GuideStar USA, which is one of the nation's leading sources of information about nonprofit organizations, has announced it will remove from its list of "hate groups" dozens of conservative advocacy organizations, many of which advocate for traditional marriage.
"Earlier this year, in order to provide even more information to our users, we noted that 46 of the 1,676,746 active nonprofit groups we track had been flagged by the Southern Poverty Law Center, a long-standing civil rights advocacy organization," GuideStar says in a statement. "In the weeks and months since, we have heard from both supporters and critics of this decision, many of whom have presented reasonable disagreements with the way in which this information was presented."
Among the groups listed as hate groups included the Family Research Council, the Center for Security Policy, the Liberty Counsel, the American College of Pediatricians, the American Freedom Defense Initiative and the Alliance Defending Freedom.
GuideStar now says it's "driven by both our commitment to objectivity and our concerns for our staff's wellbeing" to remove the SPLC annotations from the conservative nonprofits.
The far-left SPLC produces a "hate map," which shows each supposed "hate group" by state.
"We acknowledge there is a deep, nuanced conversation to be had with Americans of all political, cultural, and religious backgrounds regarding how we address — and identify — hate groups," GuideStar admits. "Dismayingly, a significant amount of the feedback we've received in recent days has shifted from constructive criticism to harassment and threats directed at our staff and leadership."
The leaders of 41 conservative group recently sent a letter to GuideStar president Jacob Herald, outlining their concern about the labels.
"The SPLC has no bona fides to make such determinations. It is not a governmental organization using a rigorous criteria to create its lists, and it is not a scientifically oriented organization. The SPLC is merely another 'progressive' political organization," the letter stated. "It gained credibility attacking Klansmen, neo-Nazis, and skinheads — many of whom were engaged in violence. The SPLC is now trying to export the same tactics into areas of mainstream political discourse including debates about immigration and sexual-identity politics."
It continued: "The 'hate group' list is nothing more than a political weapon targeting people it deems to be its political enemies. The list is ad hoc, partisan, and agenda-driven. The SPLC doesn't even pretend to identify groups on the political left that engage in 'hate.' Mosques or Islamist groups that promote radical speech inciting anti-Semitism and actual violence are not listed by the SPLC even though many have been publicly identified after terrorist attacks. Radical, violent leftist environmentalists or speech suppressing thugs — like the Rioting 'antifa' movement — receive no mention from the SPLC."
FRC's Executive Vice President Jerry Boykin told the Daily Signal recently that he thought GuideStar's listing of "hate group" designations is "another attack on conservative Christian organizations and individuals."
"GuideStar says that they are neutral, but they are anything but neutral," Boykins was quoted as saying. "In fact, they are, I would say at this point, they are becoming an arm of the ultra-left."