Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Anti-LGBTQ hate group suing Guidestar for calling it an anti-LGBTQ hate group

A recent controversy between the charity  database webpage Guidestar and several groups designated by the Southern Poverty Law Center as hate groups continues to rage because one of those groups is now suing Guidestar.

Florida-based legal advocacy organization is suing over a "hate group" label that it and other nonprofits received on a website that maintains a database of information about U.S. charities. Liberty Counsel Inc. filed a federal lawsuit Wednesday against GuideStar USA Inc. in Newport News, Virginia. GuideStar flagged 46 nonprofits, including Liberty Counsel, for being labeled as hate groups by the Southern Poverty Law Center. Liberty Counsel's suit claims that label is slanderous and has damaged its reputation. GuideStar announced last Friday that it would remove the labels after threats directed at its staff. Liberty Counsel bills itself as a legal defense organization dedicated to advancing religious freedom and preserving family values from a "Christian and Biblical perspective." The law center has called it an "anti-LGBT hate group."

From its webpage, the Liberty Counsel said the following:

“GuideStar and its political ally, the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), are intent on destroying pro-family organizations. The ‘hate group’ label is false and dangerous,” said Mat Staver, Founder and Chairman of Liberty Counsel. “GuideStar’s CEO, Jacob Harold, is using GuideStar as a weapon to defame, harm, and promote his liberal agenda by using the SPLC to falsely label good nonprofit organizations as ‘hate groups.’ The only purpose of providing the SPLC false and dangerous ‘hate group’ label is to inflict reputational and financial harm to Liberty Counsel. GuideStar has lost all credibility. GuideStar will now have to answer for its reckless, defamatory, and harmful political labeling,” said Staver.

Personally, I think the Liberty Counsel is walking into the mouth of a hungry tiger.  It's a possibility that Guidestar may not want to get into a lengthy battle and therefore will work to settle this lawsuit. I sincerely hope not. It's my hope that Guidestar refuses to back down because truth is on its side. Based on a paper trail a mile long, it shouldn't be impossible for the webpage to disprove the Liberty Counsel's charges.

For its part, SPLC said the following:

"We stand ready to support our designation of Liberty Counsel as a hate group. "Liberty Counsel is a group that has consistently called LGBT people 'immoral, unnatural and self-destructive.' It has a track record of attempting to criminalize homosexual conduct and to legalize discrimination against the LGBT community. "There is nothing 'pro-family' about dehumanizing LGBT people. This lawsuit and other recent attacks against GuideStar are simply attempts to distract the public from Liberty Counsel’s hateful agenda."

Should Guidestar not back down, distraction will be the name of the game via conservative, right-wing, and anti-LGBTQ propaganda groups and phony news services. The Liberty Counsel will probably have a lot of defenders, but none of them, whether Todd Starnes, The Daily Signal, World Net Daily, The Federalist, Breitbart, One News Now, Fox News, etc. will mention why the Liberty Counsel is considered a hate group. The narrative they push will most likely be how "the left" is "targeting" the Liberty Counsel simply because they disagree with its 'Christian values.'

They won't tell you that Staver has called LGBTQs such things as demonic, terrorists, and pedophiles. They won't mention how after that awful tragedy at the Pulse nightclub in  FL, Staver attacked the churches who had memorials for the victims for, as he put it, turning them into "homosexual lovefests."

And you probably won't hear from these parties the awful things that another Liberty Counsel member, Matt Barber said about LGBTQs, such as falsely claiming that almost half of gay men were molested as children:

Or when he said that accepting the LGBTQ community is a cancer which brings down societies:


And if Todd Starnes, The Daily Signal, World Net Daily, The Federalist, Breitbart, One News Now, Fox News, etc. won't talk about those things, don't expect to hear about Staver and Barber praised countries like Russia and Uganda for their draconian anti-gay laws, some of which imprison people for simply being open about their sexual orientation. Don't expect to hear how the Liberty Counsel defended Scott Lively, a man who exploited fear and homophobia in those foreign countries..

You'll probably hear a lot of lies. but don't fall for them. Most importantly, don't just roll your eyes when the lie is told. Challenge the lie because you and I both know that the parties above will conveniently fail to mention the many times the Liberty Counsel has attacked, demonized, and outright lied about the LGBTQ community.

How groups like the Liberty Counsel has gotten away with their attacks on the LGBTQ community all of these years is a nationwide conversation long overdue. And if they are dumb enough to start it, we should take advantage.


Jackie Martin said...

One thing comes to mind when thinking of Liberty Council
Mahatma Gandhi “I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.”
That describes Liberty Council 100%.

John Powell said...

Unless I missed something, it is curious that the SPLC isn't often in court defending itself, since the SPLC is a usual source many other organizations cite to designate a hate group,

It looks like the Liberty Counsel, et al, is trying to atop the manufacture of a product they don't like by destroying an outlet, leaving the factory and source materials intact.