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April 2, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – The far-left Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) has released its annual report on so-called “hate groups” in the United States, a highlight of which is a 43 percent increase in the number of organizations the SPLC deems “anti-LGBT.”

“Overall, the SPLC identified 940 hate groups operating across the country in 2019, a slight decline from the all-time high of 1,020 in 2018,” the group says in its press release. “More than half of the decline was due to a drop in the number of neo-Nazi groups, as two main factions collapsed amid leadership turmoil.”

In February, Andrew Anglin of the virulently anti-Semitic Daily Stormer complained to his readers that “even after I told you people that the site lost $50,000 last year, fewer than 60 of you decided to send money,” necessitating layoffs. Despite this fairly clear sign of declining interest in the already-fringe world of neo-Nazism, SPLC claims that a “white nationalist movement that was emboldened by the election of Donald Trump” nevertheless “grew for a second straight year in 2019.”

“Make no mistake: We have a crisis of hate and extremism in our country – and the toxic ideas propagated by these hate groups not only lead to violence but erode the very foundations of our democracy,” said SPLC spokesperson Lecia Brooks. “The attacks in El Paso, Texas, and Poway, California, are stark reminders of the serious threat posed by white supremacist ideology and those it motivates to act. Each of these attacks – as well as thousands of hate crimes across the country – was inspired by white supremacist propaganda.”

In particular, 2019 saw a “sharp increase of anti-LGBTQ hate groups, which rose from 49 in 2018 to 70 last year.” The report does not define “anti-LGBTQ hate” or acknowledge the concept of non-hateful disagreement with homosexual conduct, but its list names numerous mainstream conservative groups that merely advocate religious liberty and/or a biblical view of human sexuality, such as Alliance Defending Freedom, the Family Research Council, Faith2Action, and Liberty Counsel.

“This important new report shines a light on the explosion of anti-LGBTQ groups across our country,” claimed Shannon Minter, legal director of the National Center for Lesbian Rights. “The resurgence of these groups poses a real danger to LGBTQ people and to the progress we have made, which feels increasingly precarious in the face of this administration’s shocking support for anti-LGBTQ hate groups and apparent determination to roll back even the most basic legal protections for LGBTQ people.”

The SPLC has long been controversial for its history of labeling mainstream Christian and/or conservative organizations – such as the Ruth Institute, the David Horowitz Freedom Center, and Jihad Watch – “hate groups” to be distrusted by the public and blacklisted from various online platforms and services.

Over the past two years, it was forced to make a public apology and pay $3.4 million in defamation damages to Maajid Nawaz’s Quilliam Foundation, ousted co-founder Morris Dees for “inappropriate conduct,” and endured testimony from insiders that the organization is a “highly profitable scam” and that Dees saw “civil-rights work mainly as a marketing tool for bilking gullible Northern liberals.”

In 2012, would-be mass shooter Floyd Lee Corkins II entered the socially conservative Family Research Council’s (FRC’s) lobby, armed with SPLC’s “hate group” list and planning to, in his own words, “kill as many as possible and smear the Chick-fil-A sandwiches in victims' faces, and kill the guard.” Nobody was killed thanks to the intervention of security guard Leo Johnson, who was wounded.