Anti-LGBT Hate Groups on the Rise, Says Southern Poverty Law Center


March 13, 2012; Source: Philadelphia Magazine

Polls show that more Americans are accepting of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals and that many have become more open to same-gender relationships. There are those however, who not only wish to stop the tide of change, but to propagate hate against the LGBT community. The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), which monitors hate groups and other extremists throughout the United States, recently added ten new organizations to their list of anti-LGBT hate groups.

The SPLC’s latest report says that advances made by the LGBT community “seemed to set off a furious rage on the religious right, with renewed efforts to ban or repeal marriage equality and what seemed to be an intensification of anti-gay propaganda in certain quarters.” Those advances include marriage licenses now granted to gay couples in Massachusetts, Connecticut, Iowa, Vermont, New Hampshire, New York, and the District of Columbia. Marriage equality was also passed and signed into law in Maryland and Washington last month but has not taken effect. And last year, Gallup reported that 64 percent of respondents said lesbian or gay relations between consenting adults should be legal and 56 percent find such relations morally acceptable.

“Overall, the number of anti-gay hate groups in the United States rose markedly, going from 17 in 2010 to 27 last year,” the SPLC report reads. As an example, SPLC points to American Family Association official Bryan Fischer, who said that “gays are Nazis” and claimed that HIV does not cause AIDS but gay men do. Philadelphia Magazine lists the new LGBT hate groups—not to give them free publicity, but “because many of them sport names that could be very misleading to anyone who really does care about basic human rights.”

Among those with seemingly innocuous names are the Jewish Political Action Committee (New York), Mission: America (Ohio), Parents Action League (Minnesota), Public Advocate of the United States (Virginia), Save California (California), and United Families International (Arizona). A few of these groups also have mainstream congregational names, such as Tom Brown Ministries (Texas), True Light Pentecost Church (South Carolina), and Windsor Hills Baptist Church (Oklahoma). – Erwin de Leon

  • R. Ruth Linden, Ph.D.

    Very grateful to Erwin de Leon and NPQ for regular coverage of LGBTQ-related issues. You’re doing a great job!

  • Julie

    There certainly are some groups of extremists who hate same-sex attracted and transgender individuals. However, to claim that all people who think that same-sex activity or people who are not at peace with their own gender -and are missing out on loving themselves 1. in their gender or 2. with actual gender diversity that is in a relationship with a man and a woman- are ‘extreme’ or ‘hateful’ is simply not honest.

    Qualifying everyone who disagrees, often peacefully, rationally, lovingly -that is with kindness, sincerity etc.- as hateful is also disingenuous and unjust. Actual arguments need to be made for or against the positions. Simply name-calling people ‘bigots’ ‘haters’ ‘discriminators’ etc. is just as bad as the other side throwing out ‘fagots’ ‘sinners’ etc. Let’s rise above this diatribe in civility, NPQ reporters and editors.

    Yes, there are always some people who are so emotional they are react in instant anger and fear, but I think most people are of good will no matter which side of the issue the fall on. It’s not fair to demonize one another with defamatory labels and it’s not going to make things better. We’re all human beings and we’re in this together.