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to Section One | to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, August 25, 2017 - Volume 45 Issue 34
Hate group sues Southern Poverty Law Center

Don't call us haters, haters say
Section One
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Hate group sues Southern Poverty Law Center

Don't call us haters, haters say

by Mike Andrew - SGN Staff Writer

D. James Kennedy Ministries (DJKM) announced on August 23 that it was suing the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) for defamation.

SPLC had labelled DJKM an anti-LGBT hate group because of the activities of its founder, D. James Kennedy, and its current President and CEO, Dr. Frank Wright.

Kennedy, who died in 2007, actively opposed the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Act. He also claimed that Charles Darwin provided the theoretical justification for Adolf Hitler. Wright has continued in the same vein.

In its suit, DJKM alleges that SPLC illegally trafficked in false and misleading descriptions of DJKM and committed defamation against DJKM by publishing and distributing 'false information' - in other words branding DJKM an anti-LGBT hate group - that 'libels the ministry's reputation and subjects the ministry to disgrace, ridicule, odium, and contempt in the estimation of the public.'

Also named as defendants in the suit are Amazon and Guidestar, an agency that researches and reports on purported charities to assist potential donors in finding reputable non-profits. Amazon and Guidestar 'damaged' DJKM by 'promoting' SPLC's designation of the ministry as a hate group.

According to court documents, a DJKM employee tried to register the ministry with the AmazonSmile program, a matching-fund grant program. But he was rejected because Amazon uses Guidestar to determine which charities are eligible for funds. Guidestar, in turn, notified Amazon that SPLC had designated DJKM as a hate group.

Liberty Counsel, another SPLC-designated hate group, has also filed suit against Guidestar for quoting SPLC's report on them.

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