Conservative groups that have suffered due to being tagged on the controversial “hate map” of the Southern Poverty Law Center say the organization has no moral authority to label others as it grapples with racial discrimination and sexual harassment allegations of its own.
“Today’s SPLC is aggressively anti-Christian and morally bankrupt, both inside and out. It has long lost any claim as the moral arbiter of ‘hate,’” Jeremy Tedesco, senior counsel and vice president of U.S. advocacy for Alliance Defending Freedom told The Christian Post.
The ADF is an alliance-building legal organization based in Arizona that advocates for the right of people to freely live out their faith. The group unites attorneys, ministry leaders, pastors, and like-minded organizations in a common purpose — a shared commitment to defending religious liberty, the sanctity of life, marriage and family.
The SPLC was founded in 1971 to take on legal cases related to racial injustice, poverty and the death penalty. The organization, which began tracking the Ku Klux Klan in the early 1980s, has since broadened its field of threats to include conservative groups like the ADF whose ideology it does not agree with.
The vaunted civil rights organization currently lists the ADF as a hate group among 20 other organizations in Arizona because of their sexual politics.
In a report in The Washington Post magazine last November, the SPLC noted that the ADF filed an amicus brief in the 2003 landmark Supreme Court case that struck down a Texas law criminalizing gay sex.
Lawyers for the ADF wanted to uphold the state’s right to decide whether “it is reasonable to believe that same-sex sodomy is a distinct public health problem,” the brief noted, because “it clearly is.”
“It’s really bad that you want these people thrown in jail for consensual activity,” Heidi Beirich, director of the SPLC’s Intelligence Project told The Washington Post. “It’s literally barbaric in our opinion. And that was the thing that really pushed ADF over the top to us.”
Earlier this month, the nation’s wealthiest civil rights organization fired its co-founder, Morris Dees, and president, Richard Cohen, a week later, due to allegations of sexual harassment and racial bigotry.
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SOURCE: Christian Post, Leonardo Blair