Southern Poverty Law Center Adds Seven More Organizations to Anti-LGBT List, Which Has Nearly Doubled in Size Since 2011
Seven organizations were added to the Southern Poverty Law Center's list of active anti-LGBT hate groups in 2015, in a sign of increasing backlash over recent gay-rights victories including the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling in favor of nationwide marriage equality last June.
The surge in anti-LGBT organizations contributed to a 14 percent increase in the total number of hate groups in 2015, from 784 in 2014 to 892. It was the first overall increase in five years, and SPLC said thanks to politicians like Donald Trump — who graces the cover of its annual "Intelligence Report" released Wednesday — the nation is more polarized and angry than it's been since the political turmoil of 1968.
The Montgomery, Alabama civil rights group listed 48 organizations as anti-LGBT hate groups in 2015, up from 44 in 2014, as a few from previous years became inactive. The number of anti-LGBT hate groups has nearly doubled since 2011, when there were only 27.
"These groups have had a series of losses that have them in a white-hot fury," SPLC senior fellow Potok told The New Civil Rights Movement. "People who resent LGBT people and the gains they’ve made are organizing, but it’s very much a rear-guard action. These groups are really vile and nasty, but they’re losing the battle, and ultimately they’re going to lose the war."
In the face of mounting losses in the U.S., Potok said more anti-LGBT groups are turning their attention overseas, leading efforts to make homosexuality illegal in some countries. Anti-LGBT hate groups are also increasingly targeting transgender people, which contributed to an increase in anti-trans violence last year, including at least 23 murders.
"Transgender people, and in particular transgender women of color, are the single most victimized group of people in the United States," Potok said. "These are people whom it is apparently still alright to hate."
In addition to anti-LGBT backlash, the overall spike in hate groups was fueled mostly by new Ku Klux Klan chapters and black separatist groups, as well as anti-immigrant and anti-Muslim organizations, SPLC said.
“While the number of extremist groups grew in 2015 after several years of declines, the real story was the deadly violence committed by extremists in city after city," Potok said. “Whether it was Charleston, San Bernardino or Colorado Springs, 2015 was clearly a year of deadly action for extremists.
2015 was a violent year, filled with political violence and extremist rhetoric. pic.twitter.com/3UttbjXpvb— SPLC (@splcenter) February 17, 2016
“After seeing the bloodshed that defined 2015, our politicians should have worked to defuse this anger and bring us together as a nation,” Potok said. “Unfortunately, the carnage did little to dissuade some political figures from spouting incendiary rhetoric about minorities. In fact, they frequently exploited the anger and polarization across the country for political gain.”
Below are the seven new anti-LGBT hate groups in 2015:
• The Campus Ministry USA of Terre Haute, Indiana
• Citizens for Community Values in Cincinnati, Ohio
• Conservative Republicans of Texas in Houston, Texas
• D. James Kennedy Ministries in Fort Lauderdale, Florida
• Faith Baptist Church in Greenville, Georgia (formerly Sons of Thundr)
• Faith2Action in North Royalton, Ohio
• The Friendship Assembly of God in Colorado Springs, Colorado
Image via Facebook