The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) has released their 2019 Year in Hate and Extremism report, which tracks U.S.-based hate groups. While there was a slight decline in overall groups last year, there was an increase in anti-LGBTQ groups.

In 2019, SPLC documented 940 hate groups in the U.S. This is a dip of 8 percent from 2018, when 1,020 groups were documented. However, LGBTQ hate groups increased by 43 percent from 49 groups in 2018 to 70 in 2019—making it the fastest-growing sector among hate groups last year.

The report states that the increase was “possibly fueled by continued anti-LGBTQ sentiment and policy emanating from government officials,” including President Donald Trump himself.

“Anti-LGBTQ groups have become intertwined with the Trump administration, and—after years of civil rights progress and growing acceptance among the broader American public—anti-LGBTQ sentiment within the Republican Party is rising,” SPLC wrote. “Though Trump promised during his campaign to be a ‘real friend’ to the LGBTQ community, he has fully embraced anti-LGBTQ hate groups and their agenda of dismantling federal protections and resources for LGBTQ people.”

In response to the report, a spokesperson for the White House called SPLC a “far-left smear organization” and claimed President Trump has “fought for inclusion and repeatedly condemned hate and violence.”

“While the radical left has pushed false accusations that LGBTQ Americans are threatened, the president has hired and promoted LGBTQ Americans to the highest levels of government, including positions at the White House, Cabinet agencies, and ambassadorships,” spokesperson Judd Deere told NBC News. “He launched a global campaign to decriminalize homosexuality…and the president has made the bold declaration that we are committed to ending HIV transmissions in the United States within ten years.”

Nationwide, Georgia tied with Tennessee for producing the fifth-most hate groups with 38, following California (88), Florida (67), Texas (63), and New York (44). Of the 38 Georgian groups, two were anti-LGBTQ: American Vision in Powder Springs and Strong Hold Baptist Church in Norcross.

Anti-LGBTQ groups weren’t the only ones to increase nationwide last year; there was also a 55 percent increase in white nationalist groups since 2017 and a 17 percent increase in anti-immigrant hate groups.

One Response

  1. Richard Keefe

    “Anti-LGBTQ hate groups are on the rise in the U.S., according to a new report from the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC)”

    This “report” is another cynical fundraising ploy by the SPLC. The SPLC is the sole arbiter of the incredibly lucrative “hate group” label. The SPLC uses its “hate group” claims to sell fear and outrage to its huge Progressive donor base. That came to $117 million donor-dollars in 2019, $122 million in 2018, and $133 million in 2017. The SPLC has a demonstrable financial incentive for keeping the number of alleged “hate groups” as high as the donor market will bear, and nobody in the Media will challenge their claims.

    Last year, when one of the SPLC’s anti-LGBT “hate groups” tried to sue the company for defamation, US District Court Judge Myron Thompson ruled that it could not do so as the “hate group” label was “merely the SPLC’s opinion.”

    The SPLC added 21 new anti-LGBT “hate groups” to its 2019 list, bringing the total to 70. Twenty-one of anything in a country of more than 330 million people doesn’t sound nearly as impressive (or ominous) as “a surge of 43 percent!!!” The company created this figure through a combination of “creative accounting” and barrel bottom scraping.

    First off, the SPLC claims on its website that “Entities that appear to exist only in cyberspace are not included” on its list and yet at least 30 of the anti-LGBT groups listed exist only in cyberspace.

    The company claimed 12 chapters of the online advocacy group MassResistance for 2019, to which its founder, Brian Camenker responded, “To be specific, we DO NOT have chapters in these places: Torrance, CA; Lexington Park, MD; Detroit, MI; Las Vegas, NV; Austin, TX; Dallas, TX; Fort Worth, TX; Seattle, WA…” It seems unlikely that Camenker would lie about his group being smaller than it actually is.

    From 2013 to 2018, the SPLC counted exactly one chapter of the online group Pacific Justice Institute (PJI). In 2019 it counted five. Between PJI and the MassResistance phantoms, that accounts for more than half of the alleged 21 group “surge” and yet nobody in the media will call them out on it.

    And last, at least 20 of the groups listed are churches, including the infamous Westboro Baptist Church. Nearly all of these are small store-front affairs with a couple dozen congregants (most can’t even seat more than that). Yes, many of them take a distinct anti-LGBT line, but seriously, how much of an actual threat are they and who would have ever have heard of the Faith Baptist Church of Violet, Louisiana if not for the SPLC’s free world-wide publicity?

    Remember, in 2000 the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) banned all gay men and boys from the organization, claiming “The BSA reaffirmed its view that an avowed homosexual cannot serve as a role model for the traditional moral values espoused in the Scout Oath and Law…” The SPLC said exactly nothing for over a decade, and when it did, it actually made excuses for the BSA’s blatant anti-Gay discrimination.

    “Of course, the Boy Scouts of America doesn’t intend to encourage bigotry. But such policies can have that effect,” said SPLC President Joe Levin in 2012. In 2014, Levin doubled down on his claim, stating, “We don’t list the Boy Scouts (as a hate group,)” said Levin. “We only do that if we have a group that’s propagating known falsehoods associated with a particular person or group – in this case, the LGBT community. The Boy Scouts haven’t really done that.”

    Apparently, the BSA’s claims that “all gays lack the morals to be Scouts” didn’t cross the SPLC’s threshold for “propagating falsehoods.” The SPLC has never listed the BSA as a “hate group,” and why is that? Because many of its donors were Scouts or the parents/grandparents of Scouts and linking the almighty donors with a “hate group” is bad for business.

    SPLC “hate group” numbers are for fundraising, not fact finding. Spurious claims of “Anti-LGBT hate groups on the rise!” are designed to garner donations from LGBT folk and their progressive allies.

    The LGBT community has enough real issues to contend with as it is without putting up with transparent scammers like these.

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