage such self-destructive conduct, rather than affirm it. We are happy to debate those who disagree with us regarding the harms of homosexual conduct, but there is no justification for anyone to impugn our motives with false labels such as "hate."