Monday, August 20, 2012

Michelangelo Signorile Invites Hate Group Leader Tony Perkins To Talk About Hate


Michelangelo Signorile
Michaelangelo Signorile is a very skilled debater but does it really matter?  Will Tony Perkins ever  admit that his words and actions are hateful?  His very livelihood relies on demonizing gays and lesbians.  I know this debate would not change his mind but it may change the minds of some people watching it.  I say "bring it on"!!
Dear Mr. Perkins,
Let me again express my strong condemnation of the shooting at the Family Research Council offices, as well as my support and concern for all those affected. Security guard Leo Johnson, who took a bullet (and luckily did not lose his life, and is currently in stable condition), is a hero who saved others from being shot. I'm enormously grateful for that. As I wrote here last week, whatever the gunman's motives, they are twisted and utterly unacceptable. This shooting is an outrage and should send a chill through everyone on both sides of these debates. You and I have debated gay rights, civilly, on TV and in other media. That's how these disagreements should always be addressed: via civil discourse, never through violence....
...Perhaps you recall that in July 2008, a man armed with a shotgun went on a shooting rampage inside a church in Knoxville. The Tennessee Valley Unitarian Universalist Church, like many Christian churches and denominations across the country, is welcoming of LGBT people. The gunman killed two people and severely wounded several others. Police said that the killer's motive was to target gays and liberals. "This isn't a church, it's a cult," the killer wrote in a four-page letter he had left behind. "They embrace every pervert that comes down the pike.... [T]he only way we can rid ourselves of this evil is kill them in the streets, kill them where they gather."

I wouldn't claim, as you did with regard to the SPLC, that the FRC gave that killer a "license to shoot." No one knows what's inside the mind of a premeditated killer. But I would ask: Where do people like this killer get the distortions and ugly mischaracterizations that convince them that gay people are evil? More so, where do others who wouldn't engage in gun violence but who do harm to LGBT people in other ways -- firing them from their jobs, throwing them out of their homes, bullying them in schools -- get their misinformation about gay people? They get it from a wide array of sources that contribute to a culture that demonizes LGBT people. And you and the Family Research Council are among those who feed into that culture.

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