Blog ››› ››› RACHEL PERCELAY
The legislative arm of the anti-LGBTQ hate group Family Research Council (FRC) encouraged its supporters to challenge a journalist for moderating a forum on North Carolina’s House Bill 2 (HB 2), the state’s controversial anti-LGBTQ law. After declining an invitation to participate in the forum, FRC attacked the event as a “political maneuver designed to promote misinformation.”
On November 2, The Charlotte Observer hosted a forum on HB 2 -- a controversial anti-LGBTQ law that has been widely condemned and has become a focal point of North Carolina’s gubernatorial race. The North Carolina Republican Party tried to thwart the forum by filing a formal elections board complaint against The Charlotte Observer for hosting the event. Following the lead of the North Carolina GOP, the legislative arm of FRC sent a last-minute email asking its supporters to contact the forum host, WBTV news anchor Molly Grantham, and urge her to “reconsider” her role as moderator. As reported in the Observer’s summary of the forum:
On Wednesday afternoon, an arm of the conservative Family Research Council sent out a blast email describing the forum as a partisan “political stunt” and asking its supporters to target Grantham, a WBTV news anchor, and including her email and the station’s phone number.
In an email to Media Matters, Observer reporter Michael Gordon confirmed that the paper had invited FRC to participate in the forum on HB 2 and that FRC declined the invitation. In its email blast to supporters, FRC accused the Observer of being “obsessed with ‘bathroom legislation’” and attacked the event as "more of a political stunt than an open forum" and a “political maneuver designed to promote misinformation.”
FRC has been designated an anti-LGBTQ “hate group” by the Southern Poverty Law Center since 2010 due to the organization’s known propagation of extreme falsehoods about LGBTQ people. FRC’s leader, Tony Perkins, also has a history of making inflammatory comments, such as calling pedophilia a "homosexual problem," equating being gay with using drugs and committing adultery, accusing gay people of trying to "recruit" children, and comparing gay rights advocates to terrorists.