West Suburban Anti-Gay Group’s Website Labeled a “Hate Group” by Southern Poverty Law Center

Mar 22, 2010 · 47858 views

peter_labarberaAfter years of vilifying gays as disease-prone and child molesters, the website of the Naperville-based anti-gay organization Americans For Truth About Homosexuality (AFTAH) recently became listed as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center.

The Chicago-based Gay Liberation Network (GLN) lobbied the Law Center to list AFTAH as a hate group so that its lies against Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender people could be exposed to public scrutiny and condemnation. The listing appeared in the most recent issue of the Law Center’s quarterly publication, Intelligence Report.

The criteria that the Law Center historically has used to determine whether or not an organization is a hate group is not merely that it opposes legal equality for gays or others, but whether or not they intentionally utilize discredited and slanderous propaganda to spread lies about a group of people. By repeatedly using the phony “research” of defrocked psychologist Paul Cameron, who is roundly condemned by every major professional psychological association, AFTAH’s website apparently met the Law Center’s definition of a hate group.

The Southern Poverty Law Center tracks neo-fascist and other hate groups in the United States and when such groups violate the rights of others, often files suit against the hate groups. Several years ago, the Center briefly listed the Illinois Family Institute as a hate group when it listed Cameron’s discredited “research” on its website.

The Illinois Family Institute was founded and formerly headed by anti-gay activist Peter LaBarbera. After a series of defeats, most notably two spectacularly failed attempts to get anti-gay referendum on the Illinois state ballot, in 2006 LaBarbera was apparently forced to resign from the Illinois Family Institute, where upon he upon he re-launched Americans For Truth About Homosexuality and his rhetoric against gays has gotten even more unhinged.

Prior to his stint with the Illinois Family Institute, LaBarbera was employed by the anti-women’s rights organization, Concerned Women for America (CWA). Before joining CWA, he was employed as a reporter for the far-right Washington Times newspaper during the early years of the paper when it more tightly reflected the views of Rev. Sun Myung Moon, cult leader of the far right “Moonies” sect.

“Getting LaBarbera’s website labeled a ‘hate group’ is important because it helps assist the political marginalization of a man who has dedicated his career to denying others legal equality,” said Bob Schwartz of the Gay Liberation Network. “Through demonstrating against LaBarbera and his organizations over the years, GLN and others have made LaBarbera gain the reputation of being a bigot, and thus radioactive in many ‘respectable’ circles. This most recent victory, getting the Southern Poverty Law Center stamp of disapproval for LaBarbera’s website, makes it less possible for him to garner support for future anti-gay legislation and initiatives.”

    Comments

  1. what?? says:

    the southern poverty law center, is a dangerous organization. They constantly infringe on free speech. Although calling this anti gay group may be fine, They often group whistleblower websites and anti corruption activists with the same brush as actual hate groups. Its very telling that the GLN had to campaign to have AFTHA on their list because the Southern poverty law centre has an agenda to push that has NOTHING to to with fighting poverty or bringing equal right

  2. Keith Kimmel says:

    Hell, they consider me a bigot too because I dared to publicly oppose Obama’s “open the floodgates” approach to immigration policies. SPLC is simply a left-wing hate group. They have no credibility in my eyes, even though I concur with the decision this time.

    • Marc Felion says:

      I wonder if this really is Keith Kimmel, the guy who fought for the “I’m Gay” license plate who was found dead.

      Seems an unlikely comment from someone like him, but I don’t know.

  3. NG says:

    Awesome! And anyone who sourced LaBarbera for the purposes of demonizing others for personal and professional gain should be listed as such too.

  4. Curtis says:

    I see the right wing creeps are visiting the comment section of Feast of Fun (see anonymous poster “what??” and Keith Kimmel above), and I say welcome but you wont find any traction for your nonsense here.

    More seriously, it’s about fucking time. Mr LaBarbera has long been a ridiculously obvious and obsessed anti-gay bigot.

    I am disturbed that when it comes to Gay issues, opposition to our eqaulity, which is patently bigotry and hate, isn’t enough for one of our primary bias watchdogs to qualify a group for their list. WHen are we as LGBT folks going to stop allowing people to downgrade those who oppose us a hate us as merely people with another opinion. I really believe that we have to get real and stop letting people disguise their bigotry behind religious excuses or the cloak of a reasonable use of free speech. I’m not saying they should be silenced, but we have to quit allowing the enemies of community to maintain a veil of respectability. They are bigots pure and simple, not reasonable people who just disagree with us.

    I believe that one of the important keys to the success of other civil rights movements was establishing racism and misogyny and their public expression as shameful exhibitions of bigotry, and things that would embarrass and isolate those who expressed viewpoints in opposition to the struggle for equality of race based and gender based groups. I think that is something we have kind of failed at. We haven’t been able to forcefully make the case that if you post a sign in your front lawn favoring an anti-gay initiative of candidate that it is philosophically similar to posting a swastika, a burning cross, a confederate flag or any other symbol of bigotry. I don’t think we’ve done a good job of even getting our supposed allies to understand this.

    • It’s kind of hilarious that religious nut-jobs have finally discovered google alerts. Hi!

      Honestly, if someone created a group like “The Truth About Black People” or “The Truth about Women” they would be laughed at or labeled by the FBI as a terrorist group.

      If Americans For Truth About Homosexuality (AFTAH) being listed as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center doesn’t groove with you, how about us? I’ve always thought they were a laughable, ridiculous group that prey’s on people’s ignorance and fear to line their pockets with money. “Hate group”? I have much stronger words. They represent America at it’s worst and are an embarrassment to any community.

      • Keith Kimmel says:

        lol, I love how the liberals just summarily lump my gay, cock sucking, atheist ass in with the right wing nutters just because I happen to agree with the righties on a couple of issues like personal responsibility and financial prudence. It just goes to prove that for all their talk about equality, non-judgment of people based on superficial appearances, ad nauseum, liberals are still at the end of the day, mostly full of shit. Liberals do want equality and free speech, but only for their people and their ideas. Guess what!!??!! Thats the exact same hypocrisy that they accuse the conservatives of! I see through the bullshit, I don’t buy it and thats what they really, really hate.

        In this case, I agree with the actions of SPLC. But I have seen cases where SPLC has used their clout as a weapon to attempt to undermine people that they disagree with for no reason other than they disagree with a position stated by some group. Thats intellectually dishonest and I choose not to associate myself with – or pay attention or lend credibility to – groups that engage in such bullshit.

      • Heath Bruce says:

        Care to enlighten us with a few examples, Mr. Kimmel? Or are you just repeating someone else’s talking points?

      • Keith — is just some anonymous hater without anything substantial to say. If you really have the conviction of your words, log in here with Facebook and post it under your “real” name.

        It’s hard to take anything you say seriously, since you’re choosing to make your points anonymously and could be seen as simply an attempt to move the conversation away from why more people don’t look at Americans For Truth About Homosexuality as a hate/terrorist group.

        I hate those haters!

  5. Jessica Sideways says:

    I wish they would list American Family Association, the Southern Baptist Convention and Focus on the Family as the hate groups that they are. They encourage homophobia and discourage legal equality for gays in a country that is required by the constitution to have a government that remains secular to protect religious freedom, along with freedom from religion.

  6. Chickengirl says:

    well that is good..more of these groups should be labeled as hate groups…I was kinda watching something on the HLN channel at the gym one day and the reporter referred to the WBC as a hate group….but they may already be official titled as a hate group

  7. what what in the butt says:

    SPLC lists mainstream conservative groups as racist or ‘hate groups’

    NRA
    oathkeepers.org
    reteaparty.com
    taxdayteaparty.com
    teapartypatriots.com
    libertarians -(who support gay marraige)

    These groups have memberships of over a million people. To think that all of these people are racists and homophobes is slightly coo coo, dont you think?

    WEARECHANGE.org isnt even right wing, its a peace activist group, its listed as extra ‘dangerous’

    • Heath Bruce says:

      http://www.splcenter.org

      Here you go, Mr. Butt. This is the address to the SPLC. Would you care to point to where exactly on that website they list ANY of these organizations as Hate Groups. I’ll save you a bit of time… THEY DON’T.

      What they are COMMITTED to doing is providing examples of hate crimes perpetrated by ANY organization and this does sometimes include organizations like the ones you listed.

      Please to enjoy the story of Danville Tea Party leader Nigel Coleman, who was one of the two people who posted the address of Bo Perriello, the older brother of U.S. Rep. Tom Perriello (D-Ivy), who voted for the health care bill. “This is Rep. Thomas Stuart Perriello’s home address,” Coleman wrote Monday, going on to suggest that others who oppose the health care bill “drop by” and “express their thanks.” He added, “I ain’t holding back no more.”

      According to the Politico website, Coleman, upon learning he had posted the wrong address, said on a blog: “Do you mean I posted his brother’s address on my Facebook? Oh well, collateral damage.”

      You know what? I think it’s probably a good idea that an organization like SPLC is keeping an eye on people like Mr. Coleman, don’t you?

      In conclusion, Mr. Butt, Please refrain from trying to win over the hearts and minds of people far more intelligent than yourself. The people who come to this website do not get their news from Rupert Murdoch. Rather than accept the spoon-fed crap that people like yourself gobble up, we actually do a little thing called research before we make blanket claims as fact.

      Good day, sir!

  8. what?? says:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=COS8dBnuPhw&feature=youtube_gdata

    You guys were just in Austin. Podcaster and radio show host alex jones from Austin was accused of inciting a guy to shoot officers. the splc

    his website is infowars.com

    • Heath Bruce says:

      http://www.erichufschmid.net/TFC/Weather-Wars.html

      This is your “proof” that the SPLC is an evil organization? A whack-a-doodle extreme right-wing protester secretly recording Dr. Beirich calling Alex Jones insane? Alex Jones who believes the Chinese control the weather and worked his brain-dead listeners into a mouth-foaming panic during the Y2K scare saying airplanes would fall out of the sky?

      No, no, Mr. Troll. You’re going to have to do better than that. As I said before, we actually do research here. You’ll find no mindless zombies here to control.

  9. john says:

    What they are COMMITTED to doing is providing examples of hate crimes perpetrated by ANY organization and this does sometimes include organizations like the ones you listed.

    Because merely disagreeing with them is a “Hate Crime” in itself.

    Stop listening to National Propaganda Radio. You don’t know the first thing about research. Google “The CHruch of MOrris Dees” They scare sheep like you into thinking there are militia men behind every bush so thye can make money off of saps like you.

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