Disagree with the immoral Left and you're spreading hate. It's what America is not about:
Conservative groups and lawmakers are firing back at the Southern Poverty Law Center for releasing a new report labeling some mainstream conservative organizations as "hate groups" for their opposition to gay marriage.
In its latest report, the center added 18 "anti-gay groups" to its list of active hate organizations, including Concerned Women for America, the Traditional Values Coalition, the Family Research Council and the National Organization for Marriage.
They join the center's list of more than 900 hate groups, including the KKK, neo-Nazis, skinheads, white nationalists, neo-Confederates, and black separatists like the New Black Panther Party and the Nation of Islam.
"Even as some well-known anti-gay groups like Focus on the Family moderate their views, a hard core of smaller groups, most of them religiously motivated, have continued to pump out demonizing propaganda aimed at homosexuals and other sexual minorities," the report reads. "These groups' influence reaches far beyond what their size would suggest, because the 'facts' they disseminate about homosexuality are often amplified by certain politicians, other groups and even news organizations."
Outraged conservatives, led by the Family Research Council, have launched an online petition called "start debating, stop hating," which was published as a full page advertisement in the print editions of Politico and the Washington Examiner.
"Tell the radical Left it is time to stop spreading hateful rhetoric attacking individuals and organizations merely for expressing ideas with which they disagree," the petition reads. "Our debates can and must remain civil – but they must never be suppressed through personal assaults that aim only to malign an opponent's character."
More than 150 leaders have signed the petition, including incoming House Speaker John Boehner, Republican South Carolina Sen. Jim DeMint and 20 other members of Congress as well as potential GOP presidential candidates Bobby Jindal, Mike Huckabee and Tim Pawlenty.
The petition criticizes the SPLC for attacking groups "that uphold Judeo-Christian moral views" by labeling them hate groups without debate.