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Conservative Groups Respond to SPLC’s ‘Hit List’

Conservative leaders from Alliance Defending Freedom, American Family Association, Family Research Council, Heritage Foundation, Liberty Counsel, and Wallbuilders were part of a total of 47 individuals and groups that signed an open letter to the mainstream media calling on them to stop using information from the Southern Poverty Law Center’s so-called “hate group” list.

“All reputable news organizations should immediately stop using the SPLC descriptions of individuals and organizations based on the SPLC’s obvious political prejudices,” wrote the group in the open letter released on Wednesday.

Perpetrators of both a planned attack at Family Research Council years ago and the shooting of Rep. Scalise and other Republicans at a baseball game practice in June referenced SPLC’s ‘hate” list. Both Liberty Counsel and D. James Kennedy Ministries have gone to court over SPLC’s charge they are “hate” organizations.

The letter continues, “The SPLC is a discredited, left-wing, political activist organization that seeks to silence its political opponents with a ‘hate group’ label of its own invention and application that is not only false and defamatory, but that also endangers the lives of those targeted with it.”

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ADF Fights Back Against ABC’s ‘Hate Group’ Comment

After an ABC News segment with Pete Madden and Erin Galloway about U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions in which it called Alliance Defending Freedom an “anti-LGBT hate group,” ADF asked the news channel to apologize and retract the defamatory story. “ABC News has committed journalistic malpractice. For ABC News to essentially cut and paste false charges against Alliance Defending Freedom by a radically left-wing, violence-inciting organization like Southern Poverty Law Center is a discredit to ABC News and to the profession,” said ADF Legal Counsel and Director of Communications Kerri Kupec, who recently appeared on FOX & Friends to talk about the controversy. To its credit, ADF is a well-respected and successful Supreme Court advocate for those fighting for free speech, religious liberty, and life.

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GuideStar Removes Hate Labels From Nonprofit Listings

We recently reported that GuideStar, an organization that evaluates and rates the integrity of U.S. nonprofits, had decided to team with the Southern Poverty Law Center to flag organizations the center deemed hate groups.

On June 21, FRC and 40 other conservative organizations and individuals sent a letter to Jacob Harold, the CEO of GuideStar, asking that it stop the “hate group” flagging.

This week, GuideStar removed the SPLC “hate group” label from a total of 46 nonprofits. While Harold acknowledged that both supporters and critics of the initial decision had noted legitimate disagreement on how the information was presented, he also inferred that the decision was partially based on “harassment and threats” to its staff.

Jerry Boykin, executive vice president of the Family Research Council, quickly responded to the GuideStar staff situation:“We at FRC know directly what it is like to be on the receiving end of threats and life-threatening violence, so we do not take such matters lightly. We note that our interactions with the GuideStar staff have been cordial—even though we disagreed with its new policy.”

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