November 26th, 2010
02:07 PM ET
3 years ago

Nonprofit will designate the Family Research Council a 'hate group'

Washington (CNN) - The Southern Poverty Law Center will designate the Family Research Council, a powerful conservative advocacy organization, as a hate group next year because of its anti-gay views. For its part, the council is already firing back in a statement calling the announcement a "smear campaign."

In the most recent edition of its publication "Intelligence Report," the SPLC included its analysis of 14 years' worth of hate crimes data. The study concluded that gays were more likely to be victims of a violent hate crime than any other minority group. As part of its study, the SPLC made a list titled "18 Anti-Gay Groups and Their Propaganda." The SPLC said it would designate 13 of the 18 groups on the list as "hate groups" in 2011, including the Family Research Council.

The SPLC's criteria for listing these organizations was "generally... based on their propagation of known falsehoods – claims about LGBT people that have been thoroughly discredited by scientific authorities – and repeated, groundless name-calling."

In making its case against the Family Research Council, the SPLC cites the work and comments of several people associated with the influential conservative group. According to the report, Robert Sprigg, a senior research fellow, told MSNBC's Chris Matthews "I think there would be a place for criminal sanctions on homosexual behavior." The report also alleges Sprigg opposed allowing gays to openly serve in the military because it would "lead to an increase in gay-on-straight sexual assaults."

Family Research Council president Tony Perkins blasted the SPLC report and called for an apology. In a written statement, Perkins says "The Southern Poverty Law Center is a massively funded liberal organization that operates under a veneer of public justice when, in fact, they seem more interested in fundraising ploys than fighting wrongdoing. This is a deliberately timed smear campaign by the SPLC."

"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 can not, 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."

SPLC list of anti-gay organizations

Full statement from Family Research Council President Tony Perkins:

"Family Research Council has, for nearly 30 years, advanced faith, family, and freedom in public discourse. We do so with civility and compassion. We hold to the indisputable fact that the family – a Dad, a Mom, and children – is the best building block of a good society, which is why we oppose efforts to transform it based on personal sexual preference.

"The Southern Poverty Law Center is a massively funded liberal organization that operates under a veneer of public justice when, in fact, they seem more interested in fundraising ploys than fighting wrongdoing.

"This is a deliberately timed smear campaign by the SPLC. 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 can not, 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."

"The Left's smear campaigns of conservatives is also being driven by the clear evidence that the American public is losing patience with their radical policy agenda as seen in the recent election and in the fact that every state, currently more than thirty, that has had the opportunity to defend the natural definition of marriage has done so. Earlier this month, voters in Iowa sent a powerful message when they removed three Supreme Court justices who imposed same-sex marriage on the state. Would the SPLC also smear the good people of Iowa?"

"Family Research Council will continue to champion marriage and family as the foundation of our society and will not acquiesce to those seeking to silence the Judeo-Christian views held by millions of Americans. We call on the Southern Poverty Law Center to apologize for this slanderous attack and attempted character assassination."


Filed under: SPLC
soundoff (24 Responses)
  1. once upon a horse

    sounds to me like a perfect case for the Log Cabin Republicans and GOProud both conservative gay groups to come out and fight such stuff. You never seem to hear very much from these people and the GOP probably doesn't even acknowledge that they exist. Time to prove that GAY REPUBLICAN is NOT an oxymoron.

    November 26, 2010 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  2. rs

    FRC needs to learn that actions have consequences. Being out of the mainstream and pushing a radical ideology of radical fundamentalism in America means that they should be branded as a hate group.

    November 26, 2010 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  3. Carrot Cake Man

    It's time that CNN and all other legitimate news media outlets stop repeating the hate speech from FRC and other hate cults. Anyone who really wants to read the lies Perkins says can get them at Faux News. We know for a fact that the hate speech FRC and other professional gay-haters issue is responsible for violence. Please, CNN, stop giving the gay-haters free publicity. Thank you.

    November 26, 2010 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  4. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    How about championing peace, love, tolerance instead of condemnation of God's children. It is God that has the final judgement and the Family Research Council needs to leave God's work alone because they aren't without sin. There is no big or little sin in God's judgement.

    November 26, 2010 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  5. Marcus

    'We hold to the indisputable fact that the family – a Dad, a Mom, and children – is the best building block of a good society, which is why we oppose efforts to transform it based on personal sexual preference.'
    Oh really? You mean that if it's a disfunctional family (an abusive or absent parent, or both, for example) it will still be better than a loving single mom or a caring single dad or a present and concerned pair of mom/dads?

    '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 can not, 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.'
    Don't have looked in the mirror much as of late it seems...

    Man, is this guy's Rip Van Winkle in disguise? We're no longer in the 50's man, the most hypocritical period of the XX Century due to the fact that while the 'American Dream' was being promoted non-stop as the 'good thing' when compared with the Red Danger (which in itself was neither wrong nor hypocrite), if ANYBODY dared to pinpoint that there were problems with what was showed to the world and what was really happening in the USA (and I am NOT talking about just the 'Jim Crow Laws') he/she/them was seen as an unpatriotic traitor (to say the least).
    Dude, those days are long gone... and WON'T come back.

    November 26, 2010 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  6. Marla Dean

    This is great. We should all be made aware of just who these hate groups are.
    Now, can we get the Republican party and the Tea party added to this list, too?

    November 26, 2010 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  7. Sailor

    SPLC is nothing more than a leftist group of political hatchet men.

    On the SPLC’s own definition of “hate group.”

    “…a “hate group” has nothing to do with criminality… [or] potential for violence…” Rather, as Potok put it, “It’s all about ideology.”

    No crime, no violence, just “wrong thinking”

    November 26, 2010 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  8. Judas

    The Family Research Council should be considered a hate group. They spend countless millions of dollars each year vilifying a minority group of taxpaying citizens all in an effort to deny equality by working to legalize the continued discrimination and marginalization of LGBT Americans. If they spent their resources and collective vitriol in addressing the real threat to marriage, the high percentage of adultery and divorce in this country, they might actually gain some credibility and not be seen as the revolting bigoted hypocrites they really are. They don’t deserve any apologies.

    November 26, 2010 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  9. normajean

    I' m hoping and praying that a good number of you writers out there took the time to read your local newspapers yesterday and today to learn about the very important and successful meeting our president had in Russia with their President Medvedev. While President Obama is working constantly to bring our counrty up to what it used to be and dealing with foreign powers to solidify our world position, so many of you, and the Repubs , of course, are criticizing his every move.Time to wake up people. we could end up with Sarah Palin for Pres.,we know she's not sure where Russia is!!!!!

    November 26, 2010 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  10. Bruce

    The looney left is at it again. Disagree with anything they believe in and you are considered hateful. What a bunch of morons.

    November 26, 2010 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  11. awaitingmoderationby CNN

    If you disagree with the democrat liberal agenda, you are a hate group. If you disagree with Obozo, you are an enemy. Thus spake the liberal democrats and shows why the lost the last election so bad. They have lost touch with their sanity, it must be the drugs.

    November 26, 2010 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  12. T'sah from Virginia

    How can it be a SMEAR CAMPAIGN when it was proven you are HATE GROUP?

    "The Left's smear campaigns of conservatives is also being driven by the clear evidence that the American public is losing patience with their radical policy agenda as seen in the recent election..."

    RepubliCAN'Ts – keep believing that the recent election is all about YOU!!! Actually, it has NOTHING to do with YOU ALONE!! How many democrats crossed over ONLY because they were sending a message to DEMOCRATS!!

    The Independents decided this election and it sends a message that a MORE balance of POWER is needed – that's all!! The RepubliCAN'Ts are going to BLOW IT AGAIN!!!!

    Let's continue to Move America Forward with our current leader, President Obama!!

    November 26, 2010 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  13. Brandon

    well, when I don't agree with the conservite agenda I am labled a liberal eilitist baby killer that is anti american...

    November 26, 2010 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  14. bobcat1a

    It's not the liberals and Democrats who want to deny rights to people because of who they are. It IS the Republicans and conservatives. The haters can't see themselves in the mirror but they do see their own deficiencies in everyone around them.

    November 26, 2010 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  15. Gary

    When an organization encourages paranoid fear of gay Americans it also encourages violence. A few decades ago, racist organizations claimed that black American men were driven to sexually assault white women and undermine the natural order of segregation. Today we all agree that the KKK is a hate group. How is the FRC any different?

    November 26, 2010 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  16. Marcus

    awaitingmoderationby CNN – The sad part is that, if I disagree with you then I am a traitor to the USA (in your eyes) so you're not that different of those you disagree with.

    November 26, 2010 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  17. DoSomething

    awaitingmoderation-Any group that tries to deny equal rights to another group of ppl ARE A HATE GROUP. Look at what Hitler & his followers accomplished with "wrong thinking", Sailor.The last election was lost because of laziness not b/c ppl don't agree with the progressive agenda. And Marcus-'The Left is losing the debate over ideas and the direction of public policy so all that is left for them is character assassination...Silly rabbit, both parties do this, Republicans are just better at it:) The Truth is the majority of ppl don't want to go back to the good ole' 50's with its Racism, Sexism, Gay-bashing, Blacklisting, No civil rights, etc...fortunately, your kind is dying out, hooray!!!

    November 26, 2010 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  18. Marcus

    Sailor – If you had BOTHERED to check on Google or Wikipedia or... You'll have seen and read that a 'hate group' is exactly what you mocked: NOT a group that does criminal acts against another group(s), but one that ADVOCATES the right to do so or the absence/lack of rights of the 'other part'.
    For example: Nation of Islam and KKK are considered 'hate groups', and they don't even have to act for that, it's all because what they believe that they have the right to say (and intend to impose) ON ANOTHER GROUP.

    November 26, 2010 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  19. Dave

    Thank you, SPLC, for telling it like it is. FRC is a hate group. SPLC has no democrat or republican agenda; only an American agenda. FRC has been spreading hate in the form of free speech for years and got away with it. Shame on them. Now they got caught.

    To Sailor, Bruce, and Awaitingmoderationby CNN: I respectively disagree with you. If you disagree with the FRC, you are the enemy. If you are gay you are the evil incarnate. Don't color this discussion with liberal vs. conservative or democrat vs. republican. The FRC is playing the religious conservatives just like the Klan did in the 50s and 60s. And just like then the religious conservatives are foolish enough to fall for it.

    November 26, 2010 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  20. Clwyd

    Aren't all conservatives members of a hate group?

    November 26, 2010 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  21. bcrunner

    @awaitingmoderationby CNN: No, we have not lost touch with sanity. To the contrary, we are very thoughtful and and not judgemental like Tony Perkins, the FRC and you. And, taking back the house, is not losing soooo badly... The Democrats still control 2/3rds of the government..

    November 26, 2010 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  22. TGAnnie

    I suppose the American Cancer Society is a hate group too, because they spend huge amounts of money attacking the behavior of smokers.

    November 26, 2010 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  23. Jack

    If you believe that violence against another group ok–you are part of a hate group. The Catholic church does not accept homosexuality but it vehemently opposes violence against gays. If the FRC wants to be taken of the hate list it must also come out and vigorously oppose violence or other hateful actions against gays. Very simple. If you just shrug your shoulders about violence against gays (or any group) you are complicit.

    November 26, 2010 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  24. Peter s

    Bravo Claudia! you just hit it out of the park!!!
    "Claudia, Houston, Tx
    How about championing peace, love, tolerance instead of condemnation of God's children. It is God that has the final judgement and the Family Research Council needs to leave God's work alone because they aren't without sin. There is no big or little sin in God's judgement."

    November 26, 2010 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |