The anti-gay group Americans For Truth About Homosexuality (AFTAH), run by Peter LaBarbera, has been labeled a “hate group” by the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC).
The decision was announced in the SPLC’s latest edition of its quarterly magazine, Intelligence Report.
The AFTAH group believes and teaches that many homosexuals can “leave behind homosexuality” by becoming born-again Christians. The group works “to [oppose] the radical homosexual agenda” that, according to AFTAH’s Web site, most Americans feel is wrong.
The Southern Poverty Law Center works to fight discrimination, hate and bigotry and promote justice and equality. It tracks hate groups and extremists across the country as a part of their mission.
The SPLC’s criteria for labeling a group or organization as a hate group requires that the group spread discredited and slanderous propaganda.
AFTAH continually uses the reports and research of psychologist Paul Cameron, who has been widely discredited in the professional psychological community, and thus the group meets SPLC’s criteria of a hate group.
The Chicago-based Gay Liberation Network worked to persuade the SPLC to add AFTAH to their list of hate groups so that AFTAH’s discrimination and lies regarding the LGBT community would become public knowledge.
Feast of Fun, a gay-oriented podcast based in Chicago, quoted Bob Schwartz of the Gay Liberation Network as saying, “Getting LaBarbera’s Web site labeled a ‘hate group’ is important because it helps assist the political marginalization of a man who has dedicated his career to denying others legal equality.”
Before becoming the president of AFTAH, LaBarbera founded and headed the Illinois Family Institute, where he worked to get an anti-gay measure on the state ballot.
The SPLC labeled the Illinois Family Institute as a hate group when they cited Paul Cameron as an “authority” on homosexuality - who AFTAH continually cites.
When LaBarbera’s attempt to get an anti-gay measure on the state ballot failed, he reorganized AFTAH in 2006 and continues to spread deceitful and damaging messages about the LGBT community.