Thursday, August 16, 2012

Facts about incident at Family Research Council in DC are disturbing


The best evidence so far seems to be that Floyd Corkins, 28, from Herndon VA, intended an attack on the facility in downtown Washington DC of the Family Research Council at least partly because of its positions on gay issues (specifically, perhaps, gay marriage), and that he had volunteered for a gay organization.  This is obviously a most disturbing incident. In forty-plus years of my involvement with and following the “gay rights” (to use the term loosely), I don’t think anything like this has ever happened.

WJLA (ABC affiliate in Arlington VA/Washington DC) has a story on the security guard, Leo Johnson, who got shot preventing the attack, details (wesbite url) here

Corkins allegedly told the guard that this was not personal, it was about “policy”.  That is, a security guard  -- doing his job -- is like a soldier in combat, according to his “reasoning”.

I’ve actually never been employed by a political party, pressure group, lobbying group, or any similar organization.  I’ve had the luxury of leading a “separate life”.  But yes, I can imagine having worked for SLDN or CATO.

The Washington Blade has a story about  Corkins’s “volunteering”, (website url) here

Corkins apparently had a number of “Chick Fil A” sandwiches in his backpack.

I’ve gone into the history of “equality” as a “policy” question, from a personal perspective, before.  “Discrimination” in employment and housing, and prevention of hate crimes, used to be the main focus of “gay rights” (as well as overturning sodomy laws).  There was a feeling, in my experience, that the main emphasis was on privacy and on being able to lead my own life on my own terms. 

“Equality” sounds like an abstract concept.  But both “gay marriage” and “gays in the military” have to deal with the capacity to take the same responsibilities and share the same risks and psychological challenges (maintaining emotional commitments in long term, polarized or “complementarity-based” relationships capable of supporting others and particularly raising children) as “everyone else”.  Without “equality”, one’s own life can be fair game for disruption, expropriation or forced sacrifice to meet the more compelling “needs” of others.  It comes down to a kind of psychological socialism.

Social conservatism (including that preached by the Family Research Council, Focus on the Family, and similar groups) does indeed point out that many people find the idea of committed relationships with others based on complementarity a difficult and easily interrupted challenge (especially when others don’t “pay their dues”).  But why so much focus on a format that emphasizes procreation?

I won't get into the mudslinging or muckraking, but Huffington has a story on Southern Poverty Law Center v. Family Research Council, here

Picture: "Chick fil A" booth on Ballston Common, lower level, in Arlington.  The booth is small compared to that of other nearby eateries, and I have never noticed it before, until all the controversy.  Many larger restaurants, other shops, and Regal Cinemas are on the upper levels, and a Metro stop is nearby.  

Update: Aug. 30

An article by Lou Chibbaro, Jr. in the Aug. 24, 2012 Washington Blade reports that the Family Research Council is still a "federal charity" program, link here

Sean Bugg has an interesting perspective on p. 19 of the Aug. 23 Metro Weekly, "Mainstreaming hate", critical of the positions taken by Dana Milbank, Bugg's column here

On Aug. 16, Dana Milbank had written in the Washington Post, "Hateful speech on hate groups: The Family Research Council is no KKK", here

Nevertheless, in the past, the FRC's allusions have been more or less of the ilk of Anita Bryant and "Save out Children" back in 1977, which I remember all too well.  

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