'Hate group' label is a dangerous weapon

Thursday, June 29, 2017
 | 
Chris Woodward (OneNewsNow.com)

GuideStar logoThe world's largest financial monitor of non-profit groups is being taken to task for irresponsibly slapping the "hate group" label on a Christian legal group.

Orlando-based Liberty Counsel says GuideStar USA – using input from the left-wing Southern Poverty Law Center – put a false and defamatory "hate group" label on its Liberty Counsel page.

Other groups were flagged as well on their GuideStar pages and demanded the label be dropped.

"GuideStar ... says on the one hand it's neutral and it provides information about non-profits with regards to their filings with the IRS, but on the other hand the CEO is very liberal in his politics," says Mat Staver, founder and chairman of Liberty Counsel. Jacob Harold is president and CEO of GuideStar.

"He's ... an anti-Trump person, he was part of the Women's March, he is pro-National Abortion Rights Action League (NARAL), pro-LGBT," Staver continues. "And he partnered or sided with his ally, the Southern Poverty Law Center, to put a symbol of the SPLC on 46 non-profits on the GuideStar website saying that these organizations have been designated as hate groups."

As false as that designation is, the attorney says that labeling Liberty Counsel a hate group causes harm and damage to reputations – and puts people's lives at stake.

Staver

"We know, for example, that Floyd Corkins relied upon the SPLC's so-called 'hate map' to try to commit mass murder against the Family Research Council," he explains, referring to the August 2012 attack. "So classifying an organization or person as a 'hater' or a 'hate group' has significant consequences. We are going to hold GuideStar accountable."

GuideStar recently said it was removing the labels "for the time being." But Staver says that's only a temporary removal.

"They specifically say that they will continue to provide the information upon request and they say that they're looking at other ways to provide this information – so they've never retracted or retreated from their socially liberal change organizational effort that they're now engaging in," he continues.

"Moreover, they're already published this; it's out on the web, it's out on Wikipedia. So these are statements from GuideStar that cannot be retracted once it goes out into these Internet or media sources (and) GuideStar has never apologized or retracted these statements."

Liberty Counsel's lawsuit charges GuideStar with violating the federal Lanham Act, along with state law violations of Interference with Business Expectancy and Defamation. The suit seeks a permeant injunction, damages, and attorney's fees and costs.

The case of Liberty Counsel, Inc. v. GuideStar USA, Inc. was filed in the Federal District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia in the Newport News Division. 

Comments

We moderate all reader comments, usually within 24 hours of posting (longer on weekends). Please limit your comment to 300 words or less and ensure it addresses the article - NOT another reader's comments. Comments that contain a link (URL), an inordinate number of words in ALL CAPS, rude remarks directed at other readers, or profanity/vulgarity will not be approved. More details

SIGN UP FOR OUR DAILY NEWSBRIEF

SUBSCRIBE

VOTE IN OUR POLL

What do you think of some Democrats' proposal to do away with U.S. Immigration & Customs Enforcement (ICE)?

CAST YOUR VOTE

GET PUSH NOTIFICATIONS

SUBSCRIBE

LATEST AP HEADLINES

French police suicide rate climbs, French govt is flummoxed
Islamic State claims bombing at Kabul wedding that killed 63
Leaked UK memos warn of food, drug shortages in Brexit chaos
Arrests and shields, metal poles seized at Portland protests
New York City subway scare suspect taken into police custody
Hong Kong’s divide: 1 protest for democracy, 1 for China
Signs of recession worry Trump ahead of 2020

LATEST FROM THE WEB

Rep. Dan Crenshaw rips Antifa demonstrators, blasts Portland protests as ‘sad showing’
Tens of thousands flood Hong Kong park for latest rally
Colorblind firefighter had one wish, to see the American Flag, and his fellow heroes made it happen
Leaked transcripts reveal how NY Times leadership plans to craft Trump-racism narrative
Suspect accused of shooting 6 Philadelphia cops during standoff charged with attempted murder

CARTOON OF THE DAY

Cartoon of the Day
NEXT STORY
Rainbow flag OK, but national motto crosses the line

Houston police cruiser with rainbow decalsGovernment agencies, including police departments, have raised a question during "gay pride" month that a constitutional attorney suggests ought to be answered.