Skip

"...we will continue to oppose any policy or action that would celebrate or affirm homosexual conduct."
November 24, 2010 12:27 PM   Subscribe

"Yeah," she told me. "What we're saying is these [anti-gay] groups perpetrate hate—just like those [racist] organizations do."

The Southern Poverty Law Center has issued its Winter 2010 Intelligence Report, which includes a special report titled, "Gays Remain Minority Most Targeted by Hate Crimes." A part of that special report is a list of 18 hardline anti-gay groups and the propaganda they disseminate. —Among the 18 groups now officially designated as "hate groups" by the SPLC? The incredibly influential Family Research Council, headed by occasional Washington Post columnist Tony Perkins, and host of the Values Voter Summit, a perennial pit-stop for Republican presidential hopefuls.

"As [SPLC Research Director Heidi] Beirich told me," says Evan McMorris-Santoro at Talking Points Memo, "there is no difference between the FRC and the KKK in the eyes of the SPLC now."
posted by kipmanley (164 comments total) 29 users marked this as a favorite

 
The Family Research Council supports the outlawing of homosexual sexual behavior and an enforcement of "criminal sanctions against homosexual behavior."

At this moment, I'd say that, as purveyors of hate go, they are far more influential and dangerous that the KKK, in that, rather than terrorizing a few with violence and cross burning, they are actively seeking to write into American law the status of 10 to 20 percent of its citizens as criminals based on their sexual preference, with no logical justification at all, just claims that it's what God wants.
posted by Astro Zombie at 12:32 PM on November 24, 2010 [98 favorites]


Countdown to outcry by Conservative fearmongers in 3...2...1...
posted by zarq at 12:32 PM on November 24, 2010 [1 favorite]


I remember being an FRC donor, and reading their monthly newsletter with great interest. I wonder if anyone really remembers that it was essentially formed as the lobbying arm of James Dobson's Focus on the Family organization.

Probably.
posted by verb at 12:34 PM on November 24, 2010


I would have commented in this thread sooner, but I was busy donating money to the SPLC. (Donations are being matched through the end of December, so your contribution will go twice as far.)
posted by Faint of Butt at 12:37 PM on November 24, 2010 [25 favorites]


thanks, FOB, these matching donations will make great Xmas presents!
posted by toodleydoodley at 12:40 PM on November 24, 2010


From FRC's The Top Ten Myths about Homosexuality

Myth No. 5:
Homosexuals do not experience a higher level of psychological disorders than heterosexuals.
Fact :
Homosexuals experience considerably higher levels of mental illness and substance abuse than heterosexuals. A detailed review of the research has shown that “no other group of comparable size in society experiences such intense and widespread pathology.”36

[snip]

Findings released in 2005 from an on-going, population-based study of young people in New Zealand showed that homosexuality is
“ . . . associated with increasing rates of depression, anxiety, illicit drug dependence, suicidal thoughts and attempts. Gay males, the study shows, have mental health problems five times higher than young heterosexual males. Lesbians have mental health problems nearly twice those of exclusively heterosexual females.”41

----

This couldn't possibly have anything to do with the fact that many queer kids grow up being told they are wrong, bad, sinful, dirty, will bring shame on the family, will go to hell, are beaten and abused for not being heterosexual, etc. No, queers have depression and substance abuse issues because being queer "causes" those issues.

Fucking lying dirtbags.
posted by rtha at 12:49 PM on November 24, 2010 [92 favorites]


verb: "I wonder if anyone really remembers that it was essentially formed as the lobbying arm of James Dobson's Focus on the Family organization."

My parents read a lot of Dobson garbage (which is interesting, since they did a good job raising me and did *not* use Dobson's bullshit methods) so yeah, I remember.

Screw those people. They can go back to their caves scared of fire.
posted by notsnot at 12:50 PM on November 24, 2010 [4 favorites]


Really? There's no difference between the FRC and the Klu Klux Klan? The former is an active political lobbying group which works entirely within the legal system. The latter is a semi-secretive organization known for lynching people. And it's okay to put them in the same category? Really?
posted by valkyryn at 12:52 PM on November 24, 2010 [4 favorites]


Screw those people. They can go back to their caves scared of fire.
posted by notsnot


Yes, but don't let them drag our country back there with them.
posted by Ron Thanagar at 12:53 PM on November 24, 2010 [7 favorites]


Seriously, this is like "Antagonistic political partisanship, own-goal edition." If progressives want people to vote for them, this is the kind of shit they need to avoid. The Tea Party is going to have an absolute field day with this, and it's not entirely clear to me that they shouldn't.
posted by valkyryn at 12:55 PM on November 24, 2010


I've often thought that while the high-level leadership of a group like the FRC may indeed hate the group they target, their primary target is keeping their own business running, through donations. If they magically got everything they wanted, they'd find something else to hate, because, you know, you have to bring in revenue.

Wish there was a way to say, "Look, you're not a PAC, you're an affinity-based business, so you need to pay taxes on this shit..."

But then it's a free speech and a free-to-be-a-jackass issue.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 12:55 PM on November 24, 2010


Really?

From my perspective? Really!

And there's no difference in my mind between the FRC and the Ugandan ministers who introduced the bill that would make it okay to kill gay people. It's a matter of degree, not substance.
posted by rtha at 12:56 PM on November 24, 2010 [20 favorites]


And it's okay to put them in the same category?

There are all sorts of categories they would comfortably fit in together:

1. Free association of individuals;
2. American organizations;
3. Primarily Protestant Christian organizations;

etc. And one more:

4. Hate groups.

It would not be appropriate to lump them together as terrorist organizations, as the KKK is one and the FRC isn't. But they both certainly promote hate, and it is fair to link them under the "purveyors of hate" category.
posted by Astro Zombie at 12:56 PM on November 24, 2010 [80 favorites]


If progressives want people to vote for them, this is the kind of shit they need to avoid.

Conservatives have a very poor track record when it comes to telling liberals what will get people to vote for them. Inevitably, their advice is "be more like us."

Well, the FRC is a conservative organization. If liberals start being more like that, I will stop being a liberal.
posted by Astro Zombie at 12:57 PM on November 24, 2010 [19 favorites]


Really? There's no difference between the FRC and the Klu Klux Klan? The former is an active political lobbying group which works entirely within the legal system. The latter is a semi-secretive organization known for lynching people. And it's okay to put them in the same category? Really?

The FRC is worse.
posted by Craig at 12:57 PM on November 24, 2010 [5 favorites]


Valkyryn, the argument is that both groups ruin lives and work to oppress minorities. That FRC does so through legal means makes them more insidious, but no less wrong.
posted by oddman at 12:57 PM on November 24, 2010 [3 favorites]


There's no difference between the FRC and the Klu Klux Klan?

Well, they're both groups that espouse hate and discrimination.
posted by snofoam at 12:58 PM on November 24, 2010


Yes, Astro Zombie, and it's precisely that kind of belief which contributed to the recent electoral victory in which the Democrats are still basking.
posted by valkyryn at 12:58 PM on November 24, 2010


Ah, yes. Because the opposition party making gains in the mid-season election after a presidential election during an economic downturn is a historical anomaly, rather than what happens every single time, and the reason it happened is because liberals didn't listen to people like you.

Good to know. When the conservative party next gets its ass handed to it, as tends to happen in this ping pong game where the country is almost evenly split, I'll remember that I get to gloat and say that the reason it has happened is because the GOP didn't bother to listen to me.
posted by Astro Zombie at 1:01 PM on November 24, 2010 [62 favorites]


It's about time someone called the FRC what they are.
posted by honeydew at 1:02 PM on November 24, 2010 [7 favorites]


The SPLC's rhetorical overreaching can be really disturbing sometimes, and the more they pull these enemies-list-making stunts and endorse legislation the more I end up convinced by left critiques of hate-speech/hate-crime legislation like Alex Cockburn's. To be sure, we should be trying to defeat FRC and other similar groups on the terrain of American culture and politics, by any and all means; but if classifying them as a "hate group" is anything more than an attempt to delegitimize them ideologically then it seems like a horrible precedent. We should not be questioning their freedom to advocate for their views, however repellent, by associating it with violence and lynching and intimidation; nor should we cheapen the memory of the civil rights struggle by equating the KKK with a bunch of mealy-mouthed lobbyists.
posted by RogerB at 1:02 PM on November 24, 2010 [2 favorites]


I do appreciate you bolding my name, though. It looks good like that.
posted by Astro Zombie at 1:02 PM on November 24, 2010 [5 favorites]


Well, RogerB, it's good to see that at least one other person gets it.
posted by valkyryn at 1:03 PM on November 24, 2010


nor should we cheapen the memory of the civil rights struggle by equating the KKK with a bunch of mealy-mouthed lobbyists.

The battle of Civil rights wasn't against the KKK -- they were the shock troops of American racism. It was against mealy mouthed lobbyists.
posted by Astro Zombie at 1:03 PM on November 24, 2010 [66 favorites]


Valkyryn: Yes, because that's exactly how the Klan operates now. The Klan is no longer a Mississippi Burning big loud organization. It's not even that active in the South. The Klan is now primarily a Rust Belt organization allied with States' Rights groups, heavily invested in the same things that influenced the Tea Party, and is split into suit and tie and skinhead factions precisely so that upon seeing the suit and tie folks you'll assume they have little to do with the Klan at all.

It would be surprising if the FRC did *not* have white supremacist agents of influence. That's how the modern white racist movement operates. Up here in Canada, the predecessors to our current party in government (Reform) had a significant white supremacist wing (the Heritage Front) that used exactly the same strategy of backing extremist outliers so that they could be the nicer alternative (to people in their own ranks). (Of course, Reform also used the HF for the very same purpose, which is one reason why there are absolutely hateful people in Canadian politics now whose communications are severely restricted by the PMO.)

You must understand that avowed white supremacists know that people are secretly sympathetic to them but could never say so outright, that they must lie and conspire to enter mainstream politics, and know exactly what sympathizers feel about many political issues.

TL;DR: There really are extremist plots out there and they are buddies with exactly the kind of organizations you think they'd buddy up with.
posted by mobunited at 1:08 PM on November 24, 2010 [6 favorites]


It would be surprising if the FRC did *not* have white supremacist agents of influence.

Cough.
posted by Astro Zombie at 1:10 PM on November 24, 2010 [7 favorites]


We should not be questioning their freedom to advocate for their views, however repellent, by associating it with violence and lynching and intimidation...

They are free to advocate whatever they like.

We are free to call what they advocate "hate".
posted by Joe Beese at 1:11 PM on November 24, 2010 [33 favorites]


I am a huge fan of the Southern Poverty Law Center and the work they do. And yes, I agree with them that the FRC is a hate group for the same reasons Astro Zombie stated above, The Family Research Council supports the outlawing of homosexual sexual behavior and an enforcement of "criminal sanctions against homosexual behavior."

I think that pretty clearly perpetuates hate and intolerance.
posted by SkylitDrawl at 1:11 PM on November 24, 2010 [13 favorites]


The Tea Party is going to have an absolute field day with this, and it's not entirely clear to me that they shouldn't.

Nothing would make me happier than seeing prominent conservatives defend the most intense rhetoric of the FRC.
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates at 1:12 PM on November 24, 2010 [11 favorites]


Really?

Would you be this baffled if they were spreading hate and lies about a racial minority?

Maybe you would. But I think the value of a report like this is that bigotry against gay people is still considered a valid belief by people who would never utter a racist comment in polite company.

As Dan Savage likes to point out, news stations still give people like the FRC air time to tell "the other side," but would never dream of doing the same thing for a racist hate group.
posted by Mavri at 1:14 PM on November 24, 2010 [15 favorites]


The study referred to in rtha's comment. (Paywall)
posted by Orange Pamplemousse at 1:14 PM on November 24, 2010 [1 favorite]


I just wanted to chime in with my support of the SPLC. Nothing more to say.
posted by X-Himy at 1:15 PM on November 24, 2010 [3 favorites]


Ah, memories of George "Rentboy" Rekers (previous FPP) who was a founder of the Family Research Council and a board member of the "ex-gay" organization National Association for Research & Therapy of Homosexuality.
posted by ericb at 1:17 PM on November 24, 2010 [2 favorites]


The battle of Civil rights wasn't against the KKK -- they were the shock troops of American racism. It was against mealy mouthed lobbyists.

Of course it was: the struggle was against the KKK and against segregation as a matter of law and against racism as an institutional and ideological force permeating the entire culture. The point is, the FRC are more like George Wallace than like the KKK; you don't win by trying to insinuate that we should criminalize their acts and views, you win by defeating them politically and superseding them ideologically.

They are free to advocate whatever they like. We are free to call what they advocate "hate".

When the SPLC calls words "hate speech" and groups "hate groups" it's not possible to argue in good faith that it's an innocent, merely descriptive turn of phrase. These are categories to which people argue that some free-speech protections don't apply.
posted by RogerB at 1:18 PM on November 24, 2010 [4 favorites]


Also, what seems to me to be the key quote of that paper:

Also, there has been interest in whether there are gender differences in the association between mental health and sexual orientation (Garofalo et al. 1998; Remafedi et al. 1998; Skegg et al. 2003). The present study clearly supports this view and there was consistent evidence to suggest that homosexual orientation was more strongly associated with mental health problems for males than for females. These findings are consistent with the view that the greater stigma attached to male homosexual behaviour may make male homosexuals more vulnerable to psychiatric disorder and distress.

posted by Orange Pamplemousse at 1:18 PM on November 24, 2010 [5 favorites]


We should not be questioning their freedom to advocate for their views, however repellent, by associating it with violence and lynching and intimidation

But it IS associated with violence and intimidation. What is the problem with explicitly linking what the FRC says to the violence committed by people who absorb their views?
posted by i_am_joe's_spleen at 1:19 PM on November 24, 2010 [2 favorites]


When the SPLC calls words "hate speech" and groups "hate groups" it's not possible to argue in good faith that it's an innocent, merely descriptive turn of phrase.

I guess my question for you is whether you consider these accurate descriptions. I don't find the description an "innocent, descriptive turn of phrase." I see it as an accurate assessment of their message.

And I would also be perfectly happy to describe George Wallace as a racist. I am not sure how to address their vile message without naming it, and I don't think the civil right movement was successful because it was circumspect about describing racism as racism, but instead because it named it as the thing it was an addressed it as such.
posted by Astro Zombie at 1:21 PM on November 24, 2010 [9 favorites]


As Dan Savage likes to point out...

Video of his CNN appearance: "Dan Savage Tells CNN That It Must Stop Giving Platforms to Hate Group Leaders Like the FRC's Tony Perkins." *
posted by ericb at 1:21 PM on November 24, 2010 [2 favorites]


DefendChristians.Org says: "Labeling mainstream conservative organizations as 'Hate groups' is defamatory and is simply an intimidation tactic. We call on Congress to cut off their funding."

Thoughts on whether the SPLC could get ACORNed?
posted by Beardman at 1:21 PM on November 24, 2010


Because calling on Congress to cut funding is not an intimidation tactic.
posted by Astro Zombie at 1:22 PM on November 24, 2010 [1 favorite]


Hmmm, should I be more concerned with human rights or electoral victory. Hmmmm, I will think long and hard on this.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 1:26 PM on November 24, 2010 [15 favorites]


Yes, Astro Zombie, and it's precisely that kind of belief which contributed to the recent electoral victory in which the Democrats are still basking.
VValkyryn, I totally get that you're a contrary voice in a sea of (relative) unanimity on a number of political and religious issues here on MeFi, but it doesn't mean that you have to take absurd positions on principle. Suggesting that the midterm election results happened because nameless progressives called some conservative lobbying groups "purveyors of hate" is, frankly, ridiculous.

If you want to defend the official positions of the the FRC , go ahead. If you want to suggest that the SPLC is ultimately a fund-raising organization that traffics in controversy, go ahead. But the FRC's official positions are, quite simply, incompatible with any libertarian or progressive positions. Calling them a "hate group" will only annoy the tiny slice of the population that insists the FRC speaks for them.
posted by verb at 1:30 PM on November 24, 2010 [9 favorites]


When the SPLC calls words "hate speech" and groups "hate groups" it's not possible to argue in good faith that it's an innocent, merely descriptive turn of phrase. These are categories to which people argue that some free-speech protections don't apply.

Yeah, that's exactly what category they belong to. Our society has decided that encouraging violence and discrimination falls into the "Fire in a crowded theater" area of speech.

Maybe you don't like the hate speech laws, and feel free to argue against them. But again, if this was race and not sexual orientation we were talking about, I doubt you'd be making the argument.
posted by lumpenprole at 1:31 PM on November 24, 2010 [3 favorites]


I guess my question for you is whether you consider these accurate descriptions....I would also be perfectly happy to describe George Wallace as a racist.

Again, of course they're bigoted scum, just as of course Wallace was a repugnant racist, and of course we should be trying to defeat them. (The fact that I have to repeat that I think this is, in my opinion, indicative of a problem with the direction this thread is taking.) That doesn't mean "hate speech" is a mere description whose "accuracy" is the question up for debate. Calling things "hate speech" is the first step in trying to categorize their bigotry as outside free-speech protection, and it's perfectly possible to take issue with that (first, as a strategy; second, as a matter of principle) regardless of how you feel about the FRC (and again, just to be perfectly crystal-clear, I despise the FRC as much as anyone else in this thread).
posted by RogerB at 1:31 PM on November 24, 2010


Really?

I'm a gay man, and I'm public about it.

The KKK wants me dead. True, I'll grant that my chances of encountering the KKK even here in Tennessee are slim to none.

The FRC wants me dead. Or, failing that, in prison, institutionalized in a mental hospital, separated from my life partner, and/or fired from my job. My chances of encountering the FRC, via the legislators to whom they provide financial backing -- in order that they'll pass laws that the FRC wants passed -- are very high.

Yeah, really. Really, your sanctimony is tedious and ridiculous.
posted by blucevalo at 1:31 PM on November 24, 2010 [84 favorites]


Thoughts on whether the SPLC could get ACORNed?

Again, the SPLC should welcome any public fight. "This is who we are, and this is what we do. This is why we categorized the FRC as a hate group. You can look over the documentation. We'd be happy if you would."
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates at 1:32 PM on November 24, 2010 [3 favorites]


Really? There's no difference between the FRC and the Klu Klux Klan? The former is an active political lobbying group which works entirely within the legal system. The latter is a semi-secretive organization known for lynching people. And it's okay to put them in the same category? Really?

So, the difference is that the FRC wants the goverment to do its lynchings for it?
posted by brundlefly at 1:32 PM on November 24, 2010 [5 favorites]


When the SPLC calls words "hate speech" and groups "hate groups" it's not possible to argue in good faith that it's an innocent, merely descriptive turn of phrase. These are categories to which people argue that some free-speech protections don't apply.

I am not one of those people.

In any case, the SPLC's designation has no legal force.
posted by Joe Beese at 1:32 PM on November 24, 2010


When the SPLC calls words "hate speech" and groups "hate groups" it's not possible to argue in good faith that it's an innocent, merely descriptive turn of phrase. These are categories to which people argue that some free-speech protections don't apply.

Not that many people, in the US. Most liberals I know take the ACLU position, let the KKK and Westboro march down Main St. if they want. However, if we are going to let them preach their hate it is our responsibility to authoritatively reject it in our own speech.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 1:33 PM on November 24, 2010 [9 favorites]


I'm not sure what you're arguing, Roger. What speech will be curtailed if we identify it as hateful? Our hate crime legislation responds to behavior, not speech, and, even then, what it does is takes an already illegal act and increases the penalty based on the hateful intention. These groups will still be able to print whatever they want to print and say whatever they want to say. It's only if they go out and commit a crime based on their hateful behavior that it will be an issue.
posted by Astro Zombie at 1:34 PM on November 24, 2010 [10 favorites]



Really? There's no difference between the FRC and the Klu Klux Klan?

The KKK wasn't always just a bunch of terrorists in sheets. They once represented a legitimate political faction, and basically ran the state of Indiana :
When the United States entered World War I in 1917, the Klan grew in strength. America now had to be ‘protected’ from the Germans and others: Catholics, Jews, Socialists, blacks and union leaders. Membership in the Klan was a way for citizens to help out the war effort in Europe by making sure American soil was kept ‘pure.’ The Klan was quickly becoming something universal and not just a southern racist group. William Simmons now realized that the Ku Klux Klan could now become a national fraternal movement.
Is the FRC as bad as the KKK ? Quantitatively, no. Qualitatively ? Yeah, I think so.

but I might be sensitive because my teenaged son is gay, and it's these fucktards that make it so I have to be careful who I can talk to about his prom. Why I have to worry when he goes out on a date. Why I have to be concerned about what his future will look like. It pisses me right the fuck off, and this is my only son we are talking about here.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 1:34 PM on November 24, 2010 [28 favorites]


I guess the warning WAS correct: some people really are lashing out at the SPLC over this stuff.
"The favorite slander used by the Democrats for anyone they disagree with is “extremist”; yet there is hardly any people more politically extreme than the Southern Poverty Law Center, now part of Homeland Security."
(warning: it's a link to David Duke's web site.)
posted by verb at 1:36 PM on November 24, 2010


The Tea Party is going to have an absolute field day with... anything that happens that I think is good and right and just and proper. That's how we know they're assholes. I have no problem with the Tea Party having a field day. It means something that upsets them has happened, and that means that today was a good day.
posted by rusty at 1:37 PM on November 24, 2010 [11 favorites]


Maybe you don't like the hate speech laws

The US does not have "hate speech laws." We have hate crimes laws, which specifically target violent crime - this is not the same thing.
posted by naoko at 1:38 PM on November 24, 2010 [8 favorites]


And AZ beat me to it.
posted by naoko at 1:39 PM on November 24, 2010


DefendChristians.Org says: "Labeling mainstream conservative organizations as 'Hate groups' is defamatory and is simply an intimidation tactic."

The Onion says: Mom, Jeremy Won't Let Me Create An Atmosphere Of Sustained Menace.
posted by PlusDistance at 1:39 PM on November 24, 2010


"Labeling mainstream conservative organizations as 'Hate groups' is defamatory and is simply an intimidation tactic. We call on Congress to cut off their funding."

Congress doesn't provide funding to the SLPC. It's a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization supported by private donations.

Right-wing organizations hate the SLPC and its co-founder Morris Dees.
posted by ericb at 1:39 PM on November 24, 2010 [2 favorites]


...the Southern Poverty Law Center, now part of Homeland Security.

I can't stop laughing except to cry when the right-wingers/extremists spread such lies and their peers (and others) believe them.
posted by ericb at 1:42 PM on November 24, 2010 [1 favorite]


Greenwald's rebuttal to those who justify the order to assassinate al-Awlaki because he advocates killing Americans seems relevant here:
The question of where First Amendment-protected radical advocacy ends and criminality begins is exactly the sort of question with which courts have long grappled. In the 1969 case of Brandenburg v. Ohio, the Supreme Court unanimously reversed a criminal conviction of a Ku Klux Klan leader who -- surrounded by hooded indivduals holding weapons -- gave a speech threatening "revengeance" against any government official who "continues to suppress the white, Caucasian race." The Court held that the First Amendment protects advocacy of violence and revolution, and that the State is barred from punishing citizens for the expression of such views. The Brandenburg Court pointed to a long history of precedent protecting the First Amendment rights of Communists to call for revolution -- even violent revolution -- inside the U.S., and explained that the Government can punish someone for violent actions but not for speech that merely advocates or justifies violence...
My position is that Christian hate speech and Muslim hate speech are equally protected by the First Amendment - even if the former plays better among Americans than the latter.
posted by Joe Beese at 1:46 PM on November 24, 2010 [6 favorites]


Calling things "hate speech" is the first step in trying to categorize their bigotry as outside free-speech protection

Why is it some shocking threat to (seemingly most) Americans that anything ever encroach on absolute free speech?

/Canuckistan
posted by Theta States at 1:47 PM on November 24, 2010 [1 favorite]


The SPLC has been operating for over forty years now and during that time they've endured several plots that have targeted their people for harassment, assault, murder and to blow up their building. The amount of threats they've received by letter, email and phone reach into the thousands.

I would think the people who have gone through that know exactly what hateful speech is and would be the last folks in the world toss around the term lightly for kicks.
posted by Vaska at 1:48 PM on November 24, 2010 [7 favorites]


Also cited in their report: Gary DeMar | American Vision.
“Led since 1986 by Gary DeMar, American Vision is one of the primary exponents of the doctrine of ‘Christian Reconstruction’ — the idea that the U.S. was founded as a ‘Christian nation’ and that its democracy should be replaced with a theocratic government based on Old Testament law. As a practical matter, that means American Vision, which describes its goal as ‘restor[ing] America’s Biblical foundation,’ backs the death penalty for practicing homosexuals.

DeMar has modified that dictum slightly in the past, saying that homosexuals wouldn’t all be executed under a ‘reconstructed’ government, but that he did believe that the occasional execution of ‘sodomites’ would serve society well because ‘the law that requires the death penalty for homosexual acts effectively drives the perversion of homosexuality underground, back into the closet.’ More recently, while hosting American Vision’s ‘The Gary DeMar Show’ in December 2009, Joel McDurmon, the group’s research director, agreed that the Bible does call for killing homosexuals. And, he said, ‘when most of a society is Christian, is biblical, then it [execution of gays] is perfectly normal; it should definitely be in place.’”
Nah, no hatred here. Nothing to see. Move along.
posted by ericb at 1:48 PM on November 24, 2010 [9 favorites]


I have to say that I think there has been at least one momentous move forward in gay rights, and it may be a definitive one. One of the most insidious elements of homophobia is that is you spoke against it, you were presumed to be a homosexual. And, because homophobia is enforced with violence, speaking up for LGBT people made you a potential target for violence.

I know there is still a lot of that, but I feel it less, perhaps because I am older. But it really does seem like more and more straight people are feeling comfortable to voice opposition to homophobia, and it seems rarer that they are then publicly accused of being gay. I can't remember the last time I was accused of being gay for my support of gay rights.

I am accused of being gay because I am a fan of Joe Orton. And it's gay people who make the accusation.
posted by Astro Zombie at 1:50 PM on November 24, 2010 [8 favorites]


One of the most insidious elements of homophobia is that is you spoke against it, you were presumed to be a homosexual.
Now, of course, you have to speak out against homosexuality for people to assume you're gay. I consider this major progress.
posted by verb at 1:51 PM on November 24, 2010 [26 favorites]


In related news: Apple-Approved 'Anti-Gay' iPhone App Sparks Outrage
“[Apple] has sparked outrage over an app it did approve, Manhattan Declaration, that is a ‘call of Christian conscience’ inviting users to take a stand against gay marriage by signing a 4,700-word ‘declaration’ penned by Christian clergy, scholars, and others.

The Manhattan Declaration, the text of which is included in the app, ‘speaks in defense of the sanctity of life, traditional marriage, and religious liberty,’ according to its creators. The app ‘issues a clarion call to Christians to adhere firmly to their convictions in these three areas,’ and allows users to add their signatures to the declaration.

Users can also take a short, 4-question survey that includes questions such as ‘Do you support same sex relationships?’ or ‘Do you support the right of choice regarding abortion?’ Answer ‘yes’ to either of the above and you'll be told you replied incorrectly.

Apple awarded the app a rating of ‘4+,’ which means the App Store found the app to contain ‘no objectionable material.’

On the other hand, apps like ‘Obama Trampoline,’ the Bush-lampooning ‘My Shoe,’ or iBoobs, which shows pixelated jiggling breasts, have previously been banned, in some cases for poking fun at political figures, and in others, for their sexually suggestive content.

Bloggers have fired back at Apple--and the app's creators.

The app fosters ‘homophobia and extreme anti-choice views,’ writes Change.org, which blasts the principles spelled out in the declaration for ‘[boiling] LGBT people down to little more than deviant cretins.’ PinkNews calls the app ‘anti-gay.’ One website created a petition asking Apple to remove the app.

The creators of the Manhattan Declaration responded to the ‘radical liberals’ with its own blog post, saying, ‘These radicals often pollute the debate with ranting. They rant about 'equal rights,' without explaining how homosexuality deserves it, 'women's rights,' without explaining how women have a right to kill their child, and even 'hateful Christians,' without showing instances where we hate.’”
posted by ericb at 2:00 PM on November 24, 2010 [2 favorites]


Radical liberals?
posted by Astro Zombie at 2:02 PM on November 24, 2010 [2 favorites]


valkyryn: The Tea Party is going to have an absolute field day with this, and it's not entirely clear to me that they shouldn't.

You're right, they're going to have a field day with this. I'm sure that the SPLC is going to catch all sorts of heat from Fox News, Rush Limbaugh, Breitbart, etc. about how this is all part of a liberal conspiracy to delegitimize and censor a Good Christian Organization that is simply trying to Spread Family Values and blah blah blah. Let's face it, we know how their message will play out because at this point we both know their script as well as they do.

Still, I'm puzzled as to why you think they should have a field day. Because, while I'm all for finding common ground with people who hold views opposite of my own, the FRC and anyone defending them can go fuck themselves. There has to be a line in a sand, and organizations that are actively engaged in creating a second-class citizenry are way over that line.
posted by joedan at 2:02 PM on November 24, 2010 [13 favorites]


I can't remember the last time I was accused of being gay for my support of gay rights.

It happened to me at Balloon Juice, a left-wing political blog, a few months ago. I was laying into the President about DADT in the... impassioned style for which I'm so beloved here. And the reply came something like "You know what? I now hope DADT doesn't get repealed just so it will oppress you."

Not an "accusation", per se. But an assumption, at least.

Under less antagonistic circumstances, I've encountered the assumption at Daily Kos as well.

So we're not all the way there yet. But there's definitely been improvement.
posted by Joe Beese at 2:04 PM on November 24, 2010


Users can also take a short, 4-question survey that includes questions such as ‘Do you support same sex relationships?’ or ‘Do you support the right of choice regarding abortion?’ Answer ‘yes’ to either of the above and you'll be told you replied incorrectly.

OK, that's pretty hilarious.
posted by brundlefly at 2:05 PM on November 24, 2010


When the SPLC calls words "hate speech" and groups "hate groups" it's not possible to argue in good faith that it's an innocent, merely descriptive turn of phrase.

In all honesty, what would be a better term for it? "Really dislike" speech? "Want to abolish this group" speech?

Their platform includes the idea that a certain group of people are not as deserving of rights as everyone else. And they actively work towards that goal.

Seriously, is there a better term than hate? In a really fucked up way, I actually respect the KKK more; they at least are up front about their hatred, and you can take them at face value. Places like the FRC couch their language in every way possible to allow them to pretend that what they are saying is anything other than hate, but sometimes it just is what it is.
posted by quin at 2:10 PM on November 24, 2010 [9 favorites]


When the SPLC calls words "hate speech" and groups "hate groups" it's not possible to argue in good faith that it's an innocent, merely descriptive turn of phrase. These are categories to which people argue that some free-speech protections don't apply.

Some people may argue that free-speech protections don't apply to people who espouse racism or anti-gay rhetoric, but they are wrong. They have the freedom to state their hateful views to the content of their shriveled, syphilitic hearts content.

That said, I believe that certain people don't like being called racist or homophobic (when they clearly are) simply because it makes them feel like a bad person. They don't like feeling like a bad person, so if you call them on their hate speech, they get angry and accuse you of oppressing them. Pointing out that that's exactly how they make the people they're discriminating against feel usually ends up in your being accused of being a "reverse racist."

We can't be afraid of hurting the feelings of poor widdle racists and homophobes. No matter the rationale for their beliefs, they are wrong and no amount of trying to handle them with kid gloves to avoid making them feel bad will win them over.
posted by Joey Michaels at 2:13 PM on November 24, 2010 [11 favorites]


Why is it some shocking threat to (seemingly most) Americans that anything ever encroach on absolute free speech?

Because it's right at the heart of the nation's founding document.

"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."

Further, there have been many court cases that have buttressed this freedom, cases that have boiled down to "We don't have to like you, but we can't stop you." For example.

In other words ... it's a close as you can get to holy writ in this country, without it being actually religious.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 2:18 PM on November 24, 2010 [10 favorites]


And there's no difference in my mind between the FRC and the Ugandan ministers who introduced the bill that would make it okay to kill gay people. It's a matter of degree, not substance.

And who supports and is behind the Ugandan efforts?
U.S. Christian Evangelical Groups Fomenting Anti-gay Hatred in Uganda.

Watch: 'Missionaries of Hate', a New Documentary Exploring American Evangelical Anti-Gay Efforts in Uganda.
BTW ... 'Kill The Gays' Sponsor David Bahati: Bill Will Become Law 'Soon'.
posted by ericb at 2:27 PM on November 24, 2010 [4 favorites]


The difference between an organization that physical goes out and kills people (KKK) and one that encourages impressionable youths to do it themselves (FRC) is only (maybe) in magnitude, not in kind.

When news organizations give voice to groups like the FRC I always, ALWAYS wonder why they don't also have some racist on advocating discrimination or outright lynching every time they do a story about racial issues. Surely that would be as "balanced."
posted by LastOfHisKind at 2:37 PM on November 24, 2010


People are allowed to say whatever they want about anything they want. In turn, when people say and do hateful things, OTHER people are ALSO allowed to say, "Yo, that group of people over there? They're a hate group."

Maybe I'm being overly simplistic here, but I don't understand why the SPLC are catching flack for this? Yes, the SPLC is saying that the FRC is homophobic and a hate group, but didn't most everyone sort of quietly know that already? It's not likely the FRC will cease to be over this.
posted by SkylitDrawl at 2:41 PM on November 24, 2010 [2 favorites]


You know, not everything that happens in the U.S. should be boiled down to: will this help the Democrats win an election? Because there's a lot more going on--socially, economically, even politically--in the country than just that. And the mission of the Southern Poverty Law Center isn't "do whatever will help Deomcrats get elected". It's to "figh[t] hate and bigotry, and to see[k] justice for the most vulnerable members of our society." Personally, as a queer and genderqueer person, I'm really glad that the SPLC is out there doing the work that they do, and that they have the courage to be honest and call out hate as hate.
posted by overglow at 2:53 PM on November 24, 2010 [25 favorites]


valkyryn: “Really? There's no difference between the FRC and the Klu Klux Klan? The former is an active political lobbying group which works entirely within the legal system. The latter is a semi-secretive organization known for lynching people. And it's okay to put them in the same category? Really? ... Seriously, this is like "Antagonistic political partisanship, own-goal edition." If progressives want people to vote for them, this is the kind of shit they need to avoid. The Tea Party is going to have an absolute field day with this, and it's not entirely clear to me that they shouldn't.”

Actually, I doubt they will. This is one issue that the Tea Party, for all their silliness and vagaries, have avoided entirely – and if there's a reason for that, I'd say it's because even they can comprehend that, in their heart of hearts, the rank and file of Americans – yes, even the churchgoing conservatives – are essentially libertarians on this issue, believing people should be allowed to do what they want in their own homes without being victimized for it.

And I appreciate that this will be a difficult thing for many, but I think it really doesn't matter, because the momentum society has tends firmly in this direction, and there's really no stopping it at this point. Yes, a lot of people will continue to make parallels between this movement and the civil rights movement; a lot of people will, in fact, assert that they are one and the same. You can shake your head and wonder how people can draw parallels like that, but it's pretty inevitable at this point, I think, that we're moving toward the same kinds of showdowns we saw at the end of the sixties.

Finally, on a personal note, I really don't mind seeing that parallel drawn between the FRC and the KKK. They are one and the same in my mind. They are perverters of Christianity, first and foremost. And I don't mind seeing them locked up if only for that reason.
posted by koeselitz at 3:03 PM on November 24, 2010


I'm not sure what you're arguing ... hate crime legislation responds to behavior, not speech, and, even then, what it does is takes an already illegal act and increases the penalty based on the hateful intention.

This is what I think is potentially problematic about the SPLC's tactics and anti-hate legislation, yes (to relink, here's Alex Cockburn's column on the issue; this kind of use of the hate designation as a political tactic has started to convince me of his point). If their list of hate groups were just a shit-list of Bigots We Don't Like for reference purposes, I'd be fine with it, even endorse it. But it's closely connected to their support of hate-crime laws that essentially criminalize holding certain views (even if only while committing other crimes). Even putting principle aside, I don't think it's smart for leftists to support anti-"hate" thought/intention-crime laws as a matter of strategy, because this makes it too easy for our thoughts to get added to the blacklist later. As I said upthread, it's fine with me if the "hate group" designation is just an attempt to delegitimize them ideologically, to try to get the more moderate right to take its distance from them, but I don't think that's the only motive here. The FRC should be fought politically and ideologically, but not presumptively excluded from the realm of politics by equating their lobbying with mob violence; and there are decent reasons to be a bit suspicious of the SPLC's motives, since they use fear-mongering around The List to fundraise at least as much as they keep it for the good of mankind.

I can't remember the last time I was accused of being gay for my support of gay rights.

Oh yeah, if online counts (which I'm not sure it should), then don't start reading any sports blog, ever. I've been called/assumed to be gay a thousand times for calling out homophobic talk in the baseball blogosphere.
posted by RogerB at 3:05 PM on November 24, 2010


I guess the warning WAS correct: some people really are lashing out at the SPLC over this stuff.

Did not read the links, am familiar with this general issue as it's been playing out on Wikipedia. On Wikipedia there are a few people, one in particular, who have made it their rallying cry to keep the SPLC Wikipedia page from being "a fawning brochure" and spending a lot of time and energy making sure that it's balanced which means including a controversy section to show that they're unhinged because of this Family Research Council = KKK stuff. They've dug in finding citations from all over the place that SPLC does all manner of shitty things but basically that they're wackos because they've come out against the Family Research Council.

I've been watching but not participating terribly much because I've had these people turn on me [and my attitude towards freedom of speech in libraryland] and it's tiring. That said, there is abslutely a concerted effort of fight back by FRC while at the same time FRC is still saying the same old hateful [in my opinion] stuff and aggressively lobbying on the basis of their [i my opinion] hateful opinions.

So, this is not very here nor there, but something I've observed elsewhere on the internet. The FRC is funded and dangerous. The SPLC is an imperfect organization but I think they are right on this one.
posted by jessamyn at 3:08 PM on November 24, 2010 [5 favorites]


But it's closely connected to their support of hate-crime laws that essentially criminalize holding certain views (even if only while committing other crimes).

Yeah, I don't agree that's what hate crime laws do at all, so you've lost me on that argument, and I have yet to see it be put forward in any convincing way. But whether or not hate crime laws criminalize thoughts is a long and unrelated detail, because, in this instance, if somebody commits a homophobic crime, they're already going to get charged with a hate crime. So compiling this list changes nothing.
posted by Astro Zombie at 3:09 PM on November 24, 2010


Suggesting that the midterm election results happened because nameless progressives called some conservative lobbying groups "purveyors of hate" is, frankly, ridiculous.

I'm not totally convinced that that's true, to be honest. You hear all the noise that Palin et al make about liberal elitism, being out of touch with ordinary Americans, and generally trying to make conservative positions socially and politically verboten?

This is exactly the kind of thing they're talking about.

Whether or not the SLPC is correct is completely irrelevant. Right wing media has gotten and continues to get a huge amount of mileage out of stuff like this. Hell, MeFites bitch about it all the time. So why my saying that "Hey, this isn't going to play well," should be ridiculous isn't clear to me at all.

Now let me make myself clear here: I'm not actually trying to defend the FRC. They're wingnuts. But the term "hate speech" has clear political overtones, suggesting that certain speech is not simply bad but actually illegitimate. Beyond merely imputing bad faith to the speakers, it suggests that the classifier wants said speech to be forcibly removed from public discourse.

So this categorization as a "hate group" does two things. First, it completely short circuits any kind of political co-existence with said group by denying its very legitimacy. This also acts to short-circuit dialog with anyone who is even mildly sympathetic to the FRC for any of its other work by imputing bad faith to their motives. The FRC does a lot of work in religious liberty and pro-life activism too. So now anyone who agrees with them that expressing one's moral opinion is protected speech is lumped in with the KKK as a purveyor of hate by the SLPC. Brilliant move, jerkasses: you've completely alienated a ton of people who might actually have agreed with you on the FRC's treatment of gays.

Second, it gives massive fodder to the right wing in its persecution complex because it's actually calling for them to be persecuted. You don't get to say "I can call this hate speech and it doesn't have any political overtones if I don't want it to." Words have meaning, and categorizing something as "hate speech" is a blatant attempt to categorize an opinion as being outside the protections of the law. Fortunately, the courts have taken a pretty dim view of this, though in countries which don't have an equivalent to the First Amendment, hate speech regulations are aggressively used to enforce political correctness as defined locally (1, 2, 3, 4, 5). The mere categorization indicates that the person making the categorization is not attempting to live in the same society as the person being categorized.

I think that's bad for society. Anyone interested in productive political activity and a harmonious society should think that the SLPC's move here is unwise, regardless of what they think about the FRC.
posted by valkyryn at 3:09 PM on November 24, 2010 [1 favorite]


I would hate for the SPLC to become the ACLU of -- when was it, '88, when Bush I was all, you Michael Dukakis are a card carrying member of the ACLU.

I guess what I mean is, I would hate to see SPLC stupidly demonized and have office-holding Democrats not have the balls to stand up for it with righteous passion.
posted by angrycat at 3:11 PM on November 24, 2010


Well, if to win the next election, we have to be more like Palin, because that's America, I'm ready to lose the election, and every single one afterward. That's not my America, it's not a good America, and your making the case that its an America that wins elections is your opinion, and your welcome to it, but it's a bleak and pessimistic view of this country that I can't share.

And the right wing doesn't need any fodder for their persecution complex. If God Himself said maybe we should be nicer to each other, there are conservatives who would say he was a liberal who was trying to take away their rights.
posted by Astro Zombie at 3:13 PM on November 24, 2010 [17 favorites]


This is one issue that the Tea Party, for all their silliness and vagaries, have avoided entirely

Okay, there's that. I was thinking more broadly about the far right, and there's already testimony from other commenters that the kind of blowback I had predicted is already happening. But yeah, the Tea Party, insofar as it can be considered to be an organized movement, has generally given this issue a pass.

But here's the thing: the FRC does do a bunch of other stuff that the Tea Party tends to like, including their religious liberty activism. So calling them a hate group is still going to be counter-productive.
posted by valkyryn at 3:13 PM on November 24, 2010


Valkyryn, you're arguing well here, but at what point do we on the left not stand up and call bullshit for what it is? If something is evil and vile, let's call it evil and vile.

More and more these days I am thinking that the U.S. will go through some tremendous cataclysm on its way to being a more civilized nation, and that there's something to being on the right side of history, even if that means more discord.
posted by angrycat at 3:14 PM on November 24, 2010 [1 favorite]


I think that's bad for society. Anyone interested in productive political activity and a harmonious society should think that the SLPC's move here is unwise, regardless of what they think about the FRC.

Maybe it's the pre-thanksgiving martinis talking, but this all seems very concern-trolly to me.
posted by device55 at 3:18 PM on November 24, 2010 [8 favorites]


Anyone interested in productive political activity and a harmonious society should think that the SLPC's move here is unwise, regardless of what they think about the FRC.

Grade-A concern trolling. I don't want to pick people out by name -- I swear, I don't -- but valkryn, you're an apologist for at least mild anti-gay sentiments and somehow I doubt that you actually have the best interests of the civil rights movement in mind here.

Everything the FRC does makes me sick to my stomach. The fact that they hold a more legitimized role in the discourse than the Klan, on the other hand, makes me feel disgusted on behalf of the whole country.

The SPLC isn't advocating that we start picketing their houses, but it is very rightly pointing out that they are one of many groups that seeks to institutionalize discrimination in American society, and have had a great deal of success doing so. That deserves a pointed finger.
posted by zvs at 3:21 PM on November 24, 2010 [7 favorites]


If something is evil and vile, let's call it evil and vile.

I'd be all for that! But that's not what they're doing. They're using politically charged terms to suggest that the entire group has no place in political discourse. That is not the same thing as simply saying something is evil. Heck, British MPs call each other some pretty terrible names on a regular basis, but no one goes around suggesting that they should be barred from the conversation at the outset.

People who care about the liberal project in its broadest sense should be deeply, deeply suspicious about any attempt to attack the free speech rights and political legitimacy of another group. That's what the SLPC is doing here, and it undermines their own position.
posted by valkyryn at 3:22 PM on November 24, 2010 [1 favorite]


Grade-A concern trolling.

Huh?
posted by valkyryn at 3:23 PM on November 24, 2010


Calling someone a hate group doesn't disrupt their free speech rights. Despite the claims of the right, you'll note that the nebulously defined concept of 'hate speech' is not, in fact, a crime in the United States.
posted by zvs at 3:23 PM on November 24, 2010 [5 favorites]


Not to tar you with the broad 'claims of the right' brush, mind you, it's just that the idea that 'hate spech' is being censored is patently false.
posted by zvs at 3:24 PM on November 24, 2010


If something is evil and vile, let's call it evil and vile.

By all means, do so. But labeling it "hate speech" and making up an official-sounding classification that includes the KKK is doing more than just "calling" it. It's kind of a reverse Godwin. You went there. Having a normal conversation now is going to be quite a bit more difficult than before.

But since when was the FRC having a normal conversation, anyway? So there's that.

But here's an analogy: The NRA is a pack of jackasses. If you give money to the NRA, you're stupid and woefully misguided. But you are not a "murderer," and neither are you aiding and abetting a "criminal organization." See the difference?
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 3:24 PM on November 24, 2010


The difference is that the NRA doesn't murder people, while the FRC actually says hateful things and pursues an agenda based on hating gay people,
posted by Astro Zombie at 3:28 PM on November 24, 2010 [2 favorites]


I like how now, Godwin's law can be used to keep you from pointing out when someone is actually acting like a Nazi, because if you did you would use the word "Nazi" and the Internet wouldn't like it.
posted by mobunited at 3:29 PM on November 24, 2010 [5 favorites]


I would hate to see SPLC stupidly demonized and have office-holding Democrats not have the balls to stand up for it with righteous passion.

Like they did for ACORN? Oh, wait.

The problem is not that the SPLC is wrong, even if it upsets the Tea Partiers and the good churchgoing folks in the heartland. (Reminder: that S in SPLC is for Southern. They are in the heartland of churchgoing folks, thanks.) The problem with Democrats not standing up for the SPLC and/or against the FRC is that the Democrats in question lack spine and fortitude, whether testicular or intestinal. That creates a problem for the SPLC, maybe, but it's not one they should solve by refusing to call the haters on their hate.
posted by immlass at 3:30 PM on November 24, 2010 [4 favorites]


valkyryn, are there any groups that you think it would be wise to call "hate groups"? I guess what I'm trying to get at is whether you are objecting to the term itself, because a lot of your arguments sound like they could be used as arguments against any use of the term "hate group".
posted by overglow at 3:30 PM on November 24, 2010 [2 favorites]


Maybe I'm biased because I know some pro-NRA types and I don't (to my knowledge) know anybody who wants to criminalize homosexuality, but isn't there a significant difference between the two? I don't support the NRA, but I understand how people might feel they need a gun to protect themselves, and would get all pointy at the second amendment if you try to argue with them about it.

It's like that Louis C.K. routine -- he's riffing on the idea of the courts ruling on issues related to homosexuality -- and it's like -- what is there on the anti-gay side but hate and more hate with a side of fear and with some a big helping of suppressed sexuality.
posted by angrycat at 3:31 PM on November 24, 2010 [1 favorite]


By all means, do so. But labeling it "hate speech" and making up an official-sounding classification that includes the KKK is doing more than just "calling" it. It's kind of a reverse Godwin. You went there. Having a normal conversation now is going to be quite a bit more difficult than before.

The assumption that a 'normal' conversation with people who support the FRC was ever possible is just adorable.

The real conversation is for cowardly middle-of-the-road types who know this garbage is wrong and have thus far been afraid to say so out loud.
posted by device55 at 3:33 PM on November 24, 2010 [3 favorites]


I think it's funny that several people up above mention growing up in households that got James Dobson's newsletter, because I grew up in a household that got the SPLC's newsletter. (It was also a Christian household where James Dobson and his ilk were very much not welcome.) Both of my parents grew up in the segregated South, and my mom grew up with gay relatives in that same segregated South, and they were committed that their kids would grow up in a world as different from that one as they could make it.

In our family being anti-hate is simply part of who are. And so we subscribed to and read Teaching Tolerance and what was then called Klan Watch (and I think now is Hate Watch) and we talked openly and frequently about the hate we saw in our world. I have heard the evil that comes out of James Dobson's mouth about raising children and I have heard the evil that comes out of his followers mouths about homosexuals. And I think it's laughable that in the face of that, and in the face of all the evil they have fought in the past, anyone could think for a moment that the SPLC is any more wrong about the FRC than they were about the Klan or the militia movement or the Minutemen.
posted by hydropsyche at 3:36 PM on November 24, 2010 [14 favorites]


I have to point out one of my favorite SPLC projects The Hate Map. They keep track of where those fuckers are and what they're up to, and they know about them long before they manage to get organized enough to blow up nightclubs or federal buildings in Oklahoma City.
posted by hydropsyche at 3:42 PM on November 24, 2010 [7 favorites]


I think it's funny that several people up above mention growing up in households that got James Dobson's newsletter, because I grew up in a household that got the SPLC's newsletter.

Me too. Teaching Tolerance still comes to my parent's house every month. The SPLC loves teachers, and my Mom is one (a preschool teacher). They give her free books and educational programs to teach the children in her facility about tolerance and that being different doesn't make you bad.
posted by SkylitDrawl at 3:42 PM on November 24, 2010 [2 favorites]


Brilliant move, jerkasses: you've completely alienated a ton of people who might actually have agreed with you on the FRC's treatment of gays.

Well now all those "have a nice day homophobes" might wake up and start to understand what the extremes of the organization they support are actually saying and instead of silently condoning it (because of the other "great" work that FRC does), they might speak up and kick the extremists out. Sounds like mission accomplished to me.
posted by Long Way To Go at 4:02 PM on November 24, 2010 [4 favorites]


Wake me up when we start treating these bigots as the existential threat that they are.
posted by Fuka at 4:03 PM on November 24, 2010 [2 favorites]


valkryn, I agree with you, and I think others do as well, in that I think the consquences you're describing are realistic. Calling it hate speech really does politicize it and it really will give conservative groups ammunition.

Here's the rub, though:

The classifier wants said speech to be forcibly removed from public discourse.

Hateful speech should be removed from the public discourse. Or, at the very least, should not be allowed to stand without being criticized for what it is.

It completely short circuits any kind of political co-existence with said group by denying its very legitimacy.

The legitimacy of hateful groups should be denied.

So now anyone who agrees with them that expressing one's moral opinion is protected speech is lumped in with the KKK as a purveyor of hate by the SLPC.

If one's moral opinion is hateful towards a protected minority, than the expression of it should lump one in with other purveyors of hate. (Defending a purveyor of hate on freedom of expression grounds doesn't make you hateful in my book, but it is risky territory.)

In the abstract sense, not talking about this group in particular but some arbitrary group making comments about some type of person, you can imagine the existence of a line in the sand, wherein it is possible to imagine the speech and the group as over the line. Like a white supremacist group, for example. A violent and nasty one, if necessary; just imagine something so bad that everyone agrees that they're over the line, wherever the line is. At some point the admittedly valuable goals of maintaining polite civil discourse and not alienating political opponents has to be outweighed by the need to stand up for the groups that these political opponents are oppressing. Some viewpoints should not be debated in public with equal legitimacy to both sides; some groups should not be given equal airtime simply out of respect for their position. Because if a viewpoint which oppresses a minority (for example) is discussed legitimately in the public discourse, then the oppression of this minority will continue in public society. If the oppression of this minority is thought to be reasonable, how will you ever be able to protect them, and convince others that they need protection?

We're calling it what it is, in our opinion -- oppression. The consequences you cited seem eminently reasonable to me. I don't care if the right can use this as ammunition. If they're going to agitate for the right to oppress, let them. The arc of history is long, and all that.
posted by PercussivePaul at 4:18 PM on November 24, 2010 [3 favorites]


… if classifying them as a "hate group" is anything more than an attempt to delegitimize them ideologically then it seems like a horrible precedent. We should not be questioning their freedom to advocate for their views, however repellent …

No. Utter bullshit.

This organization advocates legislation that would make it permissible to imprison people for being gay.

That kind of legislation is not okay. We no longer have laws that make it permissible to imprison someone based on their race (though that kind of discrimination still happens in less blatant and direct ways), and we no longer have laws that discriminate against women by prohibiting them from voting or owning property (though many of the social mechanisms which maintain gender inequality still exist, even if the legal ones have been dismantled).

Anti-gay legislation is exactly the same thing. It has no place in a civilized democracy. Anti-gay organizations should no more have a seat at the table than white supremacist groups or misogynist groups. (Would you complain if the organization the SPLC had labeled a "hate group" was calling for the imprisonment of blacks or Jews?)

No one is curtailing the FRC's freedom to espouse its hateful rhetoric. The SPLC has simply called the FRC what it is: a group that advocates hateful and discriminatory social policies. If the FRC has the free-speech right to say that faggots should be thrown in jail because they're disgusting perverts, then the SPLC has the free-speech right to say that the FRC are despicable assholes.

The methods the FRC uses—terrorism and lynching, or lobbying and legislation—are immaterial. The end result is the same: the minorities they target are disenfranchised, singled out for unfair treatment, and denied their Constitutional rights as citizens. In fact, I agree with those in this thread who say the FRC's methods are more harmful than the KKK's. A few lynchings and cross-burnings, done under cowardly cover of hood and night, are tragic and disgusting. But the legislation the FRC advocates would grant Federal authority and legal legitimacy to uniformed police to behave similarly.

A few KKK thugs acting outside the law are domestic terrorists. State-sanctioned police rounding up members of a scapegoated minority, with the full endorsement of the country's legislative and judicial apparatus, is fascism.

The FRC's ideology delegitimizes itself. It has no basis in reason or fact. It is intellectually and morally bankrupt, and it should be treated as such.
posted by ixohoxi at 4:19 PM on November 24, 2010 [25 favorites]


their primary target is keeping their own business running, through donations.If they magically got everything they wanted, they'd find something else to hate, because, you know, you have to bring in revenue.

In this I think the FRC and SPLC can be considered fellow travelers. If every group that the SPLC considers purveyors of went away tomorrow I think Morris Dees would have to invent some new ones to keep the donations rolling in and his face in front of the cameras. It wouldn't surprise the cynic in me in the least to find that Dobson and Dees planned this whole thing over dinner to take their fundraising up a notch.
posted by MikeMc at 4:21 PM on November 24, 2010


Really? There's no difference between the FRC and the Klu Klux Klan? The former is an active political lobbying group which works entirely within the legal system. The latter is a semi-secretive organization known for lynching people fifty years ago. And it's okay to put them in the same category? Really?

FTFY.

To answer your question, though: Yes, absolutely. Both organizations exist primarily for the purpose of promoting hatred and bigotry. Ipso facto, hate groups. QED.

They can also both be filed in the categories "Political Activists," "American Citizens," and "Groups What's Got People In 'Em." O NOES!!! Yes, many very different things may be grouped together under the same umbrella; that is how categorization works. These two groups, however, really aren't all that different from one another, except that one has a strong political influence while the other has silly hoods.
posted by Sys Rq at 4:25 PM on November 24, 2010 [3 favorites]


If every group that the SPLC considers purveyors of went away tomorrow I think Morris Dees would have to invent some new ones to keep the donations rolling in and his face in front of the cameras. It wouldn't surprise the cynic in me in the least to find that Dobson and Dees planned this whole thing over dinner to take their fundraising up a notch.

I heard this when I was working Legal Services. I think the phrase was 'poverty pimps' or the like. The idea was there wasn't bad shit goin' on, we were just filing lawsuits to amuse ourselves.

That was nonsense; how is it right to say X group needs donations therefore their cause is invalid?
posted by angrycat at 4:27 PM on November 24, 2010 [1 favorite]


Maybe you don't like the hate speech laws.

The US does not have "hate speech laws." We have hate crimes laws.


Exactly.

BTW -- I, personally, prefer the term 'bias crime' to 'hate crime.'

Hate crime legislation that has been in place since 1969 has never punished anyone "because of their speech or beliefs."

The Free Speech argument is old, lame and specious.
"Social and religious conservatives generally oppose the [Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention] bill [which is now law]. Many ignore the protections that the bill would give to women, men, the disabled, and heterosexuals. They appear to be concerned almost exclusively with protections given to persons of one sexual orientation: homosexuals. They are concerned that a person who verbally attacks gays or lesbians could be charged under the act if any violent or criminal act resulted from the speech. This appears to be a misinterpretation of the bill, because it could only be applied to a person who has actually committed a crime. Speeches attacking gays and lesbians are not a criminal behavior; they are protected speech under the First Amendment."
And ... since 2009 sexual orientation has been recognized as a protected class. So, if you experience a bias crime because you're straight, gay, lesbian, etc., you are deemed a protected class. Straights as much as LGBT benefit from such a designation! The right-wing, conservative Christians conveniently forget to relaize that they, themselves, are protected from hate/bias crimes.

Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention -- aka Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act -- passed on October 28, 2009. It expanded the 1969 United States federal hate-crime law to include crimes motivated by a victim's actual or perceived gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, or disability.

BTW -- the FBI considers hate/bias crimes to be terrorism.
"A hate crime is a traditional offense like murder, arson, or vandalism with an added element of bias. For the purposes of collecting statistics, Congress has defined a hate crime as a 'criminal offense against a person or property motivated in whole or in part by an offender's bias against a race, religion, disability, ethnic origin or sexual orientation.' Hate itself is not a crime—and the FBI is mindful of protecting freedom of speech and other civil liberties.

...Investigating hate crime is the number one priority of our Civil Rights Program. Why? Not only because hate crime has a devastating impact on families and communities, but also because groups that preach hatred and intolerance plant the seeds of terrorism here in our country."
posted by ericb at 4:31 PM on November 24, 2010 [4 favorites]


It's almost Thanksgiving here. I'm openly gay and since falling on some hard financial times (I lost my business during the housing crunch in California), I have been living with my parents while I search for work...at 42 years old. Yesterday my nephew fixed a deep-fried turkey for dinner; my niece came over with her daughter and we all gathered around it and ended up eating almost a quarter of the bird before it was even carved up - the meat just fell off the damn thing it was sooooo unbelievably tender.

That said, I don't have a damned thing to add to this discussion. I visit Metafilter several times throughout the day but almost never comment. In the spirit of the holiday, however, I just wanted to say: I'm so thankful for Metafilter. I can almost always count on a vital, stimulating discussion. And on topics like this, I can always count on not just one, but several people to have already made all the points that I would have made, more eloquently than I would've made them and so I get to run down threads functioning as an invisible comment-favorite fairy.
posted by zylocomotion at 4:32 PM on November 24, 2010 [36 favorites]


"Every act of violence is tragic and harmful in its consequences, but not all crime is based on hate. A hate crime or bias motivated crime occurs when the perpetrator of the crime intentionally selects the victim because of who the victim is. A bias motivated crime affects not only the victim and their family but an entire community or category of people and their families. A study funded by the Bureau of Justice Statistics released September 2000, shows that 85 percent of law enforcement officials surveyed recognize bias motivated violence to be more serious than similar crimes not motivated by bias.

Hate crimes are destructive and divisive. A random act of violence resulting in injury or even death is a tragic event that devastates the lives of the victim and their family, but the intentional selection and beating or murder of an individual because of who they are terrorizes an entire community and sometimes the nation. For example, it is easy to recognize the difference between check-kiting and a cross burning; or the arson of an office building versus the intentional torching of a church or synagogue. The church or synagogue burning has a profound impact on the congregation, the faith community, the greater community, and the nation.

According to FBI statistics, of the over 113,000 hate crimes since 1991, 55% were motivated by racial bias, 17% by religious bias, 14% sexual orientation bias, 14% ethnicity bias, and 1% disability bias.

The [Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention -- aka Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention] Act is supported by thirty-one state Attorneys General and over 210 national law enforcement, professional, education, civil rights, religious, and civic organizations, including the AFL-CIO, the American Medical Association, the American Psychological Association, and the NAACP. A November 2001 poll indicated that 73% of Americans favor hate-crime legislation covering sexual orientation." *
posted by ericb at 4:38 PM on November 24, 2010 [3 favorites]


That was nonsense; how is it right to say X group needs donations therefore their cause is invalid?

I'm just sayin' that no matter the ideology both of those guys are attention whores and the organizations they founded live on donations. Gotta keep the hate and/or fear on the increase to keep the money rolling in. It's not that isn't bad shit going on but I'm very distrustful of organizations that are centered around one charismatic leader that rely on donations for their income. James Dobson, Morris Dees, Benny Hinn, Jesse Jackson, whatever...
posted by MikeMc at 4:40 PM on November 24, 2010


Well, three cheers for unsupported cynicism. I actually think that's what the road to hell is paced with.
posted by Astro Zombie at 4:47 PM on November 24, 2010 [1 favorite]


Yes, paced. Like in NASCAR.
posted by Astro Zombie at 4:48 PM on November 24, 2010 [4 favorites]


Leave it to the American Left, such as it is, to turn the great news of a hate group being labeled as such into a circular firing squad.
posted by DU at 4:57 PM on November 24, 2010 [6 favorites]


What kind of pace car? Like Grandpa's dragster from the Munsters? Anyway, established organizations don't just say "Our work here is done." and close up shop. There's always another battle, always another enemy.
posted by MikeMc at 4:57 PM on November 24, 2010


Well, alas, the reason for that is because problems don't close up shop and go away either.

I was thinking more like Dracula's dragster from the model set.
posted by Astro Zombie at 5:02 PM on November 24, 2010 [1 favorite]


If every group that the SPLC considers purveyors of went away tomorrow I think Morris Dees would have to invent some new ones to keep the donations rolling in and his face in front of the cameras.

On what planet is there any chance at all of hate groups going away? You understand that there are still people out there calling themselves the Klan and Nazis? That in the 80's and 90's they invented the militia movement? That the 21st century brought us the Minutemen? That they also keep track of Black Separatists groups like the Nuwabians (google those folks if you want to hear some crazy hateful stuff that is new and different)?

I'm sorry you hate Morris Dees, but the idea that the SPLC exists primarily to collect donations, and not to sue the Klan out of existence and keep tabs on the hate groups before they kill people (that the FBI can't be bothered to do) is so out of touch with reality of the ways truly despicable people are operating in our country right now that I hope this is all just a joke you're telling badly.
posted by hydropsyche at 5:11 PM on November 24, 2010 [4 favorites]


> I have to point out one of my favorite SPLC projects, The Hate Map. They keep track
> of where those fuckers are and what they're up to

Wow, they've got a dozen in New York City alone. I wonder why they gave those notorious gay-bashers at the United Nations a pass?
posted by jfuller at 5:21 PM on November 24, 2010


I fucking hate being a liberal sometimes and having to listen to all this concern trolling bullshit. Go find bizzaro conservative Metafilter and concern troll there, tell them not to treat gays like subhumans because they will lose votes.

Nobody fucking tsks tsks the right when they go on an on about how terrible liberals are and how they want to destroy the country. No one whines to Limbaugh that he is being mean and scaring away liberal voters. No one whines that the religious right is too harsh in defending the rights of Christians from oppression and JUST BE NICE and your oppressors will leave you alone. Fuck off.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 5:22 PM on November 24, 2010 [23 favorites]


I'm not totally convinced that that's true, to be honest. You hear all the noise that Palin et al make about liberal elitism, being out of touch with ordinary Americans, and generally trying to make conservative positions socially and politically verboten?
Yes, I am familiar with it. I used to make that noise. Would you like to see back issues of the newsletter I published for seven years, with the fawning interviews with Henry Hyde, Jay Sekulow, and other conservative luminaries? With the "Call To Action" section informing readers of the latest liberal threats to Christian freedom? No? Because let me tell you about how the NEA and the ACLU are working to make our faith illegal!

Palin is simply the most recent amplifier of the internal narrative of conservative persecution. It's been a deeply embedded part of the social conservative psyche since at least the mid 1980s, when I jumped in with both feet. The telling part is that this persecution narrative is always the same: it doesn't matter who's in power, where the political winds are blowing, or what the issues of the day are. The rallying cry is always that The liberals are not true Americans, their ideas are not American ideas, and their disagreement with our ideas is an attack on our right to hold them. Ironically, of course, conservative attacks on liberal ideas are subject to none of the same hand-wringing: that's simply a vigorous defense of American values.
This is exactly the kind of thing they're talking about.
No, it is not. Everything is exactly the kind of thing they're talking about. They will scream persecution if someone publicly disagrees with them. They will scream persecution if they are forced to share office space with openly gay people. They will scream persecution if national consensus on any issue moves out of sync with their own views.

This brand of conservatives, ironically, have learned the lessons of the shrillest postmodern leftists. Their all-encompassing, totalizing narrative of persecution knows no trigger, knows no solution, knows no victory. Imagine a crazy neighbor who screams "RAPE!" at the top of her lungs if you approach her in public, and you have a fair approximation of the dynamic. They rely on the exhaustion of their opponents and the endless, bristling paranoia of the faithful.
Second, it gives massive fodder to the right wing in its persecution complex because it's actually calling for them to be persecuted.
No, it is not "actually calling for them to be persecuted." It is the labeling of one lobbying organization as a "Hate Group" based on the laws and policies that it actively, publicly lobbies for. The fact that they will scream persecution over this incident is not noteworthy, as they scream persecution over anyincident in which they are not publicly fellated.
...Categorizing something as "hate speech" is a blatant attempt to categorize an opinion as being outside the protections of the law. Fortunately, the courts have taken a pretty dim view of this, though in countries which don't have an equivalent to the First Amendment, hate speech regulations are aggressively used.
As others have noted, calling something "Hate Speech" has nothing to do with making it illegal. One sentence later you point that out yourself. The question of whether it should or should not be illegal is separate from the question of whether something is hate speech -- the logical conclusion of your argument is the elimination of the classification entirely just in case someone makes it illegal later. Ironically, many of the same conservatives who bristle at the words "hate speech" when it's applied to groups like the FRC are quick to denigrate the work of groups like the ACLU to protect publicly unpopular, and even hateful, expression. They're happy to see unpopular speech outlawed: they simply don't want to see their speech become unpopular.

If you'd like to argue that there's no such thing as a hate group, or that there is no such thing as hate speech, fire away. If you would like to argue specifically that the FRC's publicly stated positions do not qualify it as a hate group by the SPLC's criteria, feel free to do that. But you're too smart to fall back on these squirmy arguments: let the crazy people have their crazy talk, and stick to arguments worthy of your intelligence.
posted by verb at 5:30 PM on November 24, 2010 [23 favorites]


I think they're trying to say that FRC's views should be outside the bounds of acceptable political discourse—not illegal. Just like it's not in the mainstream discourse to say that black people should be re-enslaved or segregation re-enacted or women denied the vote.

Why is this even a controversy?
posted by Maias at 6:05 PM on November 24, 2010 [10 favorites]


"Why is this even a controversy?"

RAPE
posted by verb at 6:06 PM on November 24, 2010 [1 favorite]


These are categories to which people argue that some free-speech protections don't apply.

People already say that cutting someone's liver out and forcing it down their throat after they threaten you is not protected by free-speech and free-expression laws.

In for a penny is in for a pound I say.

Uh, Sicilian heritage month!
posted by Kid Charlemagne at 6:08 PM on November 24, 2010


Thank you Southern Poverty Law Center for saying what needs to be said.
posted by Daddy-O at 6:28 PM on November 24, 2010 [2 favorites]


They rant about 'equal rights,' without explaining how homosexuality deserves it.

You have to deserve equal rights now?
posted by binturong at 7:08 PM on November 24, 2010 [10 favorites]


This is all more saddening, coming just a few days after the Transgender Day of Remembrance.
posted by jiawen at 7:19 PM on November 24, 2010


I'm sorry you hate Morris Dees,

I don't "hate" Morris Dees but I am leery of people and organizations that use fear as a fundraiser and doubly so for organizations so closely associated with one person. I am a longtime (almost 20 years) member of, and donor to, the ACLU and in the past have been a regular donor to The Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law but something about Mr. Dees sets the needle of my huckster meter to quivering.
posted by MikeMc at 7:23 PM on November 24, 2010


I don't "hate" Morris Dees but I am leery of people and organizations that use fear as a fundraiser and doubly so for organizations so closely associated with one person. I am a longtime (almost 20 years) member of, and donor to, the ACLU and in the past have been a regular donor to The Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law but something about Mr. Dees sets the needle of my huckster meter to quivering.
This is a fair observation, MikeMc, and there's a real danger in defending someone blindly because they condemn organizations that we condemn. I don't know enough about Dees, and I haven't taken time to sift through SPLC's recent history to determine what's fact and what's the delirious spin of David Duke's apologists. (Literally -- they have several Very Serious Web Pages explicitly staying that Morris Dees is a pedophile, a sexually abusive spouse, and a felon.)

Whether the SPLC is a trustworthy organization, though, is separate from the question of "Should the FRC be called a hate group due to its publicly advocated political positions." It's telling that outside the really repugnant openly racist circles, the objections to the SPLC seems to be that it's simply "too liberal."
posted by verb at 7:38 PM on November 24, 2010


Seriously, why does anyone think it is their business whether someone is gay or straight?

It only matters when you're interested in someone romantically or sexually, but other than that, what difference does it make?

The sooner people start treating others with respect the happier we will all be.
posted by bwg at 7:52 PM on November 24, 2010


So this categorization as a "hate group" ... completely short circuits any kind of political co-existence with said group by denying its very legitimacy. This also acts to short-circuit dialog with anyone who is even mildly sympathetic to the FRC for any of its other work by imputing bad faith to their motives. The FRC does a lot of work in religious liberty and pro-life activism too. So now anyone who agrees with them that expressing one's moral opinion is protected speech is lumped in with the KKK as a purveyor of hate by the SLPC...Second, it gives massive fodder to the right wing in its persecution complex because it's actually calling for them to be persecuted.

The Nation of Islam, a non-violent, law-abiding and snappily-dressed organization has great moral opinions that a lot of people agree with, and it was designated a hate group by SPLC. Because, you know, it's also chock-full of hate for whitey, especially Jew whitey.

And what about those poor Westboro Baptist Church folks, who never do anything violent, and just like to put in a good showing at funerals? They never lynched anyone. They just carry signs and occasionally chant. They believe everything the right wing does, and then some, and they're being persecuted, too, as a hate group. I would think that if people who identified strongly with the FRC felt unfairly targeted by the SPLC, they'd already have been alienated by this action against poor Reverend Phelps. What a shame, to use politically charged terms to suggest that Westboro has no place in political discourse.

The SPLC tracks a lot of hate groups, not just the militias and murderers. "Lumped in as purveyors of hate" indeed - people who are sympathetic to hate groups *are* purveyors of hate. Denying those groups and their viewpoints legitimacy is a perfectly reasonable thing to do.

But it's closely connected to their support of hate-crime laws that essentially criminalize holding certain views (even if only while committing other crimes)

You've got the SPLC all wrong. They let law enforcement handle the hate crimes, the violence against people motivated by hate. SPLC's main weapon is the lawsuit. They pursue hate *speech* as an intentional tort, not a crime. Whole different proposition.
posted by gingerest at 7:55 PM on November 24, 2010 [9 favorites]


But it's closely connected to their support of hate-crime laws that essentially criminalize holding certain views (even if only while committing other crimes)

Hate crimes laws do not do this.

Here's an example. You kill a person for the sole reason that they are gay. You leave the corpse in an alley with a note that says 'one less homo'.

Crime 1: You have committed murder.
Crime 2: You have committed an act of terror against the entire gay community.

The second one is a hate crime. It's not the motive that is criminalised - it is the targeting of an individual of a specific class with the intent of intimidating the entire class.

You can hate gay people all you want. In the US, you can even tell as many people as you want how much you hate gay people. That's protected speech. What you can't do is terrorise gay people.

Sorry for the derail, but it's an important point.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 8:20 PM on November 24, 2010 [15 favorites]


Operation Rescue next, please.
posted by JLovebomb at 9:34 PM on November 24, 2010


First, it completely short circuits any kind of political co-existence with said group by denying its very legitimacy.

Group A exists, as a political entity. Group A's goal as a political entity is to see its members not be victimized or treated differently under the law merely for being part of Group A. Group B also exists, as a political entity. Group B's goal, both in statement and in action, is to see every member of Group A executed or imprisoned by the state, merely for being a member of Group A - this is, in fact, Group B's entire reason for existing as a political entity.

It doesn't matter whether Group A is women, or blacks, or homosexuals, or whatever. Political existence is impossible, and so long as Group B remains Group B it will remain impossible. Do you really not understand that? Do you see both groups sitting down at a table, Group A wanting to be unharmed and Group B seeking the death of everybody in Group A, them compromising on simply beating Group A half to death, and everybody shaking hands and posing for the photo op? There is no room for political coexistence with someone who wants to kill you - either their view is disenfranchised, or you get killed.

Perhaps you think it is unfair or inaccurate to classify the FRC as a Group B, here. Fortunately, the SPLC has compiled a lot of reasons why it's an apt description, and there's no shortage of independent documentation if you care to look.
posted by kafziel at 9:48 PM on November 24, 2010 [7 favorites]


it completely short circuits any kind of political co-existence with said group

When someone implies that they'd like to wipe out you and your kind, by outright stating that they oppose any policy or action that would celebrate or affirm, their wet dream is clearly to intimidate and push LGBT people back to the 50s, and they're not shy about it.

I take that as a likely clue that they're not interested in 'political co-existence'.

I'm all for taking the tactical high road, with blinders off and a winning strategy. The -majority- of Americans are turned off by extremism. It isn't a winner, it's stooping to the level. Pixar responding with an "It Gets Better" message IS a winner. Let them seethe.
posted by Twang at 11:16 PM on November 24, 2010 [3 favorites]



This couldn't possibly have anything to do with the fact that many queer kids grow up being told they are wrong, bad, sinful, dirty, will bring shame on the family, will go to hell, are beaten and abused for not being heterosexual, etc. No, queers have depression and substance abuse issues because being queer "causes" those issues.

Fucking lying dirtbags.


And, you can say pretty much the same thing about any discriminated group, especially when they are discriminated against for a quality that they are born with - like skin color, unusual behavior (Asbergers), sexual preference difference. In fact, these groups represent the American Taliban, and should be referred to, as such. KKK isn't strong enough. Most young people have no memory of the latter. Yes, American Taliban. You heard it coined on the blue - Use it! Use it prolifically! Let's get the meme going!
posted by Vibrissae at 11:34 PM on November 24, 2010


cough cough
posted by kafziel at 11:37 PM on November 24, 2010 [3 favorites]


it completely short circuits any kind of political co-existence with said group

Co-existance worked out well for Jews in Europe, didn't it?

And since it got unfashionable to bash Jews after the camps were discovered, and Commies became irrelevant in the 90s, I swear you could just grab some old Coughlin, do a s/Jew/gay/ and you'd be a hit on the right-wing media circut in the US.
posted by rodgerd at 12:41 AM on November 25, 2010


Considering that the Family Research Council, and its parent organization, have been supporters of the methods of the No Greater Joy (Discussed here on the blue") , and that James Dobson of FotF has promoted 'religiously motivated child abuse', I think that their hate-group appearance is deeper than just their screaming about how Gays Will Mess Up Everything Cause Our Particular Idea Of A Big Sky Man Said So.

They hate gays, lesbians, bisexuals, react with utter horror and loathing about transsexual/transgender folk, and think it's a good idea to hit your kids a lot.

I'm missing what isn't hateful here. I really am.
posted by mephron at 3:28 AM on November 25, 2010 [8 favorites]


It's about time!
posted by jeffburdges at 5:11 AM on November 25, 2010


*CareBear-Stares the FRC*
posted by Theta States at 6:36 AM on November 25, 2010 [4 favorites]


"You hear all the noise that Palin et al make about liberal elitism, being out of touch with ordinary Americans, and generally trying to make conservative positions socially and politically verboten?"

verb touched most of the high points in rebutting this. I just want to add that gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgendered, queer, genderqueer, etc. people and their families and friends are part of "ordinary Americans", and it sounds like the SPLC is quite in touch with and aware of their experiences. Like the experiences they sometimes have of being bullied in school, being bullied in their post-school life, getting beaten up, getting severely beaten up, getting severely beaten up to the point of being killed, developing mental health problems, committing suicide, being denied housing, being denied hospital visitation rights when a partner is ill or dying, being denied rights to raise or even visit their children when the biological parent dies, being denied rights to make legal decisions for a long term life partner who has become incapacitated, being denied the ability to keep their family together while immigrating to the U.S., and so on, or the experience of having a friend or loved one go through any of that stuff.

(Note: that's a list of experiences that many ordinary Americans have as a result of attitudes and policies that the FRC supports. No, the FRC (unlike many of the other organizations on the SPLC's list) does not explicitly support killing gays. On the other hand, it does oppose school anti-bullying programs that would prevent homophobic bullying, which can take the form of physical bullying and violence as kids get older and eventually become adults, and which would also address the mental health and suicide issues.)
posted by eviemath at 7:42 AM on November 25, 2010 [2 favorites]


[few comments removed - folks, if you can't have conversations without attacking other users, please walk away or head to metatalk, thanks]
posted by jessamyn at 9:10 AM on November 25, 2010


Anti-gay group: We aren't hateful!
posted by homunculus at 12:28 PM on November 25, 2010


It seems weird to look at two hate groups and object to them being lumped together because one group wears hats.
posted by klangklangston at 12:45 PM on November 25, 2010 [7 favorites]


I'm perpetually baffled at the idea that we can negotiate with bigots politically on any level, much less by refusing to call them out as bigots.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 10:03 AM on November 26, 2010


Tony Perkins of the FRC responds to his group's designation by SPLC as a "hate group," claiming they are the victims of a smear campaign and demanding an apology.
"Family Research Council has, for nearly 30 years, advanced faith, family, and freedom in public discourse. We do so with civility and compassion. We hold to the indisputable fact that the family - a Dad, a Mom, and children - is the best building block of a good society, which is why we oppose efforts to transform it based on personal sexual preference.

"The Southern Poverty Law Center is a massively funded liberal organization that operates under a veneer of public justice when, in fact, they seem more interested in fundraising ploys than fighting wrongdoing.

"This is a deliberately timed smear campaign by the SPLC. The Left is losing the debate over ideas and the direction of public policy so all that is left for them is character assassination. It's a sad day in America when we can not, with integrity, have a legitimate discussion over policy issues that are being considered by Congress, legislatures, and the courts without resorting to juvenile tactics of name calling.

"The Left's smear campaigns of conservatives is also being driven by the clear evidence that the American public is losing patience with their radical policy agenda as seen in the recent election and in the fact that every state, currently more than thirty, that has had the opportunity to defend the natural definition of marriage has done so. Earlier this month, voters in Iowa sent a powerful message when they removed three Supreme Court justices who imposed same-sex marriage on the state. Would the SPLC also smear the good people of Iowa?

"Family Research Council will continue to champion marriage and family as the foundation of our society and will not acquiesce to those seeking to silence the Judeo-Christian views held by millions of Americans. We call on the Southern Poverty Law Center to apologize for this slanderous attack and attempted character assassination."
posted by ericb at 10:15 AM on November 26, 2010


NOM's Brian Brown statement regarding FRC's designation as a "hate group":
"This is about protecting marriage. This isn't about being anti-anyone. The whole idea that somehow those folks who stand up for traditional marriage, like the Family Research Council, are hateful is wrong. [The law center is] trying to marginalize and intimidate folks for standing up for marriage and also trying to equate them somehow to the KKK."
posted by ericb at 10:16 AM on November 26, 2010


Family Research Council has, for nearly 30 years, advanced faith, family, and freedom in public discourse. We do so with civility and compassion. We hold to the indisputable fact that the family - a Dad, a Mom, and children - is the best building block of a good society, which is why we oppose efforts to transform it based on personal sexual preference.

[...]

Family Research Council will continue to champion marriage and family as the foundation of our society and will not acquiesce to those seeking to silence the Judeo-Christian views held by millions of Americans.


Family Research Council has, for nearly 30 years, defined "faith," "family," and "freedom" in appallingly narrow terms. They do so with disdain and disparagement. They hold the absurd opinion that only a family consisting of a Dad, a Mom, and children has any place in society, which is why they seek to oppress all groups and individuals who do not conform to their utopian ideal.

Family Research Council will continue to force their notions of marriage and family on society and will not stop conflating any disagreement with their ideology with wholesale oppression of the Judeo-Christian ethos.

FTFY.
posted by Sys Rq at 10:39 AM on November 26, 2010 [1 favorite]


Once again, the FRC and NOM refuse to defend the specifics of the policies and ideas they explicitly advocate -- rather, falling back on a vague defense of principles like "freedom" and "faith," ideas they know their credulous supporters will find unobjectionable and their foul-minded supporters will recognize as the dogwhistles they are.
posted by verb at 10:41 AM on November 26, 2010


"This is about protecting marriage. This isn't about being anti-anyone. The whole idea that somehow those folks who stand up for traditional marriage, like the Family Research Council, are hateful is wrong. [The law center is] trying to marginalize and intimidate folks for standing up for marriage and also trying to equate them somehow to the KKK."

"This is about protecting segregation. This isn't about being anti-anyone. The whole idea that those folks who stand up for traditional segregation, like the Ku Klux Klan, are hateful is wrong. [The law center is] trying to marginalize and intimidate folks for standing up for segregation and also trying to equate them somehow to the FRC."
posted by Sys Rq at 10:44 AM on November 26, 2010 [1 favorite]


In related news: Apple-Approved 'Anti-Gay' iPhone App Sparks Outrage.

Apple Removes Anti-Gay App From Library.
posted by ericb at 6:57 AM on November 27, 2010 [1 favorite]




Wendy Kaminer on hate speech.
posted by valkyryn at 5:33 AM on November 30, 2010


Wendy Kaminer on hate speech.

Well, more precisely, Wendy Kaminer on hate-speech-restricting legislation and differences in perception between the US and the UK in these matters.

(She does mention the matter addressed in this FPP, but only as a brief sideline to her main thesis.)
posted by hippybear at 7:02 AM on November 30, 2010


Can't stay away from this but the whole argument here is bad on a number of points:

Calling out hate speech feeds conservative persecution complexes. The problem with this argument is that conservatives generally treat civil rights as persecution of their opinions. Those of us who watch the FRC on a regular basis know that they consider pride parades and conventions as persecution of their Christian beliefs. When you're dealing with people who cry, "help I'm being oppressed" at every sign of disagreement, the only way to directly deal with their cries of persecution is to point out just how silly they are.

Calling out hate speech leads to violation of first-amendment rights. It's an old conservative canard that's so widely applied as to be meaningless ranging from "political correctness" to the "War on Christmas." The First Amendment prohibits the government from exercising prior restraint. It does not prohibit disagreement and criticism. When we have legislation on the table that exercises prior restraint, then we can talk about this threat. Until then, this is needless fearmongering.

Calling out hate speech treats groups as illegitimate. I don't see a problem with this. When a group is known for routinely taking contrarian positions and promulgating false statements about millions of Americans, then we likely should consider their statements illegitimate until they stop lying through their teeth. Attempting to negotiate with the FRC assumes that they are willing and capable of good-faith negotiation, and that's something they're unwilling to do.

Calling out hate groups alienates moderates. Whenever this comes up, I'm reminded of MLK's harsh condemnation of white moderates. It's not the SPLC's job to woo moderates, that job falls on Obama's shoulders. One of the SPLC's jobs is:

"We track the activities of hate groups and domestic terrorists across America, and we launch innovative lawsuits that seek to destroy networks of radical extremists."

There's a deep double-standard here where the FRC can claim that LGBT activism is motivated by deep anti-Christian bias without any evidence, while the SPLC can't make a well-documented case that the FRC acts on the basis of anti-gay bigotry.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 9:27 AM on November 30, 2010 [10 favorites]


Apple Removes Anti-Gay App From Library.

Christians Hit Back at Apple for Blocking 'Anti-Gay' App.
posted by ericb at 9:50 AM on December 4, 2010


From the comments section of the Manhattan Declaration, which developed the app:

Don Guillermo 03 Dec
Apparently Orwell's 1984 has arrived, albeit 26 years late. This is totalitarianism. Very well. Apple's profits will now be less than they would have been had Apple not yielded to anti-Christian, tyrannical pro-aborts and homosexualists. If the Manhattan Declaration application is not restored to Apple's iPhone/iPad, orthodox Christians will simply boycott Apple's products. I dare say that we rather outnumber the poor, deluded souls with whom Apple has allied itself in war against us.

posted by rtha at 3:04 PM on December 4, 2010


Heh. I dare say we rather outnumber the poor, deluded souls who are apt to mistake the removal of a single iPhone app for war.
posted by Sys Rq at 9:41 AM on December 5, 2010 [1 favorite]




FRC accuses SPLC of "cherrypicking" research.

My irony meter just blew up.
posted by rtha at 9:17 AM on December 6, 2010 [1 favorite]




Steve Jobs targeted in anti-gay iPhone app war
"A group representing hundreds of thousands of Christians developed an app to support life and traditional marriage, an approved app ... certified by Apple reviewers to contain no offensive material … what did Jobs do? He killed it and called those causes offensive … What’s happened over the years is that the iconic Steve Jobs has become the ironic Steve Jobs; he’s become Big Brother ... Tell Big Brother you won't be silenced."
posted by ericb at 3:18 PM on December 16, 2010


Steve Jobs targeted in anti-gay iPhone app war hissy fit
posted by Sys Rq at 3:22 PM on December 16, 2010


« Older "I wanna hold her hand and show her some beauty...   |   banelings banelings banelings, oooohhh... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments



Post