Several groups cried foul for their inclusion in the report, saying they were unfairly targeted. Andrea Lafferty, executive director of the Traditional Values Coalition, said the hate group label is an intimidation tactic used by the SPLC to marginalize those on the other end of ideological spectrum.
“They are naming anyone who doesn’t agree with them as a hate group,” Lafferty said. “This is how they deal with their enemies – they scare them.”
Bryan Fischer, director of Issue Analysis for the American Family Association, a Christian non-profit named as an anti-gay hate group by the SPLC, rejected the classification. Fischer said the SPLC uses the term hate group irresponsibly as part of its politically-motivated agenda.
“It’s unfortunate that the SPLC is confusing people,” Fischer said. “They belong on their own list because of the vitriol they have for socially conservative groups.”
The SPLC did not return TheDC’s requests for comment.