Republicans join FRC in ad countering hate group listing

WASHINGTON (RNS) The Family Research Council, joined by prominent
Republican allies, is mounting an aggressive defense to a decision by
the Southern Poverty Law Center to designate the powerful conservative
lobby as a hate group.

"The group, which was once known for combating racial bigotry, is
now attacking several groups that uphold Judeo Christian moral views,
including marriage as the union of a man and a woman," reads a Wednesday
(Dec. 15) FRC ad placed in the print editions of Politico and the
Washington Examiner.

The ad, in the form of an open letter, was signed by more than two
dozen Republican leaders, including several potential GOP presidential
candidates: Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, former Arkansas Gov. Mike
Huckabee and Sen. Jim DeMint of South Carolina.

Other signatories included House Speaker-designate John Boehner of
Ohio and House Majority Leader-elect Eric Cantor of Virginia.

The ad follows a Nov. 22 report from the Alabama-based civil rights
watchdog adding the FRC and four other conservative religious
organizations to its list of hate groups for their "demonizing
propaganda aimed at homosexuals."

The report's editor, Mark Potok, told Religion News Service the
groups on the list were chosen for "propagation of known falsehoods" and
not because of their religious nature.

The ad says the signatories "stand in solidarity" with FRC and other
groups known for their opposition to gay marriage.

They also expressed dismay at criticism of the Manhattan
Declaration, a 2009 statement that opposes abortion and gay marriage. An
iPhone app promoting the manifesto was recently removed from Apple's
online store after liberal critics objected to it.

"This is intolerance pure and simple," the ad reads. "Elements of
the radical Left are trying to shut down informed discussion of policy
issues that are being considered by Congress, legislatures, and the

Adelle M. Banks

Adelle M. Banks is a national reporter for Religion News Service.

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