It’s one of those year-in-review packages that helps donors and potential members get a sense of what you accomplished over the past year. Those reports take a while to put together, especially for larger non-profits, so releasing it in mid-March is hardly unusual.
Including in the report is a reminder that Donald Trump has no problem associating with SPLC-designated “hate groups”:
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, while his Department of Justice has filed amicus briefs with the Supreme Court in support of anti-LGBTQ lawsuits, some of which were brought by the anti-LGBTQ hate group Alliance Defending Freedom.
All of that is accurate.
Alliance Defending Freedom is also listed, separately, as an anti-LGBTQ hate group. It’s a designation they’ve had since 2016 because they support “recriminalization of homosexuality,” have defended the sterilization of transgender people in other countries, connect homosexuality with pedophilia, and say a “homosexual agenda” will destroy society.
In other words, their faith-based objection to homosexuality or same-sex marriage isn’t the issue.
ADF’s Jeremy Tedesco has now responded to the annual report by denouncing SPLC… for releasing it in the midst of a pandemic.
“It is appalling that the Southern Poverty Law Center would choose this moment of crisis to launch their divisive and false ‘hate report.’ Instead, we call on SPLC to apologize, retract it immediately, and join the rest of America in uniting against a common foe: the COVID-19 coronavirus. They should use their influence to assist American communities in productive ways rather than sow discord and division among them.”
ADF doesn’t say what an appropriate date would be to release the report. (As if they would’ve been totally fine with it had it been released in February…) Nor do they say why the designation is unfair. Or how SPLC mischaracterizes their beliefs.
Their argument is only that no one is allowed to use their own words against them when we’re in a crisis.
We’re always in a crisis. That’s what happens when Republicans are in office. If it’s not a pandemic, it’s a war. If it’s not a war, it’s an economic or political crisis. There’s never a good time for ADF to have someone else point out that ADF promotes bigotry.
The fact that they don’t respond to the claims themselves tells you everything you need to know about them. Even if you have problems with SPLC — and there are plenty of reasons to be concerned about them — the “hate” designation is absolutely appropriate in this case.
COVID-19 has no affect on that.