Earlier this month, Peter wrote a piece examining how “Religious Right groups and right-wing media outlets are waging an intensified campaign against the Southern Poverty Law Center” in response to the SPLC’s designation of various organizations as anti-LGBT hate groups.
The latest salvo in this campaign came from Hannah Scherlacher of Leadership Institute’s Campus Reform program, who published a piece on Fox News today claiming that the SPLC smeared her by placing her on its hate list:
Nazi. Fascist. Misogynist. White supremacist. These are some of the most hateful terms around, and yet they are freely lobbed at anyone who even slightly diverges from the left’s worldview. This fall, I became the one targeted by exactly this sort of bullying at the hands of the Southern Poverty Law Center.
It’s an understatement to say that I was dumbfounded as to how I ended up on the Southern Poverty Law Center’s (SPLC) LGBTQ hate-list — I have never said or done anything to indicate hate for the LGBTQ community. When I called to inquire, SPLC informed me that I am guilty because I did a radio interview with Family Research Council Radio (FRC). The segment was about socialism, but because FRC holds traditional family values, I was labeled an LGBT-hater just for being a guest on the show. No LGBT topics even came-up.
While I am lucky to have a current employer that is understanding of this injustice, many others are not willing to give the benefit of doubt. I will now have to explain to every future employer why my name is on a hate list. If there’s one thing I gained from this, it’s a newfound respect for conservative students who face this type of mistreatment every day on campus.
Groups like the SPLC threaten our constitutional rights and the very fabric that makes this nation great. We need to start pushing back. If this trend of bullying and ostracizing anyone with a different opinion continues, we can only expect a chilling, mob-rule effect and the suppression of speech and ideas in this country.
I am calling on SPLC to remove me from this list and stop engaging in the game of identity fear politics. I urge all Americans who have been bullied, silenced, and pushed into a corner by radical groups like the Southern Poverty Law Center to push back too.
Scherlacher’s claims are entirely untrue, as she has not been been placed on the SPLC’s list of anti-LGBT hate groups but was merely once mentioned in passing in one of its “Anti-LGBT Roundup of Events and Activities” posts.
The SPLC has designated the Family Research Council as an anti-LGBT hate group and as part of its coverage of FRC’s work, the SPLC simply noted who had appeared on FRC’s radio program in previous weeks (emphasis added):
FRC Radio Roundup:
FRC president Tony Perkins hosts a daily radio show, “Washington Watch.” Guests July 13 through July 31 included Rep. Tim Walberg (R-MI); Sen. John Barrasso (R-WY); Faith Church of Budapest’s Michael Patkai; Katalin Novak (Minister of State for Family, Youth and International Affairs, Hungary); Rep. Ted Poe (R-TX); Terry Jeffrey (editor, CNS News); Jerry Johnson (president, National Religious Broadcasters) guest hosted July 18; Ralph Reed; Jack Graham (pastor of Prestonwood Baptist Church in Plano, Texas, one of the evangelicals who prayed over President Trump in the Oval Office the week before); Sen. Luther Strange (R-AL); Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH; twice); Rep. Scott Perry (R-PA); Ken Blackwell; Lt. Gov. of Texas Dan Patrick; Rep. Brian Babin (R-TX); Jonathan Saenz (president, anti-LGBT group Texas Values); Ron Crews (director of Chaplain Alliance for Religious Liberty); Frank Wright (CEO, D. James Kennedy Ministries); Rep. Andy Harris (R-MD; twice); Carrie Severino (general counsel and policy director, Judicial Crisis Network); Sen. Roy Blunt (R-MO); Hannah Sherlacher, Campus Reform program coordinator; Rep. Steve Russell (R-OK); Adm. Dean Lee; Rep. Jim Banks (R-IN); Kansas governor Sam Brownback; Rep. Trent Franks (R-AZ); Eben Fowler (director of Bott Radio Network); former congresswoman Nan Hayworth (R-NY); MO state senator Bob Onder; Virginia state delegate Bob Marshall; Rep. Doug Collins (R-GA); guest host Ronnie Floyd (pastor, Cross Church, Springdale AR); Rep. Steve Womack (R-AZ); Kevin Theriot (senior counsel, Alliance Defending Freedom*); Richard Land (president of Southern Evangelical Seminary).
What’s more, at the very top of the post, the SPLC noted that the people, like Scherlacher, who were mentioned in the post but not designated with an asterisk were not themselves on their list of anti-LGBT hate groups.
That one listing is the only mention of Scherlacher on the SPLC’s website, rendering her complaint that she was unjustifiably placed on “the Southern Poverty Law Center’s (SPLC) LGBTQ hate-list” and “labeled an LGBT-hater” laughably untrue.