The head of the Traditional Values Coalition claims the FBI told her the group was a potential second target for Floyd Corkins II, who opened fire at the DC offices of the Family Research Council last week.
TVC president Andrea Sheldon Lafferty was apparently visited by FBI agents after Wednesday’s shooting, and was told by members of the Joint Terrorism Task Force that information on the Coalition was written in a note found in Corkins’ pocket—including the anti-gay group’s address.
“I was stunned,” Lafferty, the daughter of TVC founder Rev. Lou Sheldon, told The AP. “We have been on [the SPLC's] hit list longer than any other group,” she said, pointing a finger at the watchdog group for labeling her hate group, well, a hate group. She also blamed the Attorney General’s office for not protecting groups like hers: “Under this Justice Department, Christians are a very low priority on their lists of concerns.”
Apparently Lafferty, like Tony Perkins, isn’t one to waste a chance to play the innocent victim. Here’s what RightWingWatch.org says about Lafferty’s organization:
The Traditional Values Coalition (TVC) is a small but influential organization that appears to consist mostly of the Rev. Lou Sheldon and his daughter Andrea Sheldon Lafferty. Both are mainstays on the conservative circuit, though their reputation has been damaged by revelations that Lou Sheldon took money from disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff to help kill an anti-gambling bill that would have hurt one of Abramoff’s clients.
* Traditional Values Coalition (TVC) describes itself as the largest church-lobby in the United States. TVC’s mission is “to restore America’s cultural heritage” by opposing gay and lesbian civil rights, reproductive freedom, the teaching of evolution in public schools, and sex education curricula that does not stress abstinence.
* It distributes information about gays and lesbians, often referring to gays and lesbians as “sexual predators” and “pedophiles.”
* TVC was active in state battles over constitutional amendments outlawing civil rights protections for gays and lesbians in Colorado and Oregon. TVC has also helped organized anti-gay initiatives in California, Arizona, Missouri, and Washington.
* The group was instrumental in convincing the California State Board of Education to reject a health education curriculum that touched on such subjects as homosexuality and AIDS. TVC has also worked to preserve sodomy laws in California.
Gee, that sounds like some pretty hateful rhetoric right there. But let’s get it from the horse’s mouth, shall we:
Lafferty opposes hate-crime legislation, saying proponents “are trying to take a handful of hideous, horrible crimes and use that to force acceptance of the homosexual lifestyle,” and fears such laws would be “used by homosexual activists to punish any person who has the courage to speak out against the recruitment of children by homosexuals.”
But she’s really just a chip off the old block. Old Lou Sheldon once complained that “Americans should understand that their attitudes about homosexuality have been deliberately and deceitfully changed by a masterful propaganda/marketing campaign that rivals that of Adolph Hitler.” He claimed pro-gay campaigns “are taken from Hitler’s writings and propaganda welfare manuals.”
Corkins, who is being represented by the Public Defenders office, faces charges of assault with intent to kill and bringing firearms across state lines. He is being held in custody pending a hearing next week.
We’re not sure what we hate Corkins for more: Bringing violence into the debate on gay rights, or giving those bigots something to harp on.