The Hatewatch blog is managed by the staff of the Intelligence Project of the Southern Poverty Law Center, an Alabama-based civil rights organization.

Anti-Gay Haters Plan Press Conference Today at SPLC

By Mark Potok on January 17, 2012 - 8:55 am, Posted in Anti-LGBT, Extremist Propaganda

Today at noon, a group of the nastiest gay-bashers in America plans to hold a press conference in front of the Montgomery, Ala., offices of the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), which publishes this blog. Claiming that the SPLC is engaged in a “campaign to demonize adherents of traditional Judeo-Christian morality,” the white organizers of the press conference are bringing along a set of black pastors in a presumed bid to embarrass the SPLC, a 40-year-old anti-racist civil rights organization.

The irony is that SPLC has named five of the participating organizations as hate groups precisely because they demonize LGBT people, using a series of well-worn lies to paint gays and lesbians as perverts, pedophiles and worse. Despite the claims of the groups, the SPLC is not attacking anyone’s morality. Instead, our hate group listings reflect the fact that they regularly propagate known falsehoods.

Take the press conference’s chief organizer, Americans for Truth About Homosexuality (AFTAH), and its leader, Peter LaBarbera. In 2007, LaBarbera claimed that there was “a disproportionate incidence of pedophilia” among gay men — a devastating accusation, but one that is entirely false, according to all the relevant scientific organizations. LaBarbera has compared the alleged dangers of homosexuality to those of “smoking, alcohol and drug abuse” and the AFTAH website describes it as a “lethal behavior addiction.” AFTAH has also claimed that an anti-bullying bill in California promoted cross-dressing and sex-change operations, among other things, to kindergartners and other children.

Here are some facts about the other organizations participating in today’s press conference that are listed by SPLC as hate groups:

Abiding Truth Ministries: Represented today by Rachel Conner, this group is headed by Scott Lively, who is the originator of the most remarkable smears of gay people of all — the completely false claims that Hitler was gay, that “the Nazi Party was entirely controlled by militaristic homosexuals,” and that gays were especially selected for the SS because of their innate brutality. Meeting with Ugandan lawmakers who would later push the so-called “Kill the Gays” bill in that country, Lively told them that the gay rights movement is “an evil institution” that seeks to replace a healthy society with “a culture of sexual promiscuity.” Before starting Abiding Truth, Lively headed a failed effort to pass an Oregon referendum that would have listed homosexuality, along with pedophilia, as “abnormal behavior.”

Illinois Family Institute (IFI): The IFI’s Laurie Higgins will not be at the press conference, but plans to issue a statement of support. In 2006, IFI’s then executive director Peter LaBarbera — now with AFTAH — demanded the closing down of all “homosexual establishments” and the repeal of all “sexual orientation laws,” shorthand for statutes that ban discrimination against gay people. When another religious right organization, Focus on the Family, toned down some of its anti-gay rhetoric in 2010, Higgins wrote that it was displaying “surprising naivete,” using the same language as pro-gay “homosexualists” and failing to confront “the pro-homosexual juggernaut.” She also attacked McDonald’s for running a gay-friendly TV ad, saying it was “hell bent on using its resources to promote subversive moral, social, and political views about homosexuality to our children.”

Mass Resistance: Mass Resistance leader Brian Camenker has claimed that groups that back anti-bullying school programs actually want to lure children into homosexuality and, very possibly, sadomasochism. In 2006, he said that gay people were trying to pass legislation that would allow sex with animals. Camenker has falsely claimed that no gay people died in the Holocaust and that the pink triangle that the Nazis forced imprisoned gay people to wear actually signified Catholic priests. He has also repeatedly linked homosexuality and pedophilia despite the falsity of that claim. In 2008, he claimed without any evidence that “skyrocketing homosexual domestic violence” since same-sex marriage became legal in Massachusetts had cost that state increasingly large sums of money.

Other groups participating in the press conference but not listed by SPLC as hate groups include Liberty Counsel, whose director of cultural affairs, Matt Barber, is scheduled to speak. Barber has argued that it would be “criminally reckless for educators to teach children that homosexual conduct is a normal, safe and perfectly acceptable alternative.” Linda Harvey of Mission America is also scheduled to issue a supporting statement. Harvey has argued that employers should not hire gay people and that parents should keep their kids away from gay doctors.

Many of these groups were involved in another effort to push back the SPLC’s 2010 decision to list a number of anti-gay organizations as hate groups. Some signed a full-page newspaper advertisement late that year accusing the SPLC of “maligning” Christians and refusing to debate the issues surrounding homosexuality. The truth, of course, is entirely different. In fact, it is the anti-gay groups that have refused to withdraw false claims about LGBT people that have no other purpose than to smear them.

  • Steven

    We should all show up wearing our “Gay Life” T-shirts.
    Once they see how many of us there are, it won’t be so easy for them to walk all over us.

  • funinsnow

    Aron, we’ve repeated but again, ‘gay bashing’ cases are almost always 1 story vs. another with no other witnesses besides those involved. If a man says that he bashed or killed a gay after the gay harassed him or committed assault&battery on him, then a jury will decide if the man’s story about the gay committing a crime is true & if so, then did the man react justly or excessively. If it’s excessive, then a jury decides if it’s 1st, 2nd or Manslaughter if we have a homicide case.

    That’s also true for rape trials. Most rape cases are he says she says cases where the woman says that the man forced her or threatened her with force to have sex while the man says that the woman agreed-that they did the acts she agreed to & what she & or he said no to, they didn’t do. With rape, it’s possible for a woman or man to 1st consent but change mind & say no. It’s also possible for a woman or man to 1st say not but then voluntarily change mind & decide to have sex. It’s also possible for a woman or man to say no to 1 sex act but agree to another. Rape/sex abuse cases must be judged individually by juries. So the same is true for ‘gay bashing’ cases-they must be judged individually.

  • Aron


    You’re right. That was a PAINFULLY weak answer. ‘I don’t believe them because they’re EVIL!’

    Good luck in life with that kind of attitude, buddy.

    We’re done here.

  • funinsnow

    Aron, this will sound like a weak answer but if a man says he bashed or killed a gay after the gay committed assault&battery on him, then unless there’s contrary proof, I’ll believe the gay basher because people who take part in gay/lesbian activities aren’t to be trusted. People who take part in gay/lesbian activities tend to be anti-social as gay/lesbian activities are anti-social. & I don’t care what the AMA & APA say about Dr. Paul Drummond Cameron. Both the AMA & APA are apologists for gay/lesbian activities & the American Medical Association (AMA) is an anti-social group. Dr. Paul Drummond Cameron is right & those of us who agree with Dr. Paul Drummond Cameron don’t care what the AMA says. Hope that answers you.

  •, Aron


    And you answered the same thing. I asked for statistics. You have given me speculation. The American Justice System puts the burden of proof on the accuser. As such, there must be evidence that all of these men had been sexually assaulted by gay men prior to their beating.

    You’re the one making the accusations. You’re the one who needs to produce the evidence.

    Until then, you have no more credibility than Paul Cameron.

  • funinsnow

    Aron, didn’t say that gay bashings by straights don’t happen but when they do, they make the news because it’s odd & strange. I’ve also said that I’ve found that most ‘gay bashings’ when done by straight men are the straight man reacting or overreacting to a crime the gay did. A case would be a man who bashes or kills a gay after the gay grabbed the man’s butt or groin against will. Those cases are the most common gay bashings which OK would probably be overreaction, but the man overreacted to a crime the gay did which is assault&battery. If a defense lawyer in a gay bashing case wants to bring up anti-social conduct the gay did such as harass the man (proposing repeatedly after some1 has said no is criminal harassment) or assault&battery, then a jury will decide if the man’s story is true & if so was it just or excessive? If it’s excessive, then a jury will decide esp. if it’s a murder trial, should the man be convicted of 1st, 2nd or Manslaughter. I’ve answered you before in an earlier post months earlier & what you just did is answer the same ? you asked earlier, when we discussed Dr. Paul Drummond Cameron visiting Moldava.

  • Aron


    First, I never made a comment regarding Gandhi’s faith, so I don’t know why you brought that up.

    Second, since you seem to be so enamored with Paul Cameron, I’m sure you would be willing to provide evidence to support his claims. Every story you’ve ever told is simply specious. Give me numbers that prove gay-bashing doesn’t exist. Give me numbers that prove there are almost no bias-crimes against homosexuals by heterosexuals.

    Please. I can’t wait to hear what you say.

  • Aron


    A very good point. I had always wondered why Greece had subsided as a major center of civilization. Now I know it was their acceptance of buggery.

  • funinsnow

    Aron, I haven’t visited India since 2002 & I don’t keep in contact with relatives I have who live there-it’s my parents who came from India. Also Indira Gandhi was not Hindu, she was Zoroastrian. I don’t know her policies of sterlization, but I oppose vasectomies & tubal ligations & have no problem if both are abolished because there are efficient birth control such as the pill, condoms & the Rhythm method. Sex is supposed to be limited to penis/vaginal sex between a man & woman or else no sex. Gays/lesbians can be celibate even if orientation doesn’t change. My view is to repeat about ending gay/lesbian activities regardless of orientation change.

    But it seems that SPLC, Huffington Post, etc. score people like Dr. Paul Drummond Cameron, etc. because they give facts on the harms of gay/lesbian activities which gay/lesbian groups hate by labelling people such as the FRC as hate groups. The SPLC, Huffington Post, etc. talk about anecdotal gay bashing cases by straight men, when the fact is that almost all the violence against gays & lesbians-assault&battery & murder are domestic violence cases. Eg. if a gay were to bash his gay lover during a domestic fight, this assault&battery is usu. not going to be in the media unless it’s a strange case such as involving a famous gay couple. If a gay or lesbian were to kill their lover during a domestic fight, then it’s usu. in the local press but probably won’t be in the national press.

    On the other hand, if a gay or few cases lesbian is bashed or killed by a straight man, then it makes national news incl. here on SPLC, because these cases are strange & odd-the news is about strange, odd & interesting. In December 2011, there was national news incl. in Huffington Post about a vandalism @ a gay nativity scene in Claremont Calif. So far, nobody has been arrested. Gay/lesbian groups say that the vandalism was done by ‘homophobes’ who vandalised the nativity. But as nobody has been arrested & if no suspects are found, it’s possible that the vandalism could’ve been staged by gays & lesbians who vandalized the nativity scene of 2 lesbians for sympathy purposes by using the media to lecture on how ‘homophobic’ society is & possibly get insurance money. Again, the Claremont police haven’t arrested any1 for vandalizing the gay nativity scene. If it was done by people who are against gay/lesbian activities, then it’s a dumb thing to do as it hurts our cause. But if it was done by a gay or lesbian to try to get sympathy for gays/lesbians in the media, then don’t be surprised. Gays & lesbian groups know that the national press will cover these cases as they’re strange & unusual so gays & lesbians would have a motive to stage the vandalism of the gay/lesbian nativity scene in Claremont church for sympathy & insurance money. Hope SPLC approves.

  • Mitch Beales

    Aron any society that is no longer in existence has “collapsed” and haters like Rachel will assert that they did so due to whatever it is they hate.

  • A.D.M.

    By the way, with the way you think, you’re the one who is really Godless.

  • A.D.M.

    Rachel, if you want to proof, take a look at comments made by Christian extremists like yourself. That’s all the proof you need.

  •, Aron


    Also, not a single study shows any other risks from marijuana smoking than smoke inhalation.

    You seriously need to get your head out of your posterior.

  •, Aron

    Wow, I sure did miss you Funinsnow.

    Oh, wait. No I didn’t. You have honestly uttered the most despicable comment on this entire article, and I seem to think you don’t even realize how disgusting it was. Abort babies because that may eventually become LGBT? Maybe you just have a thing for Indira Gandhi and her policies of ‘volunteered’ sterilization.

    You are just as bad, and even arguably worse than these people. ‘As bad as smoking crack?’ Now that’s just silly and I won’t even dignify it with a proper response.

  • funinsnow

    Randall, please avoid absolutes such as ‘The only groups in the USA who oppose equality legislation are christian. Mormon, baptist, protestant.’ I’m a non-Christian & if you’ve seen my past posts, my parents came from mostly Hindu India, but I’m a non-religious person who thinks gay/lesbian activities are bad just as crack smoking is. Ok, most people who agree with me are Judeo-Christians but there are non-Christians such as myself who oppose homosexuality & who believe in abolishing sex changes. Also I support a woman’s right to have an abortion & in some cases pro-abortion such as if it can be predicted an unborn baby will be gay/lesbian or a transexual, then go ahead & abort it just as I support aborting unborn Down Syndrome babies.

  • Randall

    To the christian trolls who were alerted to come to this site and post:
    The only groups in the USA who oppose equality legislation are christian. Mormon, baptist, protestant.
    There is NO OTHER organized resistance to the equality of gay Americans.
    And, just one more time: What’s it to ya?
    Think homosexuality is wrong? Don’t be a homosexual.
    Think abortion is wrong? Don’t have one.
    Think prostitution is wrong? Don’t be or engage a prostitute.
    Other than that: Mind Your Own Business.
    Oh yeah…the argument that gay equality will destroy civilization as we know it, destroy communities and is a threat to the existence of society: Lessee…Canada seems to still be on the map. As are Denmark and the UK and several other countries who long ago allowed gay people to serve in their militaries, allow equal marriage, and don’t give a flying fig what you demented christians think about it.
    Their national healthcare coverages have lasted about 50 years or so and they’re still a democratic country.
    See, socialism is not the opposite of democracy.
    Gods, you are all so flaming STUPID! You really don’t know anything about anything. You can’t prove anything. All the REAL evidence proves you’re wrong.
    And yet, here you are, still spouting it.
    Wanna know why?
    Because the very foundation of your religious belief system DEMANDS that you have an ENEMY to focus your energies on.
    The judeo/christian phenomenon is the most destructive, vile, humanity-debasing construct that has ever befallen mankind.
    You’ve opposed people of color, women, children, and now gays.
    You fight for centuries to STOP other people who are doing you no harm whatsoever from being recognized as HUMAN with the same rights as anyone else, and you ALWAYS LOSE!
    People of color: Legally equal
    Women: Legally equal
    Children: no longer the “property” of their parents to be farmed out to sweatshops.
    Gay people: Receiving equal treatment under the law all over the world.

  • funinsnow


    Haven’t commented here for sometimes, but let me say that I’m proud to be homophobic. Gay/lesbian activities by willing adults is comparable to pot smoking by willing adults. Yes, the law allows this in the U.S., but we must try to find a cure for gay/lesbian activities. Sex changes to repeat are mutilations & they must abolish this. You can call me a bigot but it’s good to be a bigot against gay/lesbian activities & viewing it the same way as marijuana smoking as it’s bad for health.

  • Aron


    Care to name a society that collapsed from acceptance of homosexual behavior?

    And you can’t use Sodom and Gomorrah. The Bible is not a valid historical text.

  • Aron

    Rachel, darling,

    I am in no way affiliated with the SPLC other than as a commenter on the blog.

    The burden of proof is on you guys. The SPLC has provided oodles and oodles of evidence (oodles being the technical term), but your side? Well you’ve just produced a lot of hot air. Boo hoo.

    The tides are turning against bigotry. Whether you like it or not.

  • Rachel

    Typo correction: societies not society’s…

  • Rachel

    @ A.D.M. “the biggest haters of gays in the U.S. are Christians.

    Really? Based on what? Care to provide “hard evidence?” Are we become your enemies because we tell you the truth…sexual behavior is just that – a conduct and behavior. Christian opposition is the only thing that stands in the way of this BEHAVIOR corrupting the entire society. BEHAVIOR get it? Do what you do in the privacy of your own home but don’t CRAM IT DOWN society’s collective throat. Those who want to do it, go for it and reap the health “benefits” from it. But stop trying to justify it as an acceptable NORMAL lifestyle. Up until 1973 homosexuality was rightfully classified as a mental disorder. Do some research from non-Christian sources and see the mental health stats for those involved in this BEHAVIOR. Better yet check out the society’s that collapsed from such unrestrained abnormal behavior.

  • Rachel

    @ ModerateMike…proof, you want hard evidence…how laughable. It is obvious you do not understand anything about Christianity if you did you wouldn’t have to ask such a ridiculous question.

    Tell you what, if you provide hard evidence that AFA, Americans for Truth, ATM, FRC, and Scott Lively who believes the Bible and speak its words are haters, then I will provide proof to refute the vicious lies of SPLC. Other than that SPLC naming Christian organizations as haters is all the proof you need, check your own source – SPLC – those who hate the truth call truth hate.

    BTW, most of the supporters and donors are most likely all SPLC staffers trying to make it seem as if there is support for this God-hating organization. Laughable.

  • Aron


    As has become the norm with you trolls, your comment makes absolutely no sense.

    Care to learn the English language before you post again?

  • Mark

    The EPA should site the SPLC for air pollution violations of interent and media propaganda.

  • Ruslan Amirkhanov

    Socflww said: “Hate Speech (n.) Anything speech left wing wackos disagree with. Read your own comments, folks – you’re the “haters”.”

    I like how when we ask wannabe trolls like you how we are “the real haters”, the best you can manage for proof is “read your own comments.”

    And to the fellow who thought that this article is anti-Christian…First, it was not a Muslim group in question here. Second, you’ll note that the SPLC not only does not attack Christians who tolerate gays and lesbians, but also does not attack the millions who still teach homosexuality is a sin. What they are attacking here is a group which goes out of its way to slander people and influence legislation that would curtail other people’s civil rights based on their faith. Do you honestly believe that if a Muslim group were standing on those steps, they would just ignore it?

    And by the way, why is it so many conservatives suddenly become pro-feminist and pro-gay ONLY when it concerns Muslims? Just once it would be nice to see Pamela Gellar come out strongly in favor of abortion and gay marriage right on Fox. With her self-proclaimed objectivist ideology, there shouldn’t be a problem for her.

  • Tyler

    Thank you SPLC!