The Eleven New Additions to the SPLC’s Anti-Gay Hate Groups List
March 8th, 2012
- United Families International, Gilbert, AZ. (Carol Soelberg)
- Save California, Sacramento, CA. (Randy Thomasson)
- SonsOfThundr / Faith Baptist Church, Primrose, GA (Billy and Sandra Ball)
- You Can Run, But You Cannot Hide, Annandale, MN (Bradlee Dean)
- Parents Action League, Champlin, MN (Note, this is the group that fought anti-bullying programs at the Anoka-Hennepin Independent School District)
- Jewish Political Action Committee, Brooklyn, NY.
- Windsor Hills Baptist Church, Oklahoma City (Tom Vinyard)
- Misson: America, Columbus, OH (Linda Harvey)
- True Light Pentecost Church, Spartanburg, SC (H. Walker)
- Tom Brown Ministries, El Paso, TX.
- Public Advocate of the United States, Falls Church, VA (Eugene Delgaudio)
The San Diego-based Biblical Family Associates is no longer on the list this year. It appears to be inactive. Sandy, Utah-based America Forever has also been dropped after reportedly disbanding in 2010.
SPLC: Number of Hate Groups Rise in 2011
March 8th, 2012
[NOTE: In the post below, I mistakenly identified Sharon Slater with being affiliated with United Families International. I’ve been informed that she was “booted out” in 2006 and is no longer with the group. She is currently with Family Watch International, which is a UN accredited organization, as is UFI. While Sharon Slater does support countries which seek to impose the death penalty for LGBT people, I am not aware that UFI has such a position. My apologies for the misidentification.]
The growth was fueled by superheated fears generated by economic dislocation, a proliferation of demonizing conspiracy theories, the changing racial makeup of America, and the prospect of four more years under a black president who many on the far right view as an enemy to their country.
The number of hate groups counted by the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) last year reached a total of 1,018, up slightly from the year before but continuing a trend of significant growth that is now more than a decade old. The truly stunning growth came in the antigovernment “Patriot” movement — conspiracy-minded groups that see the federal government as their primary enemy.
The number of anti-gay hate groups has also risen from 17 to 27 26 in the last year. The SPLC doesn’t say which new ones were added, but as I look through the list, I’m seeing names that I don’t recall seeing before. For example, Arizona-based United Families International, headed by Sharon Slater, has made the cut. UFI, which is an accredited lobbying group for the United Nations, is on record as opposing the removal of the death penalty for homosexuality, a position that I have heard Slater defend in person as well as in her book. Another one is Bradlee Dean’s You Can Run But You Cannot Hide. You will recall that Dean, who has had close ties to Rep. Michele Bachman (R-MN), spoke favorably of Muslims because Muslims call for the execution of gay people. Also making the list is Brooklyn-based Jewish Political Action Committee, which posted signs claiming that cases of child molestation “surged” immediately following New York’s enactment of marriage equality.
In 2010, the Family Research Council, American Family Association, and Peter LaBarbera were among those who were added to the SPLC’s list of anti-gay hate groups.
It takes a particular set of behaviors to land on the SPLC’s list of anti-gay hate groups. As the SPLC explained:
Generally, the SPLC’s listings of these groups is based on their propagation of known falsehoods – claims about LGBT people that have been thoroughly discredited by scientific authorities – and repeated, groundless name-calling. Viewing homosexuality as unbiblical does not qualify organizations for listing as hate groups.