January 18, 2011 (LifeSiteNews.com) - A coalition that includes black pastors and pro-family organizations held a protest outside the headquarters of the Southern Poverty Law Center yesterday to protest the organization’s ongoing “slander” against pro-family organizations.

The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), which has traditionally sought to counteract racist organizations in the south, has recently begun to categorize pro-family groups as “hate groups” for opposing the homosexual political agenda and condemning homosexual behavior as immoral.

Groups condemned as “hateful” by the SPLC include The Illinois Family Institute, Mass Resistance, Abiding Truth Ministries, and Americans for Truth About Homosexuality, all of which appeared at the protest or made supporting statements. The Family Research Council has also been condemned by the SPLC.

Among the African-American pastors protesting at SPLC headquarters were Pastor Glen Sawyer, of the Mt. Zion Church of God in Christ (Camden, North Carolina), Pastor Wil Nichols, Victorious Praise Fellowship (Durham, North Carolina), Pastor Jon Robinson, Kingdom C.O.M.E. Ministries (Clairton, Pennsylvania), and Pastor Kenneth Jefferson of Greater Harvest.

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Pastor Patrick Wooden, who was interviewed before the protest by Peter LaBarbara of Americans For Truth About Homosexuality, said that he was saddened by the SPLC’s deviation from its historic role of defending racial minorities in favor of defending the homosexual lobby.

“It breaks my heart that a time-honored civil rights organization that has done so much good, would, for whatever reason, whether it is for financial considerations, or for whatever reason, buy into this lie,” Wooden said.

“At the end of the day they know better. And for any civil rights organization to label any other group a ‘hate group’ because they are pro-family, that they believe in the model that the God of the Bible designed and introduced—it is sad, and they are wrong,” he added.

“I think every African-American ought to be appalled, ought to be angry, and begin to wave their fist in the air and declare black power and say to the homosexual lobbyists, the homosexual groups, how dare you compare your wicked, deviant, immoral, self-destructive, anti-human sexual behavior to our beautiful skin color,” Wooden also said.

In addition to the above-mentioned organizations, Rabbi Yeshuda Levin of the Rabbinical Alliance of America and Matt Barber of Liberty Counsel Action joined their voices to the protest, along with several other pro-family groups.

“In the past few years the SPLC has inexplicably chosen to lay on the line any credibility it once had as a serious civil rights advocacy group to, instead, push a left-wing extremist political agenda,” said Barber.

“The SPLC has moved from monitoring actual hate groups like the KKK and Neo Nazis to slandering mainstream Christian organizations with that very same ‘hate group’ label. By extension, the SPLC is smearing billions of Christians and Jews worldwide as ‘haters,’ simply because they embrace the traditional Judeo-Christian sexual ethic.

“It’s a shame that an organization which once supported the noble vision of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. would, today, engage in anti-Christian bigotry of a kind MLK would have, no doubt, detested. What’s most troubling is that there are actually law enforcement agencies around the country that still use the SPLC’s ‘hate group’ resources. I encourage all law enforcement to discard the SPLC as it has discarded any semblance of objectivity and usefulness. Today’s SPLC is simply a well-funded MoveOn.org,” concluded Barber.