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SPLC Responds to FRC and ADF’s Attack Op-Ed

On August 17, 2019, a former Family Research Council (FRC) staff member, who currently works at the Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) — two organizations designated as hate groups by the SPLC — attacked the SPLC in a USA Today OpEd for its hate group designations.

FRC is listed as an anti-LGBTQ hate group by the SPLC for its demonizing rhetoric about the LGBTQ community. FRC portrays LGBTQ people as sick, evil, perverted, incestuous and a danger to the nation. It has linked being gay with pedophilia, an incendiary claim that pours fuel on the fires of hate – but one that has been thoroughly debunked by the American Psychological Association.

ADF is also listed as an anti-LGBTQ hate group. ADF has supported the idea that being LGBTQ should be a crime in the U.S. and abroad and believes that is okay to put LGBTQ people in prison for engaging in consensual sex. It has also supported the forced sterilization of transgender Europeans. Like FRC, ADF also spreads harmful lies, including linking being gay to pedophilia and claiming that a 'homosexual agenda' will destroy society. ADF tries to couch its rhetoric in benign sounding phrases, but the truth is that they work to dehumanize and restrict the rights of LGBTQ people for being who they are.

"FRC routinely demonizes and spreads ugly lies about the LGBTQ community,” said Heidi Beirich, director of SPLC’s Intelligence Project. “It is an extremely dangerous group not only because of its intent to denigrate LGBTQ people, but because it has direct access to the White House and Members of Congress. For instance, its so-called policy experts often testify before government bodies, where they peddle junk science to support their harmful and divisive policies to further exclude and marginalize LGBTQ individuals. Anti-LGBTQ hate has no place in our country. If FRC had its way, we’d return to the days when LGBTQ people were afraid to live authentically and faced the risk of being jailed for being who they are."

The SPLC defines a hate group as an organization that, based on its official statements or principles, the statements of its leaders, or its activities, has beliefs or practices that attack or malign an entire class of people, typically for their immutable characteristics. The organizations on our hate group list vilify others because of their race, religion, ethnicity, sexual orientation or gender identity — prejudices that strike at the heart of our democratic values and fracture society along its most fragile fault lines. The FBI uses similar criteria in its definition of a hate crime.

Here is more information about FRC and ADF and why they are hate groups:

Family Research Council

Tony Perkins

10 Things to Know About FRC and Tony Perkins

Yes, the FRC and ADF Are Hate Groups. Here’s Why!
by Erik Olvera, Chief Communications Officer

Alliance Defending Freedom

ADF Through the Years

Anti-LGBTQ ideology

Explore our Hate Map—In 2018, we tracked 1,020 hate groups across the U.S.

FAQ on Hate groups