The politics of hate

by Leslie Turk

Labeling the Family Research Council as "anti-gay," The Southern Poverty Law Center is adding the D.C. powerhouse to its 2011 list of hate groups.

The Southern Poverty Law Center, a nonprofit social advocacy organization, is updating its list of hate groups next year to include 12 additional "anti-gay groups." According to a press release issued by SPLC, that list will feature the Family Research Council, a D.C. powerhouse led by Baton Rouge native Tony Perkins, a former Republican state representative. SPLC contends that the council is being added to the list "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 a prepared statement, Perkins countered that the council has only "advanced faith, family, and freedom in public discourse... with civility and compassion." He also not-so-diplomatically tore into the SPLC. "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," Perkins said. "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."