Florida anti-LGBTQ ministry suing SPLC for designating them a ‘hate group’ — and killing their fundraising
An anti-LGBTQ ministry in Coral Gableshas filed a lawsuit against the Southern Poverty Law Center claiming the civil rights organization is killing their fundraising by designating them a “hate group.”
According to Hemant Mehta at the Friendly Atheist, the ministry of the late Pastor D. James Kennedy (formerly called Truth in Action) filed the lawsuit in Alabama, with both the SPLC and Amazon as defendants.
Christianity Today reports that ministry President Frank Wright claimed “Enough is enough,” after donations collapsed when Amazon.com banned them from fundraising via AmazonSmile because of the “hate group” designation.
According to the lawsuit, “The basis for SPLC’s declaration that the Ministry is a hate group is that the Ministry espouses and supports Biblical morals and principles concerning human sexuality. It was on these Biblical principles that this Nation was founded and built.”
“They have conspired to publish written information in interstate commerce that subjects the Ministry to disgrace, ridicule, odium, and contempt, by declaring the Ministry a hate group. Under Alabama law, this conduct constitutes defamation, specifically libel per se,” the suit continues.
The SPLC has noted that the ministry has previously published writings that claim gay marriage “‘entices children to experiment with homosexuality’ and that accepting homosexuality leads to ‘a loss of stability in communities, with a rise in crime, sexually transmitted diseases and other social pathologies. Still another is a shortage of employable, stable people.’”
The SPLC adds, “Over the years, Kennedy emphasized anti-gay rhetoric, particularly in his TV ministry. He recommended as ‘essential’ the virulent work of R.J. Rushdoony… who believed practicing gays should be executed. In an especially nasty 1989 edition of a [Coral Ridge Ministries] newsletter, Kennedy ran photographs of children along with the tagline, ‘Sex With Children? Homosexuals Say Yes!’”
You can read a full examination of the SPLC’s contentious relationship with the ministry here.