That is the unexpected call from Dana Milbank a liberal columnist for The Washington Post.
I disagree with the Family Research Council’s views on gays and lesbians. But it’s absurd to put the group, as the law center does, in the same category as Aryan Nations, Knights of the Ku Klux Klan, Stormfront and the Westboro Baptist Church. The center says the FRC “often makes false claims about the LGBT community based on discredited research and junk science.” Exhibit A in its dossier is a quote by an FRC official from 1999 (!) saying that “gaining access to children has been a long-term goal of the homosexual movement.”
Offensive, certainly. But in the same category as the KKK?
Since the shooting, conservatives have complained that the media have played down the story. This probably has less to do with bias than with the fact that nobody was killed. Still, there is something to the complaint.
I took issue with Glenn Beck before his fall for stirring up the unstable by promoting conspiracy theories in the mass media; more than one Beck follower became violent. What the Southern Poverty Law Center and Human Rights Campaign have done isn’t close to the level of provocation Beck achieved, but that doesn’t justify their actions. 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.”
It certainly is a double-edged sword as he pokes at conservatives as well, but at the heart of the issue he’s right, and I’m sure he’s getting blasted for it. The Southern Poverty Law Center which did good work during the 60s can’t be taken seriously anymore and do nothing more than “inflate the hate.” The Southern Poverty Law Center is guilty of what the left has accused conservatives of doing. While they certainly didn’t give the perpetrator in yesterday’s shooting at the Family Research Council license their rhetoric hasn’t contributed to healthy, civil discourse.