The National Organization for Marriage set a bad precedent blaming the label of “hate groups” for the shooting that took place Wednesday at the Family Research Council. Now, Bryan Fischer has taken exploitation of this tragedy to a whole new level in a statement written on behalf of the American Family Association. Fischer characterized the organization’s condemnation of homosexuality as “love,” which could only be perceived as “hate” by those who “hate the truth.” In addition to irresponsibly speculating about the shooter’s motives, Fischer outright blamed the Southern Poverty Law Center for the tragedy:
But the SPLC, by their own hateful and malicious rhetoric against FRC and AFA, has essentially claimed responsibility for this shooting, and they too should be held to account in the court of public opinion.
SPLC claims it only lists organizations as “hate groups” if they engage in the “propagation of known falsehoods” about homosexuality. But the SPLC website itself lists numerous falsehoods about homosexuality. For instance, the SPLC says, without a single shred of proof, that homosexuals are born that way, that it is impossible to leave the gay lifestyle, and that homosexuals are not at elevated risks of depression, anxiety and substance abuse disorders.
Like FRC, AFA is classified as a hate group, and Fischer provided a prime example of the harmful lies that warrant such a designation. In spite of his claim that there is not “a single shred of proof,” decades of psychological research have demonstrated that nobody’s sexual orientation is chosen, nor can any sexual orientation be changed. More importantly, when people come out as gay, lesbian, bi, or trans, the best way to support those individuals’ mental health is to affirm their identities. Study after study after study has shown that it is stigma, bullying, rejection, and condemnation — the “values” these groups promote — that cause the heightened risks of depression and substance abuse. Fischer doesn’t actually care about the well-being of LGBT people; he works to maintain hetero-supremacy in society by reinforcing the very fraudulent ideas that harm LGBT people. It’s exactly such known falsehoods that inform SPLC’s “hate group” designations.
AFA and NOM have made it explicitly clear that they intend to politically exploit the tragedy of a shooting to somehow excuse the harmful rhetoric they spew daily. There seem to be no bounds to the lengths they will go to condemn people just for being gay.