Family Research Council Named 'Hate Group' by Watchdog Organization

Article excerpt

Leaders of the Family Research Council (FRC) are seething over the Southern Poverty Law Center's designation of the prominent Religious Right outfit as a "hate group."

For years, the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) has tracked and monitored racist and anti-Semitic organizations across the country. In November, the organization issued a new bulletin analyzing hate-crimes data spanning 14 years. The report included crimes against gays and listed 18 groups with virulently anti-gay records.

Thirteen of the 18 anti-gay organizations were designated hate groups, and the FRC was on the list.

CNN reported that the SPLC said the 13 groups made the list "based on their propagation of known falsehoods - claims about LGBT people that have been thoroughly discredited by scientific authorities - and repeated, groundless name-calling."

To buttress its designation, the SPLC's report lists a number of unsubstantiated statements about gays by current and former FRC staffers. For example, two FRC researchers, Tim Dailey and Peter Sprigg, have linked homosexuality to pedophilia although there is no scientific basis for the allegation.

In March of 2008, Sprigg said he would rather export gays than allow them to immigrate into America. Although he did apologize for the statement, Sprigg later told MSNBC host Chris Matthews, "I think there would be a place for criminal sanctions on homosexual behavior."

Robert Knight, a former FRC employee, has a long history of extreme anti-gay activism. He once wrote, "[T]here is a strong current of pedophilia in the homosexual subculture. ... [T]hey want to promote a promiscuous society."

FRC President Tony Perkins was livid over the designation. …