FRC Shooter Indicted By Federal Grand Jury
WASHINGTON -- The 28 year old Virginia gay man who entered the the lobby of the conservative anti-gay group- Family Research Council- and shot a security guard August 15 was indicted Wednesday on federal charges related to the incident.
Floyd Lee Corkins II, of Herndon, Virginia was indicted by federal grand jury on federal charges of interstate transportation of a firearm and ammunition and two District of Columbia offenses: assault with intent to kill while armed and possession of a handgun during a crime of violence.
A spokesman for the U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of Columbia declined to comment on the possibility of additional charges, including a hate crime specification. The FBI acknowledged that the investigation is still active but declined further comment.
Corkins' attorney David Bos, declined comment on today's grand jury indictment although he did say that he thought a hate crime specification was not likely.
Corkins is due in court Friday, August 24 for a preliminary hearing. U.S. Magistrate Judge Alan Kay had also ordered a psychiatric evaluation to determine his mental competency, the results of which have not been yet disclosed.
Corkins allegedly told the security guard he didn't agree with FRC's policies over LGBTQ rights just before he produced a handgun and opened fire.
Charging documents show that he was carrying extra ammunition and a bag filled with Chick-Fil-A sandwiches in his back-pack when he entered the building.
The Family Research Council has defended Chick-fil-A 's president, Dan Cathy, who in an interview last month stated his opposition to same-sex marriage.
While the shooting itself was denounced by both progressive groups including virtually every LGBTQ equality rights organisations along with numerous conservative groups, it has resulted in a renewed war of words over LGBTQ equality rights issues, specifically same-sex marriage.
The Family Research Council, which bills itself as “the leading voice for the family in our nation’s halls of power,” has been labeled an anti-gay “hate group” by the Southern Poverty Law Center, which has designated the organization a “hate group” for making “false claims about the LGBT community based on discredited research and junk science.”
In a press conference the day after the shooting, FRC president Tony Perkins said the Southern Poverty Law Center had given Corkins a "license to kill" by classifying his organization as a hate group. The SPLC stood by that designation, saying the FRC also had spread false propaganda about gays. Mark Potok who serves as the editor-in-chief of the SPLC’s Intelligence Report and its Hatewatch blog, labeled Perkins' statements of SPLC somehow acting as the catalyst for Corkins' actions as ridiculous.
Corkins had recently volunteered part-time at the DC Centre, a community center for LGBTQ people. David Mariner, Executive Director of the center, described Corkins as “kind, gentle and unassuming.”
Corkins lived at home with his parents who told FBI investigators that their son was very concerned about "gay rights."
Minnesota Lawmaker Caught Having Sex With 17 Year Old Boy Who Defied Party Leadership Saying He Is Still Running For Reelection Drops Out
DULUTH, MN -- The Minnesota Democrat who had an oral sexual encounter with a 17-year-old boy told Duluth Northland’s News Center that he decided to pull out of the race for his house seat. Representative Kerry Gauthier told the News Centre "there’s too much political fall out and it’s too hard on him psychologically. He doesn’t know what he’s going to do but he knows that staying in the race will be too hard on him emotionally."
Earler on Wednesday, the 56 year old lawmaker said that he will let people in his district decide his political future, "rather than the political power base in St. Paul." Gauthier told the news network he is "a better person than this incident portrayed me."
Duluth Police say Gauthier admitted engaging in oral sex with the boy on July 22 at a local highway rest stop after the first-term lawmaker advertised on Craigslist for "no strings attached" sex. Police declined to charge him because the boy was older than 16, the legal age of consent, and no money was exchanged.
At the time that the news first broke Gauthier said in a statement:
"I am sorry for the hurt this has caused my family, friends and my constituents. I know I made a mistake and am determined to make amends as best I can."
Gauthier also told the News Center that his unwillingness to accept he is gay led him to engage in the inappropriate liaison in a public place. He said he is getting counseling. He also said he feels badly for the teen and wouldn't talk specifically about the incident to protect the boy.
"I can change my behavior, but I cannot change the fact that I am a gay man, and have known this since my college days. I simply must act like a mature gay man would act, and not as the incident portrays me," the network quoted him as saying.
Rep. Tom Huntley, a Democrat whose Duluth district adjoins Gauthier's, told the Duluth News Tribune he considers Gauthier a "child molester."
"Why would anybody support someone that did what he did?" Huntley said. "I am a strong supporter of gay rights, but that does not mean 55-year-olds with 17-year-olds. And I just can't imagine the public would approve of that."
Republican leaders in the state House have called on Gauthier to resign immediately.
A Duluth firefighter, Erik Simonson launched a bid as a write-in Democratic candidate for Gauthier's seat Tuesday. Duluth City Councilor Jay Fosle also has filed paperwork to run as a write-in candidate. Republican candidate Travis Silvers already is on the ballot.
President Of Ft. Worth Texas LGBTQ Advocacy Group Found Dead
|Thomas Anable via Fairness Fort Worth|
FORT WORTH, TX -- Police in the western Fort Worth, Texas suburban city of Benbrook said that the body of Thomas Anable, 59, was found shortly before 8:30 a.m. August 19 at Dutch Branch Park at Benbrook Lake.
Anable, co-founder of Fairness Fort Worth, a major Texas LGBT rights group and a witness to the controversial 2009 Rainbow Lounge bar raid died of what appears to be a self-inflicted gunshot wound according to police sources.
"Obviously, it was a tremendous shock and loss," Jon Nelson, one of the other co-founders of Fairness Fort Worth, said Sunday. "We plan to continue with the group to solidify his legacy."
Anable had helped found the group after a raid on one of the Fort Worth gay bars, the Rainbow Lounge, in 2009. Anable was the accountant for the lounge and was in the bar when Fort Worth police and the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission entered for what they called a bar inspection on June 28, 2009. Patrons insisted that it was, in fact, a raid.
Law enforcement officials claimed that the arrests were for “public intoxication” and police alleged that patrons made sexual passes at them.
The raid captured national attention – not least because it took place on the anniversary of the Stonewall Riots in New York City, which arguably gave birth to the modern LGBT rights movement.
Following the negative publicity the raid garnered, Fort Worth police later apologised and made a concerted effort to reach out to the local LGBT community.
Fort Worth Police Chief Jeff Halstead, initially criticized over the Rainbow Lounge incident, later reached out to improve communication with the gay community. On Monday, he praised Anable for his work in Fort Worth.
“I was very saddened to hear the news about Tom Anable,” Halstead said in an email. “Tom was a personal friend, a trusted colleague, and an inspiration. His advocacy for the LGBTQ community opened many eyes, including my own.”
“Recently, Tom also gained national attention for anti-bullying campaigns here in Fort Worth as well as assisting The White House with a televised "Safe Communities" panel discussion at the University of Texas at Arlington, his Alma Mater,” Halstead said. “Tom worked passionately to improve the police department's 'hate crime' policies and investigative protocols.”
Halstead noted that “the Fort Worth Police Department is forever indebted to Tom for bridging the gap and strengthening our enduring commitment to work together for fairness and equality. Our thoughts are with his family, friends, and the community he so dearly loved.” ~ The Fort Worth Star-Telegram
Anable had been the group's president since 2010. He recently worked with police officals in Arlington, Texas, investigating local teenagers that were suspected of targeting LGBT people leaving homophobic graffiti on their cars and homes.
David Mack Henderson, the treasurer of Fairness Fort Worth, said,
“His leadership and tireless advocacy became a shining example for others who strive to make their corner of the world a better place.
“Between the amazing advances that he successfully championed and those who were inspired by him to forge ahead on similar paths Tom leaves a legacy that will burn bright for ages to come.”