Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Talking Points Memo picks up the SPLC anti-gay hate groups story

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone. I most likely won't be posting until Friday afternoon.

The popular political blog Talking Points Memo has picked up the story about SPLC naming the Family Research Council as an official anti-gay hate group:

The Family Research Council is perhaps the most prominent voice in conservative social politics and the hosts of an annual rite of passage for many Republicans who hope to run for president. And now, FRC is on the same Southern Poverty Law Center list of hate groups as the Ku Klux Klan.

The SPLC gave the Family Research Council the designation due to anti-gay speech from its leaders, which the SPLC says includes calls for gay men and lesbians to be imprisoned.

Labeling the Family Research Council a hate group puts one of Washington's most powerful social issues advocates into the company of groups like the Nation of Islam and the now mostly defunct Aryan Nations in the eyes of the SPLC, which tracks 932 active hate groups in the U.S.

The article is an excellent read, particularly the part that goes into details regarding the comments of FRC employee Peter Sprigg. But I found this part to be very interesting:

The SPLC designation of the Family Research Council as an anti-gay hate group potentially poses more of a challenge for Republicans. Though many conservatives view the SPLC as a progressive group and therefore no more worthy of respect than, say, ACORN, the SPLC hate group label will almost undoubtedly make it into press reports about future events like the Values Voter Summit. That means Republican presidential hopefuls who may want to reach out to gay and lesbian Republican groups like the Log Cabin Republicans and GOProud -- which can be good sources of fundraising as well as "I'm not anti-gay" cred on the campaign trail -- may have to explain why they publicly praised and rushed to address a group that SPLC is calling one of the worst perpetrators of ugly myths about gays.

As Beirich told me, there is no difference between the FRC and the KKK in the eyes of the SPLC now. Still, she said that the hate group designation doesn't mean the SPLC thinks everyone who supports the FRC "has a full understanding of what they're up to." Many who support the FRC may do so because of the group's very public ties to evangelical Christianity, and Beirich stressed that the SPLC designation has nothing to do with an "attack on the churchly world."

By the way, FRC did not return TPM's request for a comment on the hate group designation.

Related posts:

Family Research Council, American Family Association named as anti-gay hate groups

Ignoring your hate group status won't make it go away

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