Several gay rights protesters stormed the Washington, D.C. hotel hosting the Family Research Council’s annual Values Voter Summit on Saturday, shouting, “Your values are killing us!”
Former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum had just concluded his speech in the ballroom when roughly six protesters unraveled a large rainbow-colored American flag outside in the lobby and began chanting. Almost immediately several security guards grabbed the protesters to drag them outside. One protester in particular resisted, causing him and some of the security guards to fall to the floor.
TheBlaze spoke with one of the activists afterward who identified himself as Charles Butler with the gay rights organization Get Equal.
“The first guy put me in a headlock and I was losing consciousness. That’s why I fell the first time,” Butler said.
Asked whether he felt Get Equal had accomplished anything, Butler said, “I think it’s too early to tell. … We‘re trying to call into question the organizers of this summit’s values and how they affect LGBT people,” he said. LGBT stands for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender.
“A lot of people don’t know about all of the stuff [Family Research Council President] Tony Perkins says about us. Calling us pedophiles,” Butler said, referring to a 2010 interview in which Perkins called pedophilia a “homosexual problem.”
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ABC was the only broadcast network that offered a full story on the FRC office shooting on Wednesday night. They led with the story and gave it two and a half minutes. None of the network newscasts reported the breaking detail that shooter Floyd Corkins volunteered for six months at the D.C. Center for the LGBT Community, adding depth to his political motivation.
On NBC Nightly News, Brian Williams gave the story just 17 seconds: “In Washington today, police say a man with a gun walked into the offices of the conservative lobbying group the Family Research Council, and opened fire. He never made it past the lobby. He shot a security guard in the arm before the guard was able to subdue him.”
On CBS Evening News, substitute anchor Bob Schieffer offered 20 seconds: “A gunman opened fire today at the Washington headquarters of the Family Research Council, a conservative Christian lobbying group. The man shot a security guard in the arm before that guard and others tackled him, and he was arrested. Police say that the suspect made negative comment about the council’s work just before the shooting.”
Does anyone believe that under the same circumstances — hostile ideological shooter captured after security guard only shot in the arm — a conservative nut attacking a gay activist group or abortion advocacy group would draw just 20 seconds? (For one example, a quick Nexis search reminds me CBS This Morning offered a full story from Wichita on August 20, 1993, after late-term abortionist Dr. George Tiller was shot in both arms.)
On both NBC and CBS, the FRC brief was followed by a full story promoting President Obama’s new deferral program for illegal alien “Dream Act” students. NBC gave that two minutes, CBS two minutes and fifty seconds.
ABC’s World News led off with the tease: “Tonight on World News: armed and dangerous. A gunman opens fire at the office of a powerful conservative group. He was stopped by a heroic security guard in the nick of time. Was it domestic terrorism?” Diane Sawyer began:
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It will be interesting to see what the Southern Poverty Law Center has to say about the shooting at the Family Research Council building in Washington D.C. earlier today. The SPLC and pro abortion and gay rights groups consider the FRC a hate group because it opposes abortion, gay marriage and also pornography and divorce.
The alleged shooter, Floyd Lee Corkins II, who posed as an intern, shot a security guard in the arm around 10:45 this morning. The security guard subdued the shooter. He was later questioned by the FBI. Corkins allegedly “made statements regarding their policies, and then opened fire with a gun striking a security guard,” a source told Fox News.
“Sources also said the gunman may have been carrying a bag from Chick-fil-A, the embattled fast-food restaurant whose president came under fire from gay activists after he said he did not agree with same-sex marriage,” Fox News added.
The FBI said it is treating the attack as a case of domestic terrorism, although the head of the FBI’s Washington Field Office said authorities do not yet know the gunman’s motive despite the fact he told the security guard his attack “was not about you, it was what this place stands for.”
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The armed man who walked into the Washington headquarters of the Family Research Council and reportedly shot a security guard Wednesday morning has been identified as Floyd Corkins, 28, of Virginia, NBC News reports.
Corkins was taken into custody by the FBI following the shooting and was being interviewed.
“We don’t know enough yet about him … or mentally what he’s thinking,” said James McJunkin, assistant director in charge of the FBI’s Washington field office.
The guard, who was an employee of the FRC, was taken to a hospital in stable condition after being shot.
“Our first concern is with our colleague who was shot today,” the group’s president, Tony Perkins, said in a statement.
Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney said in a statement that he was appalled by the shooting. “There is no place for such violence in our society,” he said. “My prayers go out to the wounded security guard and his family, as well as all the people at the Family Research Council whose sense of security has been shattered by today’s horrific events.”
The Family Research Council advocates conservative positions on social issues and strongly opposes gay marriage and abortion. Fox News reports that Corkins posed as an intern and was carrying a Chick-fil-A bag with him during the attack.
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“Our first concern is with our colleague who was shot today. Our concern is for him and his family,” Perkins said.
The group’s offices are in the 800 block of G Street N.W., and police officials told reporters a suspect was in custody in the shooting.
Fox News reported a suspect walked in, started yelling about things FRC supported and opened fire.
The organization, founded in 1983, works to forward faith, family and freedom issues in public policy. It informs lawmakers and staff on Capitol Hill, reviews legislation and provides expert testimony in Congress. The group has been active in exposing pro-abortion and other agendas of the Obama administration.
The pro-life news outlet LifeNews.com reported the attacker was a man posing as an intern.
LifeNews.com also reported FRC staff member Anna Maria Hoffman posted on Twitter, “Our security guard Leo got shot in the arm. Please keep him in your prayers.”
A public information officer for the Washington police department said the shooting happened about 10:45 a.m. Eastern.
“A security guard confronted the suspect, which is a matter of their policy. The suspect did fire upon the security guard. The security guard was struck, and transported to a hospital,” the police report said.
The security guard was listed in stable condition, police said.
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Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum on Saturday won the backing of 150 social conservative and evangelical Christian leaders.
Tony Perkins, the head of the Family Research Council and a spokesman for the group, said a “strong consensus” emerged for Santorum after three rounds of balloting, The Hill reported.
“I think it was vigorous discussion of who they felt best represented the conservative movement and who they think had the best chance of succeeding,” Perkins said.
He said the former Pennsylvania senator got more than two-thirds support in the final ballot, in which he faced off against former House Speaker Newt Gingrich. Texas Gov. Rick Perry also received a significant amount of support from the group, Perkins said.
According to ABC News, the leaders met Friday at a Texas ranch and heard from surrogates from every candidate’s campaign except former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman.
Perkins said that he expected there would be “some activity” within 24 hours of the endorsement, ABC reported. He was vague, suggesting only that some groups and leaders would likely make their official support known.
As ABC observed, the meeting “reflected conservatives’ desire to stop Mitt Romney’s momentum before the Jan. 21 primary in South Carolina, where evangelical voters are expected to play a significant role.”
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