NC Family Policy Council: Apologize For Violent Imagery Inciting Hatred Against LGBT Community

In the Winter 2012 issue of its magazine Family North Carolina, The NC Family Policy Council ran an article titled "Marriage In Society's Moral Crosshairs" written by Jacqueline Schaffer. The article includes the usual misleading fundamentalist Christian arguments favoring a constitutional amendment that would prohibit marriage equality in North Carolina. Most disturbingly, the article includes an illustration that depicts a traditionally dressed heterosexual bride and groom standing in a field, with the crosshairs of a rifle scope superimposed over the couple, as if an unseen sniper is taking aim at the couple.
The image is offensive and disturbing on a number of levels. It implies that proponents of marriage equality want to harm or destroy "traditional" marriage, a supposed goal that makes no sense and has never been a part of the marriage equality agenda. It further implies that heterosexual married couples have something to fear from the LGBT community.
The photograph is clearly designed to incite fear of and hatred against gays and lesbians. It depicts the movement for marriage equality as a violent, deadly threat against straight married couples.
As baldly ridiculous as this is, it is one that will, sadly, register with many conservative Christians, who have been misled and misinformed by their pastors and other conservative leaders about the goals of the marriage equality movement. The publishers of Family North Carolina magazine should remember that just last year Congresswoman Gabrielle Gifford was shot and nearly killed after a spate of violent images directed at Democratic legislators appeared online and in the media.
Please sign to tell the leaders of the NC Family Policy Council that they owe an apology to the LGBT community and all reasonable people for inciting violence and hatred against proponents of gay marriage.
Furthermore, the NC Family Policy Council should disavow violent imagery in all future articles and discussions, and make their arguments through civil, peaceful discourse.
We the undersigned are disturbed and angry at the violent and hateful image that you have included in the Winter 2012 issue of your organization's magazine, Family North Carolina. The photograph--which depicts a bride and groom, standing in a field, with the crosshairs of a rifle superimposed over them, as if a sniper is taking aim at the couple--accompanies an article arguing in favor of an amendment to the North Carolina Constitution that would define marriage as being between and man and a woman, and outlaw same-sex marriage. The implication is that proponents of marriage equality, and specifically gay and lesbian couples, have the intention of harming heterosexual married couples. The intent is clearly to incite fear and hatred of gays and lesbians.
We believe that civil, respectful discourse and argument are a healthy and necessary part of living in a democratic society. However, regardless of which side of this issue you are on, discourse that incites hatred, fear, and violence is unhealthy and destructive, and should be avoided.
We are asking that your organization apologize for the violent imagery in your magazine, and disavow the use of imagery or language that is designed to incite hatred and fear in future publications and statements.
Thank you for your time and attention.
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