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    Posting Addict GloriaInTX's Avatar
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    Default Does SPLC encourage hate?

    By defining groups they disagree with such as the Family Research Council as hate groups are the SPLC themselves encouraging hate?


    An FBI affidavit in the investigation of a shooting Wednesday at the downtown Washington, D.C., offices of the Family Research Council says the accused gunman uttered a statement to the effect of, "I don't like your politics," before reaching into a backpack for a handgun and opening fire.
    Perkins gave his first interview to Fox News' "America Live." He made it clear that he blamed the suspect for the shooting, but said he was "given a license" by groups like the Southern Poverty Law Center, which labeled the Family Research Council as a hate group.

    "I think it's time for people to realize what the Southern Poverty Law Center is doing with their reckless labeling of organizations that they disagree with," he said.

    The Southern Poverty Law Center declined an interview request from the program.

    Corkins had volunteered recently at a community center for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people. Two law enforcement officials said Corkins was carrying sandwiches from Chick-fil-A, a fast-food chain whose chief executive?s public opposition to same-sex marriage led to a heated national cultural debate, including boycotts and events held in support of the Atlanta-based chain.
    Read more: Accused gunman ripped Family Research Council policies before opening fire, sources say | Fox News
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    Community Host Alissa_Sal's Avatar
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    Hate against who? Against hate groups? No, I don't think that identifying a hate group is the same as like, being a hate group. If I say "The KKK is a well known hate group" would you really think that I'm "encouraging hate?"
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    No, I think this individual was disturbed. I don't think he was given license by any group to attack people.

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    I dont believe that assigning labels encourages hate. I do not like assigning labels like the SPLC does though
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    Posting Addict GloriaInTX's Avatar
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    For many years now, Focus on the Family (FOTF) has been one of the most respected and influential evangelical ministries in the country, and so it came as quite a shock when, earlier this month, FOTF’s traditional, pro-family views were deemed so extreme that TOMS Shoes founder Blake Mycoskie, himself a member of an evangelical church, decided to break ties with them. He stated, “Had I known the full extent of Focus on the Family’s beliefs, I would not have accepted the invitation to speak at their event.”

    Prior to his apology, Mycoskie had been blasted for his association with FOTF, and a blogger on the radically leftist Daily Kos website complained “that Mycoskie and his company TOMS supports one of the quintessential hate groups, Focus on the Family, which was named as a Hate Group by the Southern Poverty Law Center.” Focus on the Family a “quintessential hate group”?

    If it’s any consolation, FOTF is not alone. When Texas Gov. Rick Perry announced a stadium prayer event to be held on Aug. 6, he came under heavy and immediate fire, not just over an alleged violation of the separation of church and state, but also because he was cooperating with the American Family Association (AFA), another so-called hate group. Yes, the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) has branded the organization founded by Don Wildmon, best known for his calls for boycotts over morally offensive programming and advertising, as a hate group. (To be technical, the SPLC labeled them an “anti-gay group” but featured them on the same list with the other “hate groups.” Since then, the liberal media, almost without exception, has labeled the AFA an SPLC-designated hate group. And because the SPLC in the past labeled FOTF an “anti-gay group,” they too are considered to be on the SPLC’s hate group list.)

    What is the SPLC’s criteria for such extreme charges? It claims that the groups in question (which include the Family Research Council and Concerned Women for America) knowingly disseminate false information and demonizing propaganda about lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people, as documented by them (I use the word “documented” lightly) in their report “10 Anti-Gay Myths Debunked,” published late last year.

    And while the report itself is nothing new, what is new is that its findings are now coming to national attention through these recent events. And many people, rather than questioning the SPLC, are instead questioning these venerable family organizations. Perhaps it is time to ask this question: Is it the SPLC that should be designated a hate group? Are they the ones spreading false information and demonizing propaganda about other groups, thereby defaming their good names and placing them in the ranks of the KKK and neo-****s?

    It should first be recalled that the actual SPLC report was terribly flawed, as I and a number of others pointed out. For example, based on the report, if you state that kids do best when raised by a mom and dad (as opposed to two moms or two dads), you are propagating a known falsehood. Or if you agree with the many therapists and psychologists who argue that a child’s upbringing and early-life experiences (including being sexually abused) play a major role in the development of his or her sexual orientation, you are propagating a known falsehood. The same is true if you claim that hate crime laws could lead to the arresting of pastors who criticize homosexuality (this has already happened in Sweden, England and Canada), or if you argue that it would be detrimental to the military to have gays serving openly. Yes, according to the SPLC, disseminating such views officially constitutes “hate.”

    All of which begs the question: Is the SPLC, by its own criteria, the real hate group? It still carries weight in plenty of circles here in America, and so when it categorizes an organization as a hate group, many people of good conscience are influenced by that designation, one which is quite stigmatizing and destructive, as evidenced by the recent events involving FOTF and AFA mentioned above. Yet it is the leaders of the SPLC who are either irresponsibly attacking other fine organizations, or worse still, knowingly defaming them.

    Who then deserves the title of “hate group,” Focus on the Family or the Southern Poverty Law Center? Who has been guilty of demonizing others and spreading hurtful, inaccurate information? Whose actions and words have been hateful? The record speaks for itself.
    Southern Poverty Law Center: The Real Hate Group?
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    t should first be recalled that the actual SPLC report was terribly flawed, as I and a number of others pointed out. For example, based on the report, if you state that kids do best when raised by a mom and dad (as opposed to two moms or two dads), you are propagating a known falsehood. Or if you agree with the many therapists and psychologists who argue that a child’s upbringing and early-life experiences (including being sexually abused) play a major role in the development of his or her sexual orientation, you are propagating a known falsehood. The same is true if you claim that hate crime laws could lead to the arresting of pastors who criticize homosexuality (this has already happened in Sweden, England and Canada), or if you argue that it would be detrimental to the military to have gays serving openly. Yes, according to the SPLC, disseminating such views officially constitutes “hate.”
    Same old "Don't call us bigots just because we act like bigots! That makes YOU the bigot!" nonsense as always. Here is the article they're saying is spreading hate. More like countering hateful nonsense with actual research and facts.

    10 Anti-Gay Myths Debunked | Southern Poverty Law Center
    Ever since born-again singer and orange juice pitchwoman Anita Bryant helped kick off the contemporary anti-gay movement more than 30 years ago, hard-line elements of the religious right have been searching for ways to demonize gay people — or, at a minimum, to find arguments that will prevent their normalization in society. For the former Florida beauty queen and her Save Our Children group, it was the alleged plans of gay men and lesbians to "recruit" in schools that provided the fodder for their crusade.

    But in addition to hawking that myth, the legions of anti-gay activists who followed have added a panoply of others, ranging from the extremely doubtful claim that sexual orientation is a choice, to unalloyed lies like the claims that gay men molest children far more than heterosexuals or that hate crime laws will lead to the legalization of bestiality and necrophilia. These fairy tales are important to the anti-gay right because they form the basis of its claim that homosexuality is a social evil that must be suppressed — an opinion rejected by virtually all relevant medical and scientific authorities. They also almost certainly contribute to hate crime violence directed at the LGBT community, which is more targeted for such attacks than any other minority group in America. What follows are 10 key myths propagated by the anti-gay movement, along with the truth behind the propaganda.


    MYTH # 1
    Gay men molest children at far higher rates than heterosexuals.

    THE ARGUMENT
    Depicting gay men as a threat to children may be the single most potent weapon for stoking public fears about homosexuality — and for winning elections and referenda, as Anita Bryant found out during her successful 1977 campaign to overturn a Dade County, Fla., ordinance barring discrimination against gay people. Discredited psychologist Paul Cameron, the most ubiquitous purveyor of anti-gay junk science, has been a major promoter of this myth. Despite having been debunked repeatedly and very publicly, Cameron's work is still widely relied upon by anti-gay organizations, although many no longer quote him by name. Others have cited a group called the American College of Pediatricians to claim, as Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council did in November 2010, that "the research is overwhelming that homosexuality poses a [molestation] danger to children."


    THE FACTS
    According to the American Psychological Association, "homosexual men are not more likely to sexually abuse children than heterosexual men are." Gregory Herek, a professor at the University of California, Davis, who is one of the nation's leading researchers on prejudice against sexual minorities, reviewed a series of studies and found no evidence that gay men molest children at higher rates than heterosexual men.


    Anti-gay activists who make that claim allege that all men who molest male children should be seen as homosexual. But research by A. Nicholas Groth, a pioneer in the field of sexual abuse of children, shows that is not so. Groth found that there are two types of child molesters: fixated and regressive. The fixated child molester — the stereotypical pedophile — cannot be considered homosexual or heterosexual because "he often finds adults of either sex repulsive" and often molests children of both sexes. Regressive child molesters are generally attracted to other adults, but may "regress" to focusing on children when confronted with stressful situations. Groth found that the majority of regressed offenders were heterosexual in their adult relationships.
    The Child Molestation Research and Prevention Institute notes that 90% of child molesters target children in their network of family and friends. Most child molesters, therefore, are not gay people lingering outside schools waiting to snatch children from the playground, as much religious-right rhetoric suggests.


    Some anti-gay ideologues cite the American College of Pediatricians' opposition to same-sex parenting as if the organization were a legitimate professional body. In fact, the so-called college is a tiny breakaway faction of the similarly named, 60,000-member American Academy of Pediatrics that requires, as a condition of membership, that joiners "hold true to the group's core beliefs ... [including] that the traditional family unit, headed by an opposite-sex couple, poses far fewer risk factors in the adoption and raising of children." The group's 2010 publication Facts About Youth was described by the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Psychological Association as non-factual. Francis Collins, director of the National Institutes of Health, was one of several legitimate researchers who said Facts misrepresented their findings. "It is disturbing to me to see special interest groups distort my scientific observations to make a point against homosexuality," he wrote. "The information they present is misleading and incorrect."


    MYTH # 2
    Same-sex parents harm children.

    THE ARGUMENT
    Most hard-line anti-gay organizations are heavily invested, from both a religious and a political standpoint, in promoting the traditional nuclear family as the sole framework for the healthy upbringing of children. They maintain a reflexive belief that same-sex parenting must be harmful to children — although the exact nature of that supposed harm varies widely.


    THE FACTS
    No legitimate research has demonstrated that same-sex couples are any more or any less harmful to children than heterosexual couples.


    The American Academy of Pediatrics in a 2002 policy statement declared: "A growing body of scientific literature demonstrates that children who grow up with one or two gay and/or lesbian parents fare as well in emotional, cognitive, social, and sexual functioning as do children whose parents are heterosexual." That policy statement was reaffirmed in 2009.


    The American Psychological Association found that "same-sex couples are remarkably similar to heterosexual couples, and that parenting effectiveness and the adjustment, development and psychological well-being of children is unrelated to parental sexual orientation."


    Similarly, the Child Welfare League of America's official position with regard to same-sex parents is that "lesbian, gay, and bisexual parents are as well-suited to raise children as their heterosexual counterparts."


    MYTH # 3
    People become homosexual because they were sexually abused as children or there was a deficiency in sex-role modeling by their parents.


    THE ARGUMENT
    Many anti-gay rights proponents claim that homosexuality is a mental disorder caused by some psychological trauma or aberration in childhood. This argument is used to counter the common observation that no one, gay or straight, consciously chooses his or her sexual orientation. Joseph Nicolosi, a founder of the National Association for Research and Therapy of Homosexuality, said in 2009 that "if you traumatize a child in a particular way, you will create a homosexual condition." He also has repeatedly said, "Fathers, if you don't hug your sons, some other man will." A side effect of this argument is the demonization of parents of gay men and lesbians, who are led to wonder if they failed to protect a child against sexual abuse or failed as role models in some important way. In October 2010, Kansas State University family studies professor Walter Schumm released a related study arguing that gay couples are more likely than heterosexuals to raise gay or lesbian children.


    THE FACTS
    No scientifically sound study has linked sexual orientation or identity with parental role-modeling or childhood sexual abuse.

    The American Psychiatric Association noted in a 2000 fact sheet on gay, lesbian and bisexual issues that "no specific psychosocial or family dynamic cause for homosexuality has been identified, including histories of childhood sexual abuse." The fact sheet goes on to say that sexual abuse does not appear to be any more prevalent among children who grow up and identify as gay, lesbian or bisexual than in children who grow up and identify as heterosexual.

    Similarly, the National Organization on Male Sexual Victimization notes on its website that "experts in the human sexuality field do not believe that premature sexual experiences play a significant role in late adolescent or adult sexual orientation" and added that it's unlikely that someone can make another person gay or heterosexual.


    With regard to Schumm's study, critics have already said that he appears to have merely aggregated anecdotal data, a biased sample that invalidates his findings.


    MYTH # 4
    LGBT people don't live nearly as long as heterosexuals.


    THE ARGUMENT
    Anti-gay organizations want to promote heterosexuality as the healthier "choice." Furthermore, the purportedly shorter life spans and poorer physical and mental health of gays and lesbians are often offered as reasons why they shouldn't be allowed to adopt or foster children.


    THE FACTS
    This falsehood can be traced directly to the discredited research of Paul Cameron and his Family Research Institute, specifically a 1994 paper he co-wrote entitled, "The Lifespan of Homosexuals." Using obituaries collected from gay newspapers, he and his two co-authors concluded that gay men died, on average, at 43, compared to an average life expectancy at the time of around 73 for all U.S. men. On the basis of the same obituaries, Cameron also claimed that gay men are 18 times more likely to die in car accidents than heterosexuals, 22 times more likely to die of heart attacks than whites, and 11 times more likely than blacks to die of the same cause. He also concluded that lesbians are 487 times more likely to die of murder, suicide, or accidents than straight women.


    Remarkably, these claims have become staples of the anti-gay right and have frequently made their way into far more mainstream venues. For example, William Bennett, education secretary under President Reagan, used Cameron's statistics in a 1997 interview he gave to ABC News' "This Week."


    However, like virtually all of his "research," Cameron's methodology is egregiously flawed — most obviously because the sample he selected (the data from the obits) was not remotely statistically representative of the LGBT population as a whole. Even Nicholas Eberstadt, a demographer at the conservative American Enterprise Institute, has called Cameron's methods "just ridiculous."


    MYTH # 5

    Gay men controlled the **** Party and helped to orchestrate the Holocaust.


    THE ARGUMENT
    This claim comes directly from a 1995 book titled The Pink Swastika: Homosexuality in the **** Party, by Scott Lively and Kevin Abrams. Lively is the virulently anti-gay founder of Abiding Truth Ministries and Abrams is an organizer of a group called the International Committee for Holocaust Truth, which came together in 1994 and included Lively as a member.


    The primary argument Lively and Abrams make is that gay people were not victimized by the Holocaust. Rather, Hitler deliberately sought gay men for his inner circle because their "unusual brutality" would help him run the party and mastermind the Holocaust. In fact, "the **** party was entirely controlled by militaristic male homosexuals throughout its short history," the book claims.

    "While we cannot say that homosexuals caused the Holocaust, we must not ignore their central role in ****sm," Lively and Abrams add. "To the myth of the 'pink triangle' — the notion that all homosexuals in **** Germany were persecuted — we must respond with the reality of the 'pink swastika.'"


    These claims have been picked up by a number of anti-gay groups and individuals, including Bryan Fischer of the American Family Association, as proof that gay men and lesbians are violent and sick. The book has also attracted an audience among anti-gay church leaders in Eastern Europe and among Russian-speaking anti-gay activists in America.


    THE FACTS
    The Pink Swastika has been roundly discredited by legitimate historians and other scholars. Christine Mueller, professor of history at Reed College, did a line-by-line refutation of an earlier (1994) Abrams article on the topic and of the broader claim that the **** Party was "entirely controlled" by gay men. Historian Jon David Wynecken at Grove City College also refuted the book, pointing out that Lively and Abrams did no primary research of their own, instead using out-of-context citations of some legitimate sources while ignoring information from those same sources that ran counter to their thesis.


    The myth that the ****s condoned homosexuality sprang up in the 1930s, started by socialist opponents of the ****s as a slander against **** leaders. Credible historians believe that only one of the half-dozen leaders in Hitler's inner circle, Ernst R?hm, was gay. (R?hm was murdered on Hitler's orders in 1934.) The ****s considered homosexuality one aspect of the "degeneracy" they were trying to eradicate.


    When the National Socialist Party came to power in 1933, it quickly strengthened Germany's existing penalties against homosexuality. Heinrich Himmler, Hitler's security chief, announced that homosexuality was to be "eliminated" in Germany, along with miscegenation among the races. Historians estimate that between 50,000 and 100,000 men were arrested for homosexuality (or suspicion of it) under the **** regime. These men were routinely sent to concentration camps and many thousands died there.


    In 1942, the ****s instituted the death penalty for gay men. Offenders in the German military were routinely shot. Himmler put it like this: "We must exterminate these people root and branch. ... We can't permit such danger to the country; the homosexual must be completely eliminated."


    MYTH # 6
    Hate crime laws will lead to the jailing of pastors who criticize homosexuality and the legalization of practices like bestiality and necrophilia.


    THE ARGUMENT
    Anti-gay activists, who have long opposed adding LGBT people to those protected by hate crime legislation, have repeatedly claimed that such laws would lead to the jailing of religious figures who preach against homosexuality — part of a bid to gain the backing of the broader religious community for their position. Janet Porter of Faith2Action was one of many who asserted that the federal Matthew Shepard Hate Crimes Prevention Act — signed into law by President Obama in October 2009 — would "jail pastors" because it "criminalizes speech against the homosexual agenda."


    In a related assertion, anti-gay activists claimed the law would lead to the legalization of psychosexual disorders (paraphilias) like bestiality and pedophilia. Bob Unruh, a conservative Christian journalist who left The Associated Press in 2006 for the right-wing, conspiracist news site WorldNetDaily, said shortly before the federal law was passed that it would legalize "all 547 forms of sexual deviancy or 'paraphilias' listed by the American Psychiatric Association." This claim was repeated by many anti-gay organizations, including the Illinois Family Institute.


    THE FACTS
    The claim that hate crime laws could result in the imprisonment of those who "oppose the homosexual lifestyle" is false. The Constitution provides robust protections of free speech, and case law makes it clear that even a preacher who suggested that gays and lesbians should be killed would be protected. (Note from Alissa: Sweden, Enlgand, and other countries do not fall under the jurisdiction of the US Constitution and thus may make different laws than we do.)


    Neither do hate crime laws — which provide for enhanced penalties when persons are victimized because of their "sexual orientation" (among other factors) — "protect pedophiles," as Janet Porter and many others have claimed. According to the American Psychological Association, sexual orientation refers to heterosexuality, homosexuality and bisexuality — not paraphilias such as pedophilia. Paraphilias, as defined by the American Psychiatric Assocation, are disorders characterized by sexual urges or behaviors directed at nonhuman objects or non-consenting persons like children, or that involve the suffering or humiliation of one's partner.


    Even if pedophiles, for example, were protected under a hate crime law — and such a law has not been suggested or contemplated anywhere — that would not legalize or "protect" pedophilia. Pedophilia is illegal sexual activity, and a law that more severely punished people who attacked pedophiles would not change that.


    MYTH # 7
    Allowing gay people to serve openly will damage the armed forces.


    THE ARGUMENT
    Anti-gay groups have been adamantly opposed to allowing gay men and lesbians to serve openly in the armed forces, not only because of their purported fear that combat readiness will be undermined, but because the military has long been considered the purest meritocracy in America (the armed forces were successfully racially integrated long before American civilian society, for example). If gays serve honorably and effectively in this meritocracy, that suggests that there is no rational basis for discriminating against them in any way.


    THE FACTS
    Gays and lesbians have long served in the U.S. armed forces, though under the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" (DADT) policy that governed the military between 1993 and September 2011, they could not serve openly. At the same time, gays and lesbians have served openly for years in the armed forces of 25 countries, including Britain, Israel, South Africa, Canada and Australia, according to a report released by the Palm Center, a policy think tank at the University of California at Santa Barbara. The Palm Center report concluded that lifting bans against openly gay service personnel in these countries "ha[s] had no negative impact on morale, recruitment, retention, readiness or overall combat effectiveness." Successful transitions to new policies were attributed to clear signals of leadership support and a focus on a uniform code of behavior without regard to sexual orientation.


    A 2008 Military Times poll of active-duty military personnel, often cited by anti-gay activists, found that 10% of respondents said they would not re-enlist if the DADT policy were repealed. That would mean some 228,000 people may leave the military in the wake of the 2011 ending of that policy. But a 2009 review of that poll by the Palm Center suggested a wide disparity between what soldiers said they would do and their actual actions. It noted, for example, that far more than 10% of West Point officers in the 1970s said they would leave the service if women were admitted to the academy. "But when the integration became a reality," the report said, "there was no mass exodus; the opinions turned out to be just opinions." Similarly, a 1985 survey of 6,500 male Canadian service members and a 1996 survey of 13,500 British service members each revealed that nearly two-thirds expressed strong reservations about serving with gays. Yet when those countries lifted bans on gays serving openly, virtually no one left the service for that reason. "None of the dire predictions of doom came true," the Palm Center report said.


    MYTH # 8
    Gay people are more prone to be mentally ill and to abuse drugs and alcohol.

    THE ARGUMENT
    Anti-gay groups want not only to depict sexual orientation as something that can be changed but also to show that heterosexuality is the most desirable "choice" — even if religious arguments are set aside. The most frequently used secular argument made by anti-gay groups in that regard is that homosexuality is inherently unhealthy, both mentally and physically. As a result, most anti-gay rights groups reject the 1973 decision by the American Psychiatric Association (APA) to remove homosexuality from its list of mental illnesses. Some of these groups, including the particularly hard-line Traditional Values Coalition, claim that "homosexual activists" managed to infiltrate the APA in order to sway its decision.


    THE FACTS
    All major professional mental health organizations are on record as stating that homosexuality is not a mental disorder.

    It is true that LGBT people suffer higher rates of anxiety, depression, and depression-related illnesses and behaviors like alcohol and drug abuse than the general population. But studies done during the past 15 years have determined that it is the stress of being a member of a minority group in an often-hostile society — and not LGBT identity itself — that accounts for the higher levels of mental illness and drug use.


    Richard J. Wolitski, an expert on minority status and public health issues at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, put it like this in 2008: "Economic disadvantage, stigma, and discrimination ... increase stress and diminish the ability of individuals [in minority groups] to cope with stress, which in turn contribute to poor physical and mental health."


    MYTH # 9
    No one is born gay.

    THE ARGUMENT
    Anti-gay activists keenly oppose the granting of "special" civil rights protections to gay people similar to those afforded black Americans and other minorities. But if people are born gay — in the same way people have no choice as to whether they are black or white — discrimination against gay men and lesbians would be vastly more difficult to justify. Thus, anti-gay forces insist that sexual orientation is a behavior that can be changed, not an immutable characteristic.


    THE FACTS
    Modern science cannot state conclusively what causes sexual orientation, but a great many studies suggest that it is the result of biological and environmental forces, not a personal "choice." One of the more recent is a 2008 Swedish study of twins (the world's largest twin study) that appeared in The Archives of Sexual Behavior and concluded that "[h]omosexual behaviour is largely shaped by genetics and random environmental factors." Dr. Qazi Rahman, study co-author and a leading scientist on human sexual orientation, said: "This study puts cold water on any concerns that we are looking for a single 'gay gene' or a single environmental variable which could be used to 'select out' homosexuality — the factors which influence sexual orientation are complex. And we are not simply talking about homosexuality here — heterosexual behaviour is also influenced by a mixture of genetic and environmental factors."


    The American Psychological Association (APA) acknowledges that despite much research into the possible genetic, hormonal, social and cultural influences on sexual orientation, no evidence has emerged that would allow scientists to pinpoint the precise causes of sexual orientation. Still, the APA concludes that "most people experience little or no sense of choice about their sexual orientation."


    In October 2010, Kansas State University family studies professor Walter Schumm released a study showing that gay parents produced far more gay children than heterosexual parents. He told a reporter that he was "trying to prove [homosexuality is] not 100% genetic." But critics suggested that his data did not prove that, and, in any event, virtually no scientists have suggested that homosexuality is caused only by genes.


    MYTH # 10
    Gay people can choose to leave homosexuality.


    THE ARGUMENT
    If people are not born gay, as anti-gay activists claim, then it should be possible for individuals to abandon homosexuality. This view is buttressed among religiously motivated anti-gay activists by the idea that homosexual practice is a sin and humans have the free will needed to reject sinful urges.


    A number of "ex-gay" religious ministries have sprung up in recent years with the aim of teaching gay people to become heterosexuals, and these have become prime purveyors of the claim that gays and lesbians, with the aid of mental therapy and Christian teachings, can "come out of homosexuality." Exodus International, the largest of these ministries, plainly states, "You don't have to be gay!" Another, the National Association for Research and Therapy of Homosexuality, describes itself as "a professional, scientific organization that offers hope to those who struggle with unwanted homosexuality."

    THE FACTS
    "Reparative" or sexual reorientation therapy — the pseudo-scientific foundation of the ex-gay movement — has been rejected by all the established and reputable American medical, psychological, psychiatric, and professional counseling organizations. In 2009, for instance, the American Psychological Association adopted a resolution, accompanied by a 138-page report, that repudiated ex-gay therapy. The report concluded that compelling evidence suggested that cases of individuals going from gay to straight were "rare" and that "many individuals continued to experience same-sex sexual attractions" after reparative therapy. The APA resolution added that "there is insufficient evidence to support the use of psychological interventions to change sexual orientation" and asked "mental health professionals to avoid misrepresenting the efficacy of sexual orientation change efforts by promoting or promising change in sexual orientation." The resolution also affirmed that same-sex sexual and romantic feelings are normal.


    Some of the most striking, if anecdotal, evidence of the ineffectiveness of sexual reorientation therapy has been the numerous failures of some of its most ardent advocates. For example, the founder of Exodus International, Michael Bussee, left the organization in 1979 with a fellow male ex-gay counselor because the two had fallen in love. Alan Chambers, current president of Exodus, said in 2007 that with years of therapy, he's mostly conquered his attraction to men, but then admitted, "By no means would we ever say that change can be sudden or complete."
    -Alissa, mom to Tristan (5) and Reid (the baby!)

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    t should first be recalled that the actual SPLC report was terribly flawed, as I and a number of others pointed out. For example, based on the report, if you state that kids do best when raised by a mom and dad (as opposed to two moms or two dads), you are propagating a known falsehood. Or if you agree with the many therapists and psychologists who argue that a child?s upbringing and early-life experiences (including being sexually abused) play a major role in the development of his or her sexual orientation, you are propagating a known falsehood. The same is true if you claim that hate crime laws could lead to the arresting of pastors who criticize homosexuality (this has already happened in Sweden, England and Canada), or if you argue that it would be detrimental to the military to have gays serving openly. Yes, according to the SPLC, disseminating such views officially constitutes ?hate.?
    Same old "Don't call us bigots just because we act like bigots! That makes YOU the bigot!" nonsense as always. Here is the article they're saying is spreading hate. More like countering hateful nonsense with actual research and facts.

    10 Anti-Gay Myths Debunked | Southern Poverty Law Center
    Ever since born-again singer and orange juice pitchwoman Anita Bryant helped kick off the contemporary anti-gay movement more than 30 years ago, hard-line elements of the religious right have been searching for ways to demonize gay people ? or, at a minimum, to find arguments that will prevent their normalization in society. For the former Florida beauty queen and her Save Our Children group, it was the alleged plans of gay men and lesbians to "recruit" in schools that provided the fodder for their crusade.

    But in addition to hawking that myth, the legions of anti-gay activists who followed have added a panoply of others, ranging from the extremely doubtful claim that sexual orientation is a choice, to unalloyed lies like the claims that gay men molest children far more than heterosexuals or that hate crime laws will lead to the legalization of bestiality and necrophilia. These fairy tales are important to the anti-gay right because they form the basis of its claim that homosexuality is a social evil that must be suppressed ? an opinion rejected by virtually all relevant medical and scientific authorities. They also almost certainly contribute to hate crime violence directed at the LGBT community, which is more targeted for such attacks than any other minority group in America. What follows are 10 key myths propagated by the anti-gay movement, along with the truth behind the propaganda.


    MYTH # 1
    Gay men molest children at far higher rates than heterosexuals.

    THE ARGUMENT
    Depicting gay men as a threat to children may be the single most potent weapon for stoking public fears about homosexuality ? and for winning elections and referenda, as Anita Bryant found out during her successful 1977 campaign to overturn a Dade County, Fla., ordinance barring discrimination against gay people. Discredited psychologist Paul Cameron, the most ubiquitous purveyor of anti-gay junk science, has been a major promoter of this myth. Despite having been debunked repeatedly and very publicly, Cameron's work is still widely relied upon by anti-gay organizations, although many no longer quote him by name. Others have cited a group called the American College of Pediatricians to claim, as Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council did in November 2010, that "the research is overwhelming that homosexuality poses a [molestation] danger to children."


    THE FACTS
    According to the American Psychological Association, "homosexual men are not more likely to sexually abuse children than heterosexual men are." Gregory Herek, a professor at the University of California, Davis, who is one of the nation's leading researchers on prejudice against sexual minorities, reviewed a series of studies and found no evidence that gay men molest children at higher rates than heterosexual men.


    Anti-gay activists who make that claim allege that all men who molest male children should be seen as homosexual. But research by A. Nicholas Groth, a pioneer in the field of sexual abuse of children, shows that is not so. Groth found that there are two types of child molesters: fixated and regressive. The fixated child molester ? the stereotypical pedophile ? cannot be considered homosexual or heterosexual because "he often finds adults of either sex repulsive" and often molests children of both sexes. Regressive child molesters are generally attracted to other adults, but may "regress" to focusing on children when confronted with stressful situations. Groth found that the majority of regressed offenders were heterosexual in their adult relationships.
    The Child Molestation Research and Prevention Institute notes that 90% of child molesters target children in their network of family and friends. Most child molesters, therefore, are not gay people lingering outside schools waiting to snatch children from the playground, as much religious-right rhetoric suggests.


    Some anti-gay ideologues cite the American College of Pediatricians' opposition to same-sex parenting as if the organization were a legitimate professional body. In fact, the so-called college is a tiny breakaway faction of the similarly named, 60,000-member American Academy of Pediatrics that requires, as a condition of membership, that joiners "hold true to the group's core beliefs ... [including] that the traditional family unit, headed by an opposite-sex couple, poses far fewer risk factors in the adoption and raising of children." The group's 2010 publication Facts About Youth was described by the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Psychological Association as non-factual. Francis Collins, director of the National Institutes of Health, was one of several legitimate researchers who said Facts misrepresented their findings. "It is disturbing to me to see special interest groups distort my scientific observations to make a point against homosexuality," he wrote. "The information they present is misleading and incorrect."


    MYTH # 2
    Same-sex parents harm children.

    THE ARGUMENT
    Most hard-line anti-gay organizations are heavily invested, from both a religious and a political standpoint, in promoting the traditional nuclear family as the sole framework for the healthy upbringing of children. They maintain a reflexive belief that same-sex parenting must be harmful to children ? although the exact nature of that supposed harm varies widely.


    THE FACTS
    No legitimate research has demonstrated that same-sex couples are any more or any less harmful to children than heterosexual couples.


    The American Academy of Pediatrics in a 2002 policy statement declared: "A growing body of scientific literature demonstrates that children who grow up with one or two gay and/or lesbian parents fare as well in emotional, cognitive, social, and sexual functioning as do children whose parents are heterosexual." That policy statement was reaffirmed in 2009.


    The American Psychological Association found that "same-sex couples are remarkably similar to heterosexual couples, and that parenting effectiveness and the adjustment, development and psychological well-being of children is unrelated to parental sexual orientation."


    Similarly, the Child Welfare League of America's official position with regard to same-sex parents is that "lesbian, gay, and bisexual parents are as well-suited to raise children as their heterosexual counterparts."


    MYTH # 3
    People become homosexual because they were sexually abused as children or there was a deficiency in sex-role modeling by their parents.


    THE ARGUMENT
    Many anti-gay rights proponents claim that homosexuality is a mental disorder caused by some psychological trauma or aberration in childhood. This argument is used to counter the common observation that no one, gay or straight, consciously chooses his or her sexual orientation. Joseph Nicolosi, a founder of the National Association for Research and Therapy of Homosexuality, said in 2009 that "if you traumatize a child in a particular way, you will create a homosexual condition." He also has repeatedly said, "Fathers, if you don't hug your sons, some other man will." A side effect of this argument is the demonization of parents of gay men and lesbians, who are led to wonder if they failed to protect a child against sexual abuse or failed as role models in some important way. In October 2010, Kansas State University family studies professor Walter Schumm released a related study arguing that gay couples are more likely than heterosexuals to raise gay or lesbian children.


    THE FACTS
    No scientifically sound study has linked sexual orientation or identity with parental role-modeling or childhood sexual abuse.

    The American Psychiatric Association noted in a 2000 fact sheet on gay, lesbian and bisexual issues that "no specific psychosocial or family dynamic cause for homosexuality has been identified, including histories of childhood sexual abuse." The fact sheet goes on to say that sexual abuse does not appear to be any more prevalent among children who grow up and identify as gay, lesbian or bisexual than in children who grow up and identify as heterosexual.

    Similarly, the National Organization on Male Sexual Victimization notes on its website that "experts in the human sexuality field do not believe that premature sexual experiences play a significant role in late adolescent or adult sexual orientation" and added that it's unlikely that someone can make another person gay or heterosexual.


    With regard to Schumm's study, critics have already said that he appears to have merely aggregated anecdotal data, a biased sample that invalidates his findings.


    MYTH # 4
    LGBT people don't live nearly as long as heterosexuals.


    THE ARGUMENT
    Anti-gay organizations want to promote heterosexuality as the healthier "choice." Furthermore, the purportedly shorter life spans and poorer physical and mental health of gays and lesbians are often offered as reasons why they shouldn't be allowed to adopt or foster children.


    THE FACTS
    This falsehood can be traced directly to the discredited research of Paul Cameron and his Family Research Institute, specifically a 1994 paper he co-wrote entitled, "The Lifespan of Homosexuals." Using obituaries collected from gay newspapers, he and his two co-authors concluded that gay men died, on average, at 43, compared to an average life expectancy at the time of around 73 for all U.S. men. On the basis of the same obituaries, Cameron also claimed that gay men are 18 times more likely to die in car accidents than heterosexuals, 22 times more likely to die of heart attacks than whites, and 11 times more likely than blacks to die of the same cause. He also concluded that lesbians are 487 times more likely to die of murder, suicide, or accidents than straight women.


    Remarkably, these claims have become staples of the anti-gay right and have frequently made their way into far more mainstream venues. For example, William Bennett, education secretary under President Reagan, used Cameron's statistics in a 1997 interview he gave to ABC News' "This Week."


    However, like virtually all of his "research," Cameron's methodology is egregiously flawed ? most obviously because the sample he selected (the data from the obits) was not remotely statistically representative of the LGBT population as a whole. Even Nicholas Eberstadt, a demographer at the conservative American Enterprise Institute, has called Cameron's methods "just ridiculous."


    MYTH # 5

    Gay men controlled the **** Party and helped to orchestrate the Holocaust.


    THE ARGUMENT
    This claim comes directly from a 1995 book titled The Pink Swastika: Homosexuality in the **** Party, by Scott Lively and Kevin Abrams. Lively is the virulently anti-gay founder of Abiding Truth Ministries and Abrams is an organizer of a group called the International Committee for Holocaust Truth, which came together in 1994 and included Lively as a member.


    The primary argument Lively and Abrams make is that gay people were not victimized by the Holocaust. Rather, Hitler deliberately sought gay men for his inner circle because their "unusual brutality" would help him run the party and mastermind the Holocaust. In fact, "the **** party was entirely controlled by militaristic male homosexuals throughout its short history," the book claims.

    "While we cannot say that homosexuals caused the Holocaust, we must not ignore their central role in ****sm," Lively and Abrams add. "To the myth of the 'pink triangle' ? the notion that all homosexuals in **** Germany were persecuted ? we must respond with the reality of the 'pink swastika.'"


    These claims have been picked up by a number of anti-gay groups and individuals, including Bryan Fischer of the American Family Association, as proof that gay men and lesbians are violent and sick. The book has also attracted an audience among anti-gay church leaders in Eastern Europe and among Russian-speaking anti-gay activists in America.


    THE FACTS
    The Pink Swastika has been roundly discredited by legitimate historians and other scholars. Christine Mueller, professor of history at Reed College, did a line-by-line refutation of an earlier (1994) Abrams article on the topic and of the broader claim that the **** Party was "entirely controlled" by gay men. Historian Jon David Wynecken at Grove City College also refuted the book, pointing out that Lively and Abrams did no primary research of their own, instead using out-of-context citations of some legitimate sources while ignoring information from those same sources that ran counter to their thesis.


    The myth that the ****s condoned homosexuality sprang up in the 1930s, started by socialist opponents of the ****s as a slander against **** leaders. Credible historians believe that only one of the half-dozen leaders in Hitler's inner circle, Ernst R?hm, was gay. (R?hm was murdered on Hitler's orders in 1934.) The ****s considered homosexuality one aspect of the "degeneracy" they were trying to eradicate.


    When the National Socialist Party came to power in 1933, it quickly strengthened Germany's existing penalties against homosexuality. Heinrich Himmler, Hitler's security chief, announced that homosexuality was to be "eliminated" in Germany, along with miscegenation among the races. Historians estimate that between 50,000 and 100,000 men were arrested for homosexuality (or suspicion of it) under the **** regime. These men were routinely sent to concentration camps and many thousands died there.


    In 1942, the ****s instituted the death penalty for gay men. Offenders in the German military were routinely shot. Himmler put it like this: "We must exterminate these people root and branch. ... We can't permit such danger to the country; the homosexual must be completely eliminated."


    MYTH # 6
    Hate crime laws will lead to the jailing of pastors who criticize homosexuality and the legalization of practices like bestiality and necrophilia.


    THE ARGUMENT
    Anti-gay activists, who have long opposed adding LGBT people to those protected by hate crime legislation, have repeatedly claimed that such laws would lead to the jailing of religious figures who preach against homosexuality ? part of a bid to gain the backing of the broader religious community for their position. Janet Porter of Faith2Action was one of many who asserted that the federal Matthew Shepard Hate Crimes Prevention Act ? signed into law by President Obama in October 2009 ? would "jail pastors" because it "criminalizes speech against the homosexual agenda."


    In a related assertion, anti-gay activists claimed the law would lead to the legalization of psychosexual disorders (paraphilias) like bestiality and pedophilia. Bob Unruh, a conservative Christian journalist who left The Associated Press in 2006 for the right-wing, conspiracist news site WorldNetDaily, said shortly before the federal law was passed that it would legalize "all 547 forms of sexual deviancy or 'paraphilias' listed by the American Psychiatric Association." This claim was repeated by many anti-gay organizations, including the Illinois Family Institute.


    THE FACTS
    The claim that hate crime laws could result in the imprisonment of those who "oppose the homosexual lifestyle" is false. The Constitution provides robust protections of free speech, and case law makes it clear that even a preacher who suggested that gays and lesbians should be killed would be protected. (Note from Alissa: Sweden, Enlgand, and other countries do not fall under the jurisdiction of the US Constitution and thus may make different laws than we do.)


    Neither do hate crime laws ? which provide for enhanced penalties when persons are victimized because of their "sexual orientation" (among other factors) ? "protect pedophiles," as Janet Porter and many others have claimed. According to the American Psychological Association, sexual orientation refers to heterosexuality, homosexuality and bisexuality ? not paraphilias such as pedophilia. Paraphilias, as defined by the American Psychiatric Assocation, are disorders characterized by sexual urges or behaviors directed at nonhuman objects or non-consenting persons like children, or that involve the suffering or humiliation of one's partner.


    Even if pedophiles, for example, were protected under a hate crime law ? and such a law has not been suggested or contemplated anywhere ? that would not legalize or "protect" pedophilia. Pedophilia is illegal sexual activity, and a law that more severely punished people who attacked pedophiles would not change that.


    MYTH # 7
    Allowing gay people to serve openly will damage the armed forces.


    THE ARGUMENT
    Anti-gay groups have been adamantly opposed to allowing gay men and lesbians to serve openly in the armed forces, not only because of their purported fear that combat readiness will be undermined, but because the military has long been considered the purest meritocracy in America (the armed forces were successfully racially integrated long before American civilian society, for example). If gays serve honorably and effectively in this meritocracy, that suggests that there is no rational basis for discriminating against them in any way.


    THE FACTS
    Gays and lesbians have long served in the U.S. armed forces, though under the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" (DADT) policy that governed the military between 1993 and September 2011, they could not serve openly. At the same time, gays and lesbians have served openly for years in the armed forces of 25 countries, including Britain, Israel, South Africa, Canada and Australia, according to a report released by the Palm Center, a policy think tank at the University of California at Santa Barbara. The Palm Center report concluded that lifting bans against openly gay service personnel in these countries "ha[s] had no negative impact on morale, recruitment, retention, readiness or overall combat effectiveness." Successful transitions to new policies were attributed to clear signals of leadership support and a focus on a uniform code of behavior without regard to sexual orientation.


    A 2008 Military Times poll of active-duty military personnel, often cited by anti-gay activists, found that 10% of respondents said they would not re-enlist if the DADT policy were repealed. That would mean some 228,000 people may leave the military in the wake of the 2011 ending of that policy. But a 2009 review of that poll by the Palm Center suggested a wide disparity between what soldiers said they would do and their actual actions. It noted, for example, that far more than 10% of West Point officers in the 1970s said they would leave the service if women were admitted to the academy. "But when the integration became a reality," the report said, "there was no mass exodus; the opinions turned out to be just opinions." Similarly, a 1985 survey of 6,500 male Canadian service members and a 1996 survey of 13,500 British service members each revealed that nearly two-thirds expressed strong reservations about serving with gays. Yet when those countries lifted bans on gays serving openly, virtually no one left the service for that reason. "None of the dire predictions of doom came true," the Palm Center report said.


    MYTH # 8
    Gay people are more prone to be mentally ill and to abuse drugs and alcohol.

    THE ARGUMENT
    Anti-gay groups want not only to depict sexual orientation as something that can be changed but also to show that heterosexuality is the most desirable "choice" ? even if religious arguments are set aside. The most frequently used secular argument made by anti-gay groups in that regard is that homosexuality is inherently unhealthy, both mentally and physically. As a result, most anti-gay rights groups reject the 1973 decision by the American Psychiatric Association (APA) to remove homosexuality from its list of mental illnesses. Some of these groups, including the particularly hard-line Traditional Values Coalition, claim that "homosexual activists" managed to infiltrate the APA in order to sway its decision.


    THE FACTS
    All major professional mental health organizations are on record as stating that homosexuality is not a mental disorder.

    It is true that LGBT people suffer higher rates of anxiety, depression, and depression-related illnesses and behaviors like alcohol and drug abuse than the general population. But studies done during the past 15 years have determined that it is the stress of being a member of a minority group in an often-hostile society ? and not LGBT identity itself ? that accounts for the higher levels of mental illness and drug use.


    Richard J. Wolitski, an expert on minority status and public health issues at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, put it like this in 2008: "Economic disadvantage, stigma, and discrimination ... increase stress and diminish the ability of individuals [in minority groups] to cope with stress, which in turn contribute to poor physical and mental health."


    MYTH # 9
    No one is born gay.

    THE ARGUMENT
    Anti-gay activists keenly oppose the granting of "special" civil rights protections to gay people similar to those afforded black Americans and other minorities. But if people are born gay ? in the same way people have no choice as to whether they are black or white ? discrimination against gay men and lesbians would be vastly more difficult to justify. Thus, anti-gay forces insist that sexual orientation is a behavior that can be changed, not an immutable characteristic.


    THE FACTS
    Modern science cannot state conclusively what causes sexual orientation, but a great many studies suggest that it is the result of biological and environmental forces, not a personal "choice." One of the more recent is a 2008 Swedish study of twins (the world's largest twin study) that appeared in The Archives of Sexual Behavior and concluded that "[h]omosexual behaviour is largely shaped by genetics and random environmental factors." Dr. Qazi Rahman, study co-author and a leading scientist on human sexual orientation, said: "This study puts cold water on any concerns that we are looking for a single 'gay gene' or a single environmental variable which could be used to 'select out' homosexuality ? the factors which influence sexual orientation are complex. And we are not simply talking about homosexuality here ? heterosexual behaviour is also influenced by a mixture of genetic and environmental factors."


    The American Psychological Association (APA) acknowledges that despite much research into the possible genetic, hormonal, social and cultural influences on sexual orientation, no evidence has emerged that would allow scientists to pinpoint the precise causes of sexual orientation. Still, the APA concludes that "most people experience little or no sense of choice about their sexual orientation."


    In October 2010, Kansas State University family studies professor Walter Schumm released a study showing that gay parents produced far more gay children than heterosexual parents. He told a reporter that he was "trying to prove [homosexuality is] not 100% genetic." But critics suggested that his data did not prove that, and, in any event, virtually no scientists have suggested that homosexuality is caused only by genes.


    MYTH # 10
    Gay people can choose to leave homosexuality.


    THE ARGUMENT
    If people are not born gay, as anti-gay activists claim, then it should be possible for individuals to abandon homosexuality. This view is buttressed among religiously motivated anti-gay activists by the idea that homosexual practice is a sin and humans have the free will needed to reject sinful urges.


    A number of "ex-gay" religious ministries have sprung up in recent years with the aim of teaching gay people to become heterosexuals, and these have become prime purveyors of the claim that gays and lesbians, with the aid of mental therapy and Christian teachings, can "come out of homosexuality." Exodus International, the largest of these ministries, plainly states, "You don't have to be gay!" Another, the National Association for Research and Therapy of Homosexuality, describes itself as "a professional, scientific organization that offers hope to those who struggle with unwanted homosexuality."

    THE FACTS
    "Reparative" or sexual reorientation therapy ? the pseudo-scientific foundation of the ex-gay movement ? has been rejected by all the established and reputable American medical, psychological, psychiatric, and professional counseling organizations. In 2009, for instance, the American Psychological Association adopted a resolution, accompanied by a 138-page report, that repudiated ex-gay therapy. The report concluded that compelling evidence suggested that cases of individuals going from gay to straight were "rare" and that "many individuals continued to experience same-sex sexual attractions" after reparative therapy. The APA resolution added that "there is insufficient evidence to support the use of psychological interventions to change sexual orientation" and asked "mental health professionals to avoid misrepresenting the efficacy of sexual orientation change efforts by promoting or promising change in sexual orientation." The resolution also affirmed that same-sex sexual and romantic feelings are normal.


    Some of the most striking, if anecdotal, evidence of the ineffectiveness of sexual reorientation therapy has been the numerous failures of some of its most ardent advocates. For example, the founder of Exodus International, Michael Bussee, left the organization in 1979 with a fellow male ex-gay counselor because the two had fallen in love. Alan Chambers, current president of Exodus, said in 2007 that with years of therapy, he's mostly conquered his attraction to men, but then admitted, "By no means would we ever say that change can be sudden or complete."
    -Alissa, mom to Tristan (5) and Reid (the baby!)

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  8. #8
    Posting Addict GloriaInTX's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alissa_Sal View Post
    Hate against who? Against hate groups? No, I don't think that identifying a hate group is the same as like, being a hate group. If I say "The KKK is a well known hate group" would you really think that I'm "encouraging hate?"
    So would YOU classify the KKK the same as the FRC?

    Who is next? The boy scouts?

    http://www.splcenter.org/get-informe...lgbt-prejudice
    Last edited by GloriaInTX; 08-17-2012 at 12:35 PM.
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    This is the issue that I have with the SPLC and the way that they label groups. The KKK and groups like this serve the sole purpose of hating others. Groups like Focus on the family or the like are groups that may have one faction the SPLC does not like, but they do not focus solely on hating others.
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    Quote Originally Posted by GloriaInTX View Post
    So would YOU classify the KKK the same as the FRC?

    Who is next? The boy scouts?

    Boy Scouts of America policy embraces anti-LGBT prejudice | Southern Poverty Law Center
    Kind of, yeah. Certainly the KKK's methods were historically worse, but the aims were pretty much the same. They were both angling to keep a certain group of people second class citizens both in society and under the law. I don't believe that the FRC is or will be physically violent, but they certainly actively work to suppress the legal rights and societal acceptance of gay people, which is a page right out of the KKK's playbook.

    Boy scouts - no, not unless they actively campaign to deny homosexuals equal rights. Don't get me wrong, I think they are also discriminating, and I would never ever EVER allow my son to be a part of them (for more reasons than just the gay thing) but I wouldn't go so far as to call them a hate group.
    -Alissa, mom to Tristan (5) and Reid (the baby!)

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