June 30, 2017 - Family Research Council
For charity index GuideStar, the troubles didn't end when its "hate banners" did. Although the nonprofit tracker finally took down the Southern Poverty Law Center's (SPLC) phony labeling from the conservative groups on its website, the backlash is still coming.
Three days after their switchboards were overwhelmed by complaints, GuideStar learned that it will have to explain its actions -- in court.
Our friends at Liberty Counsel, one of the 46 groups intentionally smeared by Jacob Harold's organization, launched a lawsuit against GuideStar for trying to dissuade donors from giving to their group with SPLC's politically motivated "hate group" name-calling.
"GuideStar and its political ally, the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), are intent on destroying pro-family organizations," the Counsel's chairman Mat Staver told reporters. The 'hate group' label is false and dangerous," he said, as FRC knows all too well.
"GuideStar's CEO, Jacob Harold, is using GuideStar as a weapon to defame, harm, and promote his liberal agenda by using the SPLC to falsely label good nonprofit organizations as 'hate groups.'
The only purpose of providing the SPLC false and dangerous 'hate group' label is to inflict reputational and financial harm to Liberty Counsel.
GuideStar has lost all credibility. GuideStar will now have to answer for its reckless, defamatory, and harmful political labeling."
SPLC, who's hanging on to its support base by a thread, was quick to comment, insisting that it would be ready to defend its designation of Liberty Counsel. Proving that its labeling has no basis in objectivity, the group could only point to Staver's beliefs in biblical marriage and sexuality as justification for the designation.
"Liberty Counsel is a group that has consistently called LGBT people 'immoral, unnatural and self-destructive." As usual, the Left isn't pointing out actual extremism (since 53 percent of Americans hold the same view of marriage), merely trying to marginalize Christians they disagree with.
Unfortunately for the 41 top conservatives who intervened with a letter to the charity ranker, Harold did not agree to cut all ties with the SPLC, which has even come under fire from mainstream outlets like Politico and the Wall Street Journal after it was discovered that yet another gunman was highlighted by the radical group.
nstead, he's offered to make the SPLC's designations available to anyone who requests them. That's not good enough for Staver and others, who've watched the SPLC's veneer of credibility vanish after the U.S. Army, FBI, and Obama Justice Departmentbacked away from Morris Dees's organization.
On last night's "Washington Watch," Mat explained to me "Certainly you and the folks at Family Research Council know: this is serious.
This puts people's lives at risk... And this begins with SPLC's false and defamatory labeling -- not because [their targets] are violent, because they're not. They admit that they're not violent...
[But] If you're not on the same page with the SPLC on the radical LGBT agenda, then they'll label you a 'hater.' We're not going to take it."
As for the case against GuideStar, he told our listeners:
"We're taking them to federal court on the claim that they violated federal and state law by interfering with business opportunities, intending to hurt and punish. We know, for example, that some corporations who do matching funds for their employees will block their employees from contributing to groups with the 'hate group' label. We know that's happening... because of GuideStar. We're asking for financial damages, since they're trying to damage these 46 organizations. And we're asking for a permanent injunction so that they are permanently blocked by the court order from using this label in a defamatory way."
The Washington Times in a front page article today sums up the case against the SPLC in this way: "As far as conservative organizations are concerned, being labeled a 'hate group' by the Southern Poverty Law Center isn't just annoying -- it's dangerous." This is the number one reason why no one -- including GuideStar -- should be using the SPLC's data.
Tony Perkins' Washington Update is written with the aid of FRC senior writers.