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SPLC's 'hate' fence: What's the tipping point?

by Jeremy Hooper

Question: If an organization routinely gives positive reinforcement to an SPLC-declared hate group, should that group also be put in the "active U.S. hate groups" category? We ask this after seeing a new One News Now story in which the American Family Association's press outlet once again gives a platform to MassResistance and its leader, Brian Camenker:

A pro-family advocate says budget cuts are coming for Massachusetts schools, but programs aimed at promoting homosexuality need not worry.
Brian Camenker of MassResistance says more than 1,000 state jobs as well as public school funding have been cut, while mental health facilities have also been closed. However, pro-homosexual programs in Massachusetts' public schools have remained.

According to Camenker, the governor and the legislature are "very tight" with the homosexual lobby. "Very publicly, I might add, as anyone I've ever seen. The governor marches in the gay pride parades," he points out. "Anything they want, they get."

Homosexuals immune to Mass. budget cuts [ONN]

In case you don't already, MassResistance is one of the nine national groups that SPLC cites as beingan anti-gay "hate group." Also if you didn't already 200901081208know, One News Now is less of a news outfit and more of a bugle for the AFA's anti-gay, anti-progressive cause. They are running the Camenker story because they agree with it. They are giving a voice to Camenker (without any other side being presented) because they want their readership to swallow it up, hook, line, and stinker. So in addition the AFA's own anti-gay work (see their latest Pepsi boycott), they are also, through their properties, giving a platform to groups like MassResistance.

Which brings us back to our our question(s): Where does the pass begin an end? When does being an unapologetic, repeated conduit for a certified hate group's message get you bumped up to the same status?

Now, it's likely that neither MassResistance nor the AFA would shed any public tears over being included on the list. However, it does matter in terms of the public conversation. The AFA is well-financed and earns national (and even international) attention. They have obtained meetings with corporate boards, and even led to changes in certain company policies. So is it maybe time for SPLC to re-evaluate the AFA, the larger funnel for so much of their already-certified hate? We're thinking it might be.

Active U.S. Hate Groups -- AntiGay [SPLC]

**Note: The AFA has also been known to join in coalition with other groups with SPLC-certification, including Abiding Truth Ministries and Watchmen on The Walls. They have also disseminated the work of Paul Cameron's Family Research Institute.

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Your thoughts

The ironic thing is that Camenker's group is all but ignored in Massachusetts. His group alienates everyone - liberals, conservatives, Republicans, Democrats, freaks, geeks, etc. etc.

Posted by: a. mcewen | Jan 8, 2009 12:38:23 PM

It's true, Camenkers groups garners its share of scorn in MA. Look, gay marriage has been legal in MA for nearly five years now. The sky hasn't fallen, there haven't been any major natural disasters in the state, and life goes on.

Yet you get these bigots like Camenker who I cannot tolerate.

Posted by: Tony P | Jan 8, 2009 1:27:23 PM

Brian Camenker is complaining that "mental health facilities have also been closed." No wonder he's so darned mad, he's homeless.

Posted by: Mike Tidmus | Jan 8, 2009 1:27:30 PM

The AFA is a hate group. Period. They have caused more misery to more families than almost any other "family" organization. Ironic, isn't it?

Posted by: Greg in Mpls | Jan 8, 2009 9:03:03 PM

The SPLC is a hate group.

Posted by: lsjogren | Aug 4, 2009 6:34:11 PM

Well I'm curious, lsjogren: Do you object to all of the classifications that the SPLC makes (white separatist groups, Neo-Nazis, etc.) or is it only their anti-gay classifications that you reject?

Posted by: G-A-Y | Aug 4, 2009 6:45:48 PM


Many groups the SPLC targets are indeed hate groups. Others are simply organizations that support policies that the SPLC opposes. Example: Organizations that advocate enforcement of the immigration laws.

That SPLC has expanded its targeting to groups that have nothing to do with hate but support policies that it opposes (especially those who advocate enforcement of the immigration laws) is not something that has just been claimed by right wingers, many prominent liberals have chastized the group for engaging in this ugly tactic.

Just one example, the SPLC has been bashing County Executive Steve Levy in Long Island because he been supportive of enforcement of the immigration laws.

In my view, to smear individuals and groups who do not express hate simply because one disagrees with their political views is itself an act of hate.

Do you disagree?

Posted by: lsjogren | Sep 4, 2009 12:13:06 PM

and by the way, mr g-a-y, contrary to the assertion you made with absolutely no basis in fact, I happen to support gay rights.

Posted by: lsjogren | Sep 4, 2009 12:16:35 PM

lsjoren says: "contrary to the assertion you made with absolutely no basis in fact"

HUH? I made no assertion of the sort! I simply asked you the straightforward and sincere question ["Do you object to all of the classifications that the SPLC makes (white separatist groups, Neo-Nazis, etc.) or is it only their anti-gay classifications that you reject?"] and you have now responded. Please don't put false assertions into *my* mouth.

As for your assessment of SPLC: Honestly, I'd have to research it. I don't know enough about the particular concerns you raised to speak to them.

But I do know that in terms of LGBT groups, they have been pretty accurate about gauging when a group goes from simple opposition to the extreme fringes. And that is what this post is about: Why the SPLC fails to include the AFA, which seems to have hit the same mark as many of the others on the LGBT portion of the list.

Posted by: G-A-Y | Sep 4, 2009 12:22:07 PM

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