Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC)

Oops! Southern Poverty Law Center Mistakes Peter LaBarbera for Paul Cameron

Thursday, May 6th, 2010

Update: leftist group fixes error but retains inaccurate claim about LaBarbera

Southern Poverty Law Center director Mark Potok sent AFTAH a snide message to point out a small factual error, yet for years the SPLC has confused AFTAH's Peter LaBarbera with Family Research Institute founder Paul Cameron on its website.

EDTIORS NOTE: After the publication of our article, the SPLC fixed the major error described below of (twice) confusing AFTAH President Peter LaBarbera for Family Research Institute founder Paul Cameron. However, the leftist group’s website retains one error, claiming that LaBarbera called for closing down all homosexual “establishments.” In actuality, LaBarbera called for closing down all “gay” sex clubs and bathhouses (where men go to have anonymous sexual encounters with other men) in the interest of protecting the public’s health.

By AFTAH Staff

The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), a left-wing organization under fire for expanding its “hate” designations beyond racist fringe groups to pro-family organizations like Americans For Truth About Homosexuality (AFTAH) and the conservative Tea Party movement — has mistaken AFTAH President Peter LaBarbera for Family Research Institute researcher Paul Cameron in two longstanding “Intelligence Report” posts on its website.

The sophomoric error first appeared in a Spring 2005 SPLC “Intelligence Report,” “A Mighty Army,” about pro-family organizations opposed to homosexuality (see the section on Page 3 of Concerned Women for America). It was repeated in a Summer 2006 SPLC “Intelligence Report” article, “Passive Aggressive,” by Heidi Beirich. Both fallacious reports have been posted on the Southern Poverty Law Center website for years and have been repeated by sympathetic liberal activists on the web. The SPLC, which raises and spends millions of dollars annually for its “anti-hate” political and research activities, works with government and law enforcement authorities to provide research on alleged “hate” groups.


The above excerpt from the 2005 Southern Poverty Law Center report "A Mighty Army" mistakes Peter LaBarbera, founder of Americans For Truth, with Paul Cameron, founder of Family Research Institute. The typo in the first sentence (should be "In") appears in the original report.

Ironically, after the Southern Poverty Law Center outrageously designated Americans For Truth as a “hate” website — urged on by the pro-communist “Gay Liberation Network” — SPLC director Mark Potok sent Americans For Truth the following snide e-mail message to correct an inadvertent error in a column by (AFTAH Board Member) Matt Barber:

I know you all value accuracy above all things — I can tell that from the fine and incisive quality of your writing and research. Therefore, I\’m sure you\’ll want to let Matt know that we\’re based in Montgomery, Ala., not Atlanta, Ga. I know these places all seem the same to you — kind of like the unspeakable horrors of homosexuality — but hey, they\’re not. Of course, Matt does appear incapable of doing any actual reporting — his little attack piece is a compendium of ancient quotes he dredges from a 10-year-old Harper\’s magazine article.

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‘Gay Liberation Network’ Leader Pronounces Catholic Church ‘Haters’

Tuesday, March 30th, 2010

“When you say that your organization is no more hateful than the Catholic church, we have a rare point of agreement. You are both haters.”Bob Schwartz, Gay Liberation Network

The Catholic Church should also be on the "hate" list, says Bob Schwartz of the Gay Liberation Network.

Bob Schwartz, a leader of the Gay Liberation Network, a Marxist “direct action” group that reportedly lobbied the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) to mislabel Americans For Truth as a “hate” website, sent the e-mail below to AFTAH through our website. Schwartz describes himself as a Trotskyist (after Bolshevik Leon Trotsky, who advocated worldwide communist revolution before being assassinated by a Soviet agent in Mexico in 1940). Communists have such a long and storied history defending human rights and individual rights and dignity, you know.

Note that you don’t have to agree with the Catholic Church’s handing of its homosexual/pedophile crisis (most Catholics I know do not) to see the absurdity of labeling the church a “hater” because it defends traditional sexual morality and natural marriage between a man and a woman. The folly of the SPLC’s expanding “hate” dragnet is that it threatens to engulf all religious/moral opposition to homosexuality. Indeed, it would be revealing to query the top 25 “GLBT” activist across the nation and ask them if they would also label, as Matt Barber pokes fun HERE, the following as “hate groups”: Family Research Council, AFA, the Roman Catholic Church, Focus on the Family, the Southern Baptist Convention and ADF. (I posed the question to one young “gay” activist, Alex Blaze, HERE, and received no response.)

[Homosexual activists] Wayne Besen/Evan Hurst/Joe Jervis/Jeremy Hooper/Rea Carey/[insert GLBT activist here]: take up the challenge!

Yes, we’re all “haters” now (except the likes of Schwartz, despite his bully tactics and GLN’s ugly, anti-Christian bigotry). And just like ObamaCare is padding the rolls of the IRS to keep Americans in “compliance” with government “health” mandates, perhaps the SPLC needs an infusion of Obama stimulus funds to expand its already large staff and huge budget to accommodate its “reporting” on the ever-expanding “hate” network.

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LISTEN – CWA: SPLC Takes ‘Hate Group’ Definition Too Far

Thursday, March 25th, 2010

SPLC co-founder Morris Dees once fought the Klan. Now his group targets pro-family Christians opposed to homosexual activism. The SPLC, lobbied by a pro-Communist homosexual organization, labeled AFTAH a "hate site."

Click HERE to listen to an interview by Concerned Women for America’s Martha Kleder with Matt Barber, a Board Member of AFTAH and Liberty Council’s Director of Cultural Affairs. CWA writes (links added):

Reports surfaced this week about Democrat lawmakers receiving threatening phone calls following the vote on health care reform. Interestingly, those news reports mentioned the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), which is noted for “tracking and exposing the activities of hate groups.” Also this week the SPLC named Americans for Truth about Homosexuality a hate group. With more on this overstep by SPLC and the wanton use of the term “hate” is Matt Barber, Director of Cultural Affairs for both the Liberty Counsel and Liberty Alliance Action.  Listen | Download

Barber: Southern Poverty Law Center Officially Declared ‘Left-Wing Hate Group’

Thursday, March 25th, 2010

Pictured above is the 'hateful' and 'violence-prone' Matt Barber, Board Member of Americans For Truth, in his days as a professional boxer.

By J. Matt Barber

Though always left of center, the Alabama-based Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) once had a reputation as a fairly objective civil rights group. Founded by direct-marketing millionaire Morris Dees and partner Joseph Levin Jr. in 1971, the SPLC made important and honorable contributions to many of the historic civil rights gains of the 20th Century. According to its own materials, the SPLC was “internationally known for tracking and exposing the activities of hate groups.”

Alas, “power corrupts,” as it goes, and the SPLC, having amassed tremendous power and wealth over the years, has regrettably become corrupt to its core. By way of an ever-escalating wave of “us-versus-them” money-grubbing schemes, Today’s SPLC has morphed into a far-left political activist outfit, famous for promoting a panoply of extreme liberal causes.

Ken Silverstein, writing for Harper’s Magazine, addressed this untoward metamorphosis in 2000:

“Today’s SPLC spends most of its time – and money – on a relentless fund-raising campaign, peddling memberships in the church of tolerance with all the zeal of a circuit rider passing the collection plate. ‘He’s the Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker of the civil rights movement,’ renowned anti-death-penalty lawyer Millard Farmer says of Dees, his former associate, ‘though I don’t mean to malign Jim and Tammy Faye.’

“The American Institute of Philanthropy gives the Center one of the worst ratings of any group it monitors,” continued Silverstein. “Morris Dees doesn’t need your financial support. The SPLC is already the wealthiest civil rights group in America, though [its fundraising literature] quite naturally omits that fact. … ‘Morris and I…shared the overriding purpose of making a pile of money,’ recalls Dees’ business partner, a lawyer named Millard Fuller (not to be confused with Millard Farmer). ‘We were not particular about how we did it; we just wanted to be independently rich.’” (You say Fuller. I say Farmer. The two Millards say “call the whole thing off.”)

So, what happens when a dragon slayer – paid per dragon head – runs out of real dragons to slay? Well, he invents new ones, of course. Gotta keep those sprinklers-a-sprinklin.’ (According to Harper’s, “Dees bought a 200-acre estate appointed with tennis courts, a pool, and stables.” SPLC’s 2008 Form-990 shows net assets of over 219 million at the beginning of that year. Yup, there’s a spate to be made in the hate trade.)

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SPLC Plays Politics with Hate, Smears Americans For Truth as ‘Hate Site’

Wednesday, March 24th, 2010

Dear AFTAH Readers,

Homosexual activist Wayne Besen screams with a bullhorn into the window of Boston's Park Street Church, which was hosting an "ex-gay" seminar last April. Will the SPLC investigate virulent anti-Christian activists like Besen in its ostensible campaign against "hate"? How would the SPLC react if right-wing conservatives were to terrorize a homosexual church in the same way?

Well, now I think I’ve seen it all. A Chicago-based Marxist “direct action” group, the Gay Liberation Network (GLN) — which smears Chicago’s historic Moody Church as a “House of Hate,” attacks Catholic Cardinal Francis George as a “homophobe,” and compares the Boy Scouts to racist fringe groups  — has successfully lobbied the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) to label AFTAH’s website a “hate site.” The GLN and its co-leader, Bob Schwartz, know a thing or two about hate: in 2005, Schwartz told me, as I was standing in opposition to a “gay youth” event in downtown Chicago, that he would have pushed me into the busy city street were it not for the presence nearby of my “friends,” the police. (Read my 2005 account as Executive Director for Illinois Family Institute HERE; imagine if I had made such a veiled, physical threat against Schwartz: I probably would have been arrested on “Hate Crime” charges right then and there.)

There are few things as sinister, and as cynical, as the Left’s manipulation of “hate” as a political weapon to malign Christians and patriotic, conservative Americans. Thankfully, it seems the only people taking the SPLC seriously anymore are the liberal media and hardened, ‘Move On’-types on the Left. The SPLC is a spent force when it comes to moral authority — and even some honest liberals are seeing through its disingenuous campaign to redefine morality as “hate” and “bigotry.” (Don’t look to the SPLC to investigate homosexual haters like Wayne Besen’s notoriously nasty “Truth Wins Out” anytime soon; Besen is shown at right screaming with a bullhorn into the window of Park Street Church in Boston; click here to read the MassResistance story on the shocking 2009 demonstration.)

GLN's Bob Schwartz knows about "hate" ....

The Left is so steeped in its own ideology and self-righteousness that it is oblivious to how out of step it is with everyday Americans. Sure, there are haters on the right like Fred (“God Hates Fags”) Phelps (who despicably pickets U.S. soldiers’ funerals, and whom AFTAH has repeatedly condemned). But there are far more haters on the Left, and they are much better organized and dangerous to American liberty than those on the opposite end of the political spectrum.

On behalf of Americans For Truth, I am gratified at the outpouring of support we have received from pro-family advocates across the country in response to the SPLC’s shenanigans. We’ll say it again: to defend historic Judeo-Christian moral norms is not “bigotry,” and to disagree with homosexual activists is not “hate.” You can contact the Southern Poverty Law Center HERE. God bless you. — Peter LaBarbera, www.aftah.org; e-mail us: [email protected]>

Matt Barber’s statement on the SPLC follows the jump:

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