By Matthew Cullinan Hoffman
MONTGOMERY, Alabama, March 29, 2010 (LifeSiteNews.com) – The website Americans for Truth About Homosexuality (AFTAH), a conservative activist group that opposes the homosexual political agenda, has been labeled an “anti-gay” “hate site” by the ultraliberal Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC).
The SPLC is a non-profit legal organization that specializes in tracking “hate groups.” Its listings are sent to law-enforcement officials around the country, and are used in training some police departments.
The “hate site” designation was given to AFTAH by SPLC without any justifying evidence. AFTAH's President Peter LaBarbera has consistently denounced organizations that express hatred towards homosexuals.
SPLC has also renewed the “hate site” label for other conservative organizations that oppose homosexualist political ideology such as the Massachusetts citizen's group Mass Resistance, the Illinois Family Institute, and the Traditional Values Coalition, grouping them with racist organizations such as the KKK and neo-Nazi groups.
The Evangelical legal defense organization Liberty Counsel has issued a press release denouncing SPLC for the designation.
“AFTAH is a Christian organization that promotes biblical morality and publicly decries both violence and hatred against homosexuals,” Liberty Counsel states.
“Although it has been in operation for a number of years, the SPLC only recently labeled AFTAH a 'hate group,' after being pressured by the Chicago-based 'Gay Liberation Network.' (GLN is a fringe group of self-described Marxists and sexual anarchists best known for disrupting peaceful Christian gatherings with raucous, bullhorn laden protests.)”
“You can only cry wolf so many times before people begin to ignore you,” said Matt Barber, Liberty Counsel's Director of Cultural Affairs and AFTAH board member, noting that while the organization once commanded respect as a monitor of true hate groups, “in recent years it has traded in its limited usefulness for radical left-wing activism.”
“Sure, there are haters on the right like Fred ('God Hates Fags') Phelps (who despicably pickets U.S. soldiers’ funerals, and whom AFTAH has repeatedly condemned). But there are far more haters on the Left, and they are much better organized and dangerous to American liberty than those on the opposite end of the political spectrum,” wrote LaBarbera in response to the “hate site” designation.
“This 'hate group' stunt is simply meant [to] intimidate and silence their opposition,” writes Brian Camenker of Mass Resistance. “And there's something un-American about that kind of tactic. Clearly, groups like SPLC consider the truth to be their biggest enemy. But it won't work with us.”
Matt Barber recently told the organization Concerned Women for America that he and the leaders of other groups are considering the creation of a coalition to counteract the SPLC's ideologically-motivated attacks.
Southern Poverty Law Center
Matt Barber, Liberty Counsel,
Americans for Truth about Homosexuality