The Liberty Counsel — the group that’s representing Rowan County, Kentucky Clerk Kim Davis — has been declared a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center, the Associated Press’ Claire Galofaro reports.
According to the SPLC, the group and its leader, Mat Staver, have virulently opposed all LGBTQ rights legislation under the aegis of “religious freedom” — it’s even defended Scott Lively, who “played an instrumental part in the Ugandan parliament’s adoption of a draconian anti-LGBT bill that originally included the death penalty in some instances.”
According to Staver, hate crimes legislation is the equivalent of “‘thought crimes’ laws that violate the right to freedom of speech and of conscience” and “have a chilling effect on people who have moral or religious objections to homosexual behavior.”
The Liberty Counsel has come under fire for its management of Davis, first after Staver claimed that an image of 100,000 people in Peru were gathered to pray for Davis — they were not, a fact for which Staver blamed a “miscommunication” with Peruvian officials — and later for misrepresenting Davis’ meeting with Pope Francis.
There are some who will accuse the SPLC of going on an ideological witch hunt, and in fact the Liberty Council spokesman is already doing just that.
However in my opinion calling them a hate group is a reasonable assertion, even without the rather long laundry list of reasons given by SPLC.
After all, who BUT a hate group could possibly represent Kim Davis?