While Gay Rights activists have been known to complain of hate speech and hate crimes, in recent weeks they have been the ones perpetrating hate speech and hate crimes against those who hold faith-based moral objections to the homosexual lifestyle. Three such incidents have surfaced in the last three weeks.
The first incident was on August 1, when Adam Smith ventured through the drive-thru of the Chick-Fil-A parking lot just to order a free water. As Smith got to the window with a video camera in hand, he started belittling and intimidating the employee with hate speech, "I don't know how you live with yourself and work here. I don't understand it. This is a horrible corporation with horrible values."
After going through the drive-thru, he posted the video on YouTube where it went viral. While Adam Smith's speech was reflective of hate, I would not go as far as to say that it should be classified as a "hate crime." The same can not be said for the other two incidents that have occurred.
On Friday August 3, workers at a Chick-Fil-A location in Los Angeles were greeted by an act of vandalism as a local artist had painted the words "Tastes Like Hate" on the side of the building. Gay artist Manuel Castro has since come forward and been arrested for the crime. While some defend Castro as exercising his right to free speech and further voluntarily taking responsibility for the behavior, this is an act that should absolutely be tried as a hate crime -- and would certainly be treated as such if someone vandalized the side of a building for supporting gay rights, regardless of whether or not they voluntarily turned themselves in.
In the most tragic of these recent incidents, a security guard at the Family Research Council was shot and wounded by 28-year-old Floyd Corkins, who had been volunteering for the past six months at the DC Center for the LGBT Community. This one is a virtual no-brainer; as if justice is served it should and will without a doubt be classified as a "hate crime."
A unique twist is added to the story by the fact that the Family Research Council has since 2010 been labeled as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center. A day after the shooting, FRC President Tony Perkins voiced his opinion that the SPLC created the kind of reckless environment that resulted in the violence, "Let me be clear that Floyd Corkins was responsible for firing the shot yesterday that wounded one of our colleagues and our friend, Leo Johnson. But Corkins was given a license to shoot an unarmed man by organizations like the Southern Poverty Law Center that have been reckless in labeling organizations 'hate' groups because they disagree with them on public policy. And I believe the SPLC could be held accountable for their reckless use of terminology that is leading to the intimidation and what the FBI has categorized as an action of domestic terrorism. There is no room for that in a society such as ours that works through differences we have on public policy through a peaceful means."
While the views of the FRC may not be popular or conventional to supporters of the Gay Rights movement, I have not seen the FRC in the news for committing any crimes. If the FRC is indeed a hate group, then how are we to classify the Gay Rights movement in light of these recent acts of bullying, vandalism, and violence committed against those who express faith-based moral objections to the homosexual lifestyle choice?