WASHINGTON, D.C., January 30, 2013, (LifeSiteNews.com) – Documents uncovered from a Freedom of Information Act request show the Obama administration's Department of Justice enjoys a close relationship with the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), an organization that brands principled opposition to homosexuality “hate.”

The SPLC has built an elaborate fundraising empire by branding mainstream Christian ministries – including the American Family Association, the Family Research Council, and Concerned Women for America – as “hate groups” for opposing homosexuality.

The legal watchdog Judicial Watch filed the request to see what effect SPLC's designation of “hate groups” had on the government. The two-dozen pages of e-mails it received reveal views of DOJ employees that border on adulation.

The department invited co-founder Morris Dees to appear as the featured speaker at a July 31, 2012, “Diversity Training Event.” The Assistant Attorney General's office “wants to take Morris out to lunch” before his simulcast remarks, entitled “With Justice for All,” one e-mail stated.

A “training blurb” stated that the event “qualifies for mandatory annual diversity training.”

“I will pick you [Morris Dees] up at the airport July 30,” DOJ employee Barry Kowalski wrote Dees in an e-mail. “Would you go out to dinner with my wife and me and our two teenage daughters that first night? The girls need some inspiration from a master of inspiration,” he gushed.

“Given these fawning e-mails, one would have thought that a head of state was visiting the Justice Department,” Judicial Watch president Tom Fitton said. “The SPLC is an attack group, and it is disturbing that it has premier access to our Department of Justice, which is charged with protecting the First Amendment rights of all Americans. And these e-mails further confirm that politically-correct ‘mandatory’ diversity training programs are a waste of taxpayer money.”

Associate Attorney General Tony West introduced Dees, filling in for a vacationing Thomas Perez, Assistant AG for the Civil Rights Division.

SPLC's heated rhetoric has already burst into violence.

Last August, LGBT activist Floyd Corkins II said “I don't like your politics” before opening fire at the Family Research Center's Washington offices, injuring building operations manager Leo Johnson.

Andrea Lafftery, president of the Traditional Values Coalition – another SPLC-designated “hate group” – told LifeSiteNews.com that Corkins intended to visit their headquarters next.

“Only two groups were targeted: us and Family Research. We are both the two [D.C.] targets of the Southern Poverty Law Center. We’ve been vocal on traditional marriage and lesbian, gay, and transgender issues,” she said.

Although the SPLC reports “monitoring” targeted groups, its goals go much further.

“I want to say plainly that our aim in life is to destroy these groups, to completely destroy them,” said Mark Potok, the “director of intelligence” at Southern Poverty Law Center.

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The PC heresy hunters maintain an “LGBT Law Project,” and its “Teaching Tolerance” curriculum promotes its worldview among public, and private, school children.

The Obama administration's close relationship with SPLC would mirror many other associations with left-wing groups, often with extreme agendas.

Judicial Watch has noted: “The DOJ worked closely with the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) regarding the dismissal of the voter intimidation lawsuit filed against the New Black Panther Party for Self Defense. The DOJ also partnered with the ACORN-connected Project Vote in advance of the 2012 election on a national campaign to use the National Voting Rights Act (NVRA) to register more individuals on public assistance, widely considered an important demographic for the Obama campaign.”

“Progressive” pressure groups have had unprecedented access to the halls of power under the Obama administration, often shaping its agenda and influencing its actions.

In August 2011, DHS and FBI agents attended a terrorism training seminar hosted by Planned Parenthood, the National Abortion Federation, and the Feminist Majority Foundation that equated free speech and distributing literature with violence. Presenters encouraged federal agents to monitor dozens of pro-life organizations. Perez boasted of stepping up FACE Act violations following the meeting.

“I think Christians need to wake up. This is a very dark time,” Lafferty told LifeSiteNews.com. “We have a government that does not believe they need to protect us.”