According to the SPLC, “Even as some well-known anti-gay groups like Focus on the Family moderate their views, a hard core of smaller groups, most of them religiously motivated, have continued to pump out demonizing propaganda aimed at homosexuals and other sexual minorities.”
According to the article, the influence of these “hate” groups “reaches far beyond what their size would suggest, because the ‘facts’ they disseminate about homosexuality are often amplified by certain politicians, other groups and even news organizations.” In a separate piece the SPLC lists 10 “Anti-Gay Myths” the pro-family groups regularly market to their audiences.
Among the most vicious and irresponsible of the groups, according to the SPLC, are the American Family Association, American Vision, the Chalcedon Foundation, and, of course, the Family Research Council, whose head Tony Perkins can be seen almost nightly on talk and news shows, offering evidence to show why legalizing same-sex marriage, allowing homosexuals to serve openly in the military, and conceding other “rights” homosexual activists lobby for aggressively would prove catastrophic to a well-ordered society.
During a recent debate between Perkins and the SPLC’s Mark Potok, Potok attempted to downplay the “hate” designation, explaining that the label “has nothing to do with any allegation of criminality,” but is “purely about ideology.”
Perkins countered by charging that designating groups that disagree with the homosexual agenda as haters is nothing more than “juvenile name calling.” He added that groups like the SPLC are “losing ground in this public policy debate and so they start this juvenile process of name calling and trying to shut down debate over public policy.”
Perkins said that to be “silent when it comes to homosexual behavior that’s both harmful to society and, more importantly, to the individuals who engage in it ... is in fact hateful.”
One conservative publication, the Social Contract, a quarterly journal that tackles issues of public policy, noted that the SPLC has a long history of resorting to “ritual defamation” in its efforts to advance a “far-left agenda,” and that it regularly denigrates individuals and organizations that work to uphold traditional values. In a special investigative report on the SPLC the conservative journal found, among other things:
• The SPLC “has a long history of smearing conservatives as ‘racists’ and, now, ‘homophobic’ haters. In addition to the eighteen groups mentioned in its “anti-gay” list, the SPLC’s targets have included the “Eagle Forum, the Heritage Foundation, Rush Limbaugh, Lou Dobbs, Rep. Michelle Bachmann (R-MN), Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa), and Sen.-elect Rand Paul.”
• The group “is closely aligned with cultural Marxists and convicted terrorists like Weather Underground bomber Bill Ayers, who was lauded by the SPLC's ‘Teaching Tolerance’ project as a ‘civil rights organizer’... teacher and author.”
• The SPLC has promoted itself as an anti-poverty crusader all the while amassing “$200 million in ‘reserve funds’ that its secretive directors invest in hedge funds and offshore bank accounts in places like the Cayman Islands. The tax-exempt organization spends almost 90 percent of its revenue on ‘fund-raising and administrative costs’ and flunked an audit by the Better Business Bureau's Wise Giving Alliance.”
As for the SPLC’s latest attacks against principled pro-family groups, the FRC’s Perkins called the effort a “deliberately timed smear campaign,” noting that the Left is “losing the debate over ideas and the direction of public policy so all that is left for them is character assassination. It’s a sad day in America when we cannot, with integrity, have a legitimate discussion over policy issues that are being considered by Congress, legislatures, and the courts without resorting to juvenile tactics of name calling.”