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Contact: Deborah Hamilton, Hamilton Strategies, 215-815-7716 or 610-584-1096
May 1, 2013
American Family Association Says the Time is Now for Southern Poverty Law Center’s ‘Hate Group’ Labeling to Cease
Self-Proclaimed “Anti-Hate” SPLC Unwittingly Encouraged Floyd Corkins’ Shooting Spree; Sentencing Set for July 15

The Weekly Standard recently featured an article delving into the background and funding of the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), whose donors, according to president Richard Cohen, are “aging Northern-state ‘1960s liberals’ who continue to associate ‘Southern’ and ‘poverty’ with lynchings, white-hooded Klansmen, and sitting at the back of the bus.”  Further, CharityWatch, an independent organization that rates leading nonprofits for their fundraising efficiency, has consistently given the SPLC an “F.” 

Cohen’s description is notable because this thought process has significant influence over how the SPLC creates its infamous “Hate Group” list, which ironically yet devastatingly stimulated the most recent hate crime at The Family Research Council (FRC) last year when an armed man entered FRC with over 50 rounds of ammunition and began shooting.  The shooter, Floyd Corkins, claimed he did this due to the SPLC “Hate Group” list, on which FRC was prominently featured on the SPLC website along with American Family Association and others. Corkins’ sentencing is set for July 15 and could mean 70 years of prison time for him. 

The American Family Association ( declares that the SPLC belongs on its own hate group list by definition, because according to SPLC’s website, the criterion for adding groups to the list is “… propagation of known falsehoods” about homosexuality. 

Tim Wildmon, president of the American Family Association, which has over 2.5 million supporters across America, stated, “ The Southern Poverty Law Center must be held accountable for its irresponsible classification of many organizations across America – they currently list over 1,000 organizations as ‘hate groups.’ But according to researcher Laird Wilcox, many of these organizations are nothing more than ‘two guys and a post-office box,’ and many others may not exist at all since the SPLC doesn’t list addresses for them that can be checked.  

“SPLC demonstrates the very hate with which they have labeled us and tagging AFA as a hate group could not be further from the truth.  AFA cares enough to help homosexuals live rather than die from a reckless lifestyle. We live out our mission statement which is filled with love because we are called to love every person God created.  

“We seek to uphold that which is right, true and good according to Scripture; convince individuals of sin and challenge them to seek Christ’s grace and forgiveness; motivate people to take a stand on cultural and moral issues at the local, state and national levels; and encourage Christians to bear witness to the love of Jesus Christ as they live their lives before the world.  If this is hate, then SPLC has redefined hate to suit its own agenda.  SPLC should not be able to get away with this reprehensible action.” 

AFA lists 10 myths about homosexuality that SPLC disputes and is peddling, promoting the very “propaganda” that qualifies them for their own list. The Southern Poverty Law Center says that these facts are not true, but extensive research from numerable sources supports the claims.  AFA seeks to educate and assist families and the public about issues such as homosexuality, not to harm them in any way, but to bring to light the truth on various issues so right action may follow. 

These are the claims that the SPLC propagates on their own website: 

1. The SPLC falsely claimsthat homosexuals do not molest children at higher rates than heterosexuals. But according to the Journal of Sex Research they do. Roughly one-third of all sex offenses against children are carried out by homosexuals despite the fact they comprise just two to three percent of the population. 

2. The SPLC falsely claimsthat same-sex parents don’t harm children. But according to prominent sociologist Mark Regnerus of the University of Texas, children raised in same-sex households fare worse on 77 of 80 possible outcomes compared to children raised in an intact home by their biological parents. 

3. The SPLC says being sexually abused as a child does not lead to homosexuality in adult life. But psychologists are well aware of the powerful imprinting effect of a child’s first sexual experience. A child molested by a same-sex adult is profoundly traumatized and scarred by the abuse, and easily becomes confused about his own sexual identity. 

Regnerus discovered that an astonishing 23% of children raised in same-sex environments reported sexual abuse while in a same-sex environment, compared to just 2% of children raised in heterosexual environments. 

4. The SPLC falsely claims that homosexuals live just as long as heterosexuals. But the International Journal of Epidemiology says  homosexual behavior knocks “8-20 years” off normal life expectancy, and a gay activist group in Canada, the Canadian Rainbow Health Coalition, declares that the “health issues affecting queer Canadians include lower life expectancy than the average Canadian.” 

5. The SPLC falsely claims that homosexuals had nothing to do with Nazism. But William Shirer, author of “The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich,” said, "But (in) the brown-shirted S.A...many of its top leaders, beginning with its chief, Roehm, were notorious homosexual perverts." Johann Hari, writing for the notorious left-wing Huffington Post, says, “The twisted truth is that gay men have been at the heart of every major fascist movement that ever was - including the gay-gassing, homo-cidal (sic) Third Reich.” 

6. The SPLC falsely claims that hate crime laws will not lead to the jailing of pastors and others who criticize homosexuality. Yet a grandmother in Philadelphia was thrown in jail and faced 47 years in prison for doing nothing more than standing on a public sidewalk and declaring the truth about homosexuality during  a gay pride parade. Ake Green, a Swedish pastor, narrowly averted two years in prison for preaching a sermon from his own pulpit on a biblical view of homosexuality. 

7. The SPLC falsely claims that allowing homosexuals to serve openly in the military will not damage the armed forces. But the Pentagon’s own study, done when the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” was being debated, revealed that 62% of active duty armed forces personnel believe that it will in time have negative effects, and the rate is even higher among combat troops in the Marines and the Army. The  former commandant of the Marine Corps, Gen. James Amos, said quite plainly that allowing open homosexuals to serve will compromise “unit cohesion” and “combat effectiveness,” and the distraction caused by introducing sexual tension into the ranks will likely result in increased casualties. 

8. The SPLC falsely claims that homosexuals are not more likely to be mentally ill or to abuse drugs and alcohol. But the pro-homosexual Gay and Lesbian Medical Association says that homosexuals “use substances at a higher rate than the general population,” have “higher rates of alcohol dependence and abuse,” and are subject to higher rates of “depression and anxiety.” 

9. The SPLC falsely claims that people are born homosexual. But extensive research into the sexual preferences of identical twins reveals that, while the concordance rate ought to be 100% if people are “born that way,” since identical twins share the same DNA, the concordance rate is somewhere between 5% and 7%. 

10. The SPLC falsely claims that homosexuals cannot leave the lifestyle. But even the former president of the American Psychological Association, Nicholas Cummings, says, “It’s a difficult therapy, and it’s not huge in terms of numbers, but we have seen success, and that is why the stance that ‘you can never change’...[is] absurd.” 

The SPLC’s severest critics aren’t on the conservative right but on the progressive left. They are heavily criticized for using scare tactics to raise funds, (i.e., labeling of hate groups) and at net assets totaling more than $256 million, this is evidently a success for SPLC.  AFA is calling for cessation of the dangerous hate group labeling as lines have been crossed and suggests that SPLC use other more acceptable means to fund raise. 

For more information on American Family Association, visit 


To interview a representative from American Family Association, contact Deborah Hamilton at, 215-815-7716 or 610-584-1096. 

American Family Association (AFA) a non-profit 501(c3) organization was founded in 1977 by Donald E. Wildmon, who was pastoring First United Methodist Church in Southaven, Mississippi, at the time.  Since 1977, AFA has been on the frontlines of America’s culture war. The original name of the ministry was National Federation for Decency but was changed to American Family Association (AFA) in 1988. 

Today, AFA is one of the largest and most effective pro-family organizations in the country with over two million online supporters and approximately 180,000 paid subscribers to the AFA Journal, the ministry's monthly magazine. In addition, AFA owns and operates nearly 200 radio stations across the country under the American Family Radio (AFR) banner. Other divisions of AFA include, an online news provider that is syndicated around the world. AFA maintains activist web sites such and that rally Christian activists to contact companies asking them to drop their advertising from objectionable TV shows. AFA web sites average over 40 million hits and five million visitors each month. AFA uses all these means to communicate an outspoken, resolute, Christian voice throughout America. 


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