Friday, September 20, 2019

Anti-LGBTQ ministry loses lawsuit against SPLC over 'hate group' label

SPLC is 3-0 in lawsuits over its 'hate group' label

Members of the anti-LGBTQ industry and their allies probably won't mention this but they suffered a huge loss earlier this week against the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC).

From The Advocate:

A Florida ministry that campaigned against same-sex marriage and "maligns the entire LGBT community" can be referred to as a "hate group" by the Southern Poverty Law Center, a federal judge ruled this week. 
Florida-based Coral Ridge Ministries Media Inc., sued SPLC — a group advocating for the rights of marginalized people — in 2017 after it designated the ministry a "hate group." Coral Ridge also sued Amazon because the designation disqualified it from a program that allows customers of the online retailer to donate to nonprofits. 
U.S. District Judge Myron Thompson ruled that the SPLC has a free-speech right to the hate group claim, but the judge didn't weigh in on whether he believes the ministry is indeed a hate group. 
When Coral Ridge Ministries, which actively fought against the legalization of marriage equality, sued the SPLC two years ago, the civil rights organization defended its description of Coral Ridge. 
"We list the D. James Kennedy Ministries through which Coral Ridge does business as a hate group because it maligns the entire LGBT community, portraying it as perverted and a threat to the nation," SPLC President Richard Cohen said in a statement at the time. "The fact that Coral Ridge claims its statements about the LGBT community are biblically based doesn’t immunize it from criticism. We have a First Amendment right to express our opinions, just as Coral Ridge has a right to express its opinions."

It's the third victory SPLC has won regarding its 'hate group' labels. Earlier this week, a federal court tossed out a lawsuit lodged by the Center for Immigration Studies.  Last year, another federal court tossed out a lawsuit lodged by anti-LGBTQ group the Liberty Counsel.

If any of these lawsuits had succeeded, it would have probably opened up SPLC for a slew of other court actions, no doubt led by other organizations designated as hate groups,  such as the Family Research Council and the Alliance Defending Freedom. My guess is that these groups, seen as more mainstream,  were waiting for a precedent to attack SPLC.

Looks like they are going to have to wait a little longer.

Related posts (Just a few pieces I've written over the years about the anti-LGBTQ industry's unsuccessful war against SPLC):

Conservative publication PJMedia digs a hole into the credibility of anti-LGBTQ hate groups

Peter Sprigg proves the Family Research Council to be a hate group (again)

Peter Sprigg is further proof of the Family Research Council's 'hate group' status

SPLC puts the Alliance Defending Freedom's long history of anti-LGBTQ bigotry on public blast

Anti-gay group Family Research Council continues silly vendetta against the Southern Poverty Law Center

Family Research Council ally against SPLC has odd history of 'attacking' anal sex

Family Research Council upset over being labeled a hate group, but won't address reason why

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