Southern Poverty Law Center’s Hate Campaign Must Be Stopped

Today in their press release, Liberty Counsel (LC) warned of the dangerous “hate” map being put forth by the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC).

“FBI footage released yesterday reveals that Floyd Corkins sought to kill employees of the Family Research Council (FRC) because the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) listed FRC on its website as a so-called ‘hate group.’ Although FRC is clearly not a ‘hate group,’ the SPLC lists it as such solely because it disagrees with the organization about homosexuality and marriage as the union of one man and one woman.”

Informed readers may remember an op-ed I wrote in mid-February this year about the SPLC’s Hate Campaign Against Ex-Gays where I warned of the “interactive map on their website of over seventy therapists who offer sexual orientation change effort (SOCE) therapy. Similar to the map of gun owners that was recently published in a New York newspaper, this “hate” map acts as a black list, putting professionals at-risk for potential violence from those who oppose SOCE.

LC reports that “Last year, Corkins entered the lobby of FRC armed with a loaded semi-automatic pistol, 100 rounds of ammunition, and 15 Chick-fil-A sandwiches. The security guard was shot, but he was still able to wrestle Corkins to the ground until police arrived. Corkins confessed to the FBI that he intended to kill as many people as possible and to rub Chick-fil-A sandwiches in their faces. He had a list on him of three other pro-family organizations in Washington, DC, where he intended to carry out more murders after he finished slaughtering people at FRC. When interrogators asked Corkins how he picked FRC, he said, “Southern Poverty Law lists anti-gay groups. I found them online, did a little research, went to the website, stuff like that.”

I have first-hand experience of the deceptive practices of the SPLC. In October 2011, I co-facilitated a group therapy seminar in which Samuel Wolfe, an attorney with the SPLC, registered and attended. During one of the breaks, our staff casually attempted to get to know Mr. Wolfe, who avoided telling us his motivation for participating. After the first day of the seminar, we did a little research and discovered that Mr. Wolfe was indeed an employee of the SPLC. One of our staff members asked Mr. Wolfe why he was attending. Mr. Wolfe claimed that he was doing research on so-called “change therapies” and wanted to see if our seminar really harmed persons with SSA.

We politely informed Mr. Wolfe that we only allowed participants, not observers, to attend our healing seminars, refunded his fee, and asked him to leave. Last April, an article appeared in “The Advocate” written by Mr. Wolfe. Below is an excerpt:

“As part of our investigation, I recently attended a conversion program where participants used ‘touch therapy,’ which involves being held like a baby by another man, with lights dimmed and soft music playing. The idea is to receive the nurturing missed as a child, thereby becoming more ‘whole’ and automatically shedding ‘unwanted same-sex attraction.’ Tragically, some of the participants were teens, prodded by their parents and communities that reject them as they are.”

While there is no mention of my organization, the processes he describes are similar to a therapeutic activity that we have individuals participate in, teaching about healthy touch and bonding rather than sexualizing one’s emotional needs. Nothing about this program was intended to “shed” unwanted SSA, as Mr. Wolfe claims.

Not only is the SPLC dangerous and ideological, they are also dishonest about their real motives: branding anyone who disagrees with their radical, liberal agenda as propagators of hate. The SPLC needs to be reminded that tolerance does not include tolerating intolerance.

Christopher Doyle is the Co-Founder and Acting Director of Voice of the Voiceless, the only anti-defamation league for former homosexuals, persons with unwanted same-sex attractions, and their families. For more information, visit: