Conservatives Condemn Shooting at Family Research Council

By Elizabeth Harrington | August 15, 2012 | 6:26 PM EDT

FBI personnel outside the Family Research Council in Washington, D.C. (AP Photo)

( – Conservatives and proponents of traditional values spoke out following the shooting at the Family Research Council (FRC) on Wednesday, calling for prayers for the “heroic security guard” who was wounded in the arm.

Following the incident, the National Organization for Marriage (NOM) offered prayers for Leo Johnson, a long-time security guard at the FRC, who they called the “Hero of G Street.”  The FRC is headquartered on the 800 block of G Street in northwest Washington, D.C.

“Today’s attack is the clearest sign we’ve seen that labeling pro-marriage groups as ‘hateful’ must end,” said Brian Brown, president of the NOM, in a statement.

“The Southern Poverty Law Center has labeled the Family Research Council a ‘hate group’ for its pro-marriage views, and less than a day ago the Human Rights Campaign issued a statement calling FRC a ‘hate group’ – they even specified that FRC hosts events in Washington, D.C., where today’s attack took place,” said Brown.

Brown said his organization has “always condemned all violence” in the national debate over the definition of marriage, but said that is not the case for the other side.  “For too long, national gay rights groups have intentionally marginalized and ostracized pro-marriage groups and individuals by labeling them as ‘hateful’ and ‘bigoted,’” he said.

“Such harmful and dangerous labels deserve no place in our civil society and NOM renews its call today for gay rights groups and the Southern Poverty Law Center to withdraw such incendiary rhetoric from a debate that involves millions of good Americans," Brown said.

"Violence is never the answer, and on that we all must agree, or risk the consequences,” he said.

Presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney released a statement, also condemning the violence.

“I am appalled by the shooting today at the offices of the Family Research Council in our nation’s capital,” said Romney. “There is no place for such violence in our society. 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 White House had not made any comment regarding the shooting as this story was being posted.

Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-Ohio) reacted to the shooting via twitter, saying, “Prayers are w/injured guard, his family, & everyone at [the Family Research Council]. DC police chief says ‘security officer here is a hero’ – couldn’t agree more.”

At about 10:45 a.m. on Wednesday a male security guard at the FRC was shot at the group's office in Chinatown.  The suspected shooter, reported to be Floyd Corkins of Herndon, Va., is currently in custody.

The conservative family values organization issued a statement shortly following the incident from its President Tony Perkins.

"The police are investigating this incident," Perkins said.  "Our first concern is with our colleague who was shot today. Our concern is for him and his family."

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