Opposition groups working against
marriage equality in the United States
The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) is a nonprofit civil rights organization dedicated to fighting hate and bigotry, and to seeking justice for the most vulnerable members of society. The SPLC maintains research and intelligence on organzations and groups they designate as hate groups active in the United States. Click here to read SPLC information on Anti-Gay groups/organizations (the Active Anti-Gay Groups tab lists groups by state). The SPLC also maintains a Hate Map of the U.S.
Right Wing Watch, maintained by People for the American Way (PFAW), is dedicated to monitoring and reporting on the activities of right-wing political organizations, in order to expose the agenda of the extreme Right. Their researchers monitor dozens of broadcasts, emails and websites, and use their expertise on right-wing movements to analyze and distill that information for the general public.
Abiding Truth Ministries is classified as an anti-LGBT hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center.The stated mission of Abiding Truth Ministries/Defend the Family is "to promote and defend the Biblical view of marriage and family through education, training and funding." It is noteworthy that the Biblical view of marriage, in fact, is not at all what they describe. The organization's president, Scott Lively, is a noted anti-gay activist and Holocaust revisionist who is directly linked to proposed anti-gay legislation in Uganda colloquially known as the "Kill the Gays" bill. In March 2012 Scott Lively was sued, on behalf of Sexual Minorities of Uganda, in Massachusetts federal court for contributing to the vigilante deaths that occurred after his “Kill the Gays” bill was drafted. Lively co-authored the book The Pink Swastika, which proposes that "homosexuals [are] the true inventors of Nazism and the guiding force behind many Nazi atrocities." Lively is the former California state director for the American Family Association and is a co-founder of Watchmen on the Walls.
Alliance Defense Fund (ADF)
The ADF is a conservative Christian nonprofit organization with the stated goal of "defending the right to hear and speak the Truth through strategy, training, funding, and litigation." The ADF opposes both marriage equality for and adoption by same-sex couples. The ADF established the "Day of Truth" in 2005 to express opposition to the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network's Day of Silence, and sponsored this initiative through 2008. In 2009, sponsorship of the Day of Truth was moved to Exodus International, and in 2010 sponsorship again was moved to Focus on the Family, which renamed the initiative the "Day of Dialogue." The ADF also operates DOMAwatch.org, which is designed to inform legislators and attorneys about current laws and litigation involving the Defense of Marriage Act.
The AFA is classified as an anti-LGBT hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center. Methodist minister Donald E. Wildmon formed the National Federation for Decency in 1977, changing its name to the American Family Association (AFA) in 1988. The AFA claims to support "traditional moral values," but in fact is focused on opposing equality for LGBT people nationwide -- they descibe this as "combating the homosexual agenda." In 2009, it hired Bryan Fischer, the former executive director of the Idaho Values Alliance, as its director of analysis for government and policy. Fischer claims that "[h]omosexuality gave us Adolph Hitler, and homosexuals in the military gave us the Brown Shirts, the Nazi war machine and 6 million dead JewsFischer has described Hitler as "an active homosexual" who sought out gays "because he could not get straight soldiers to be savage and brutal and vicious enough." He has proposed criminalizing homosexual behavior and has advocated forcing gays into "reparative" therapy. In 2010, the AFA warned that if homosexuals are allowed to openly serve in the military, "your son or daughter may be forced to share military showers and barracks with active and open homosexuals." The AFA promotes and encourages the efforts of "ex-gay" ministries and organizations, and opposes marriage equality and civil rights protections for LGBT Americans.
Headed by Randy Thomasson, SaveCalifornia.com describes itself as a "frontline pro-family organization standing strong for moral issues for the common good." It teaches that homosexuality is not innate or biological in origin, is unhealthy, and supports attempting to change gay people's sexual orientation. It opposes marriage equality, California's Harvey Milk Day, and any positive discussion of LGBT issues in public schools.
The CWA is classified as an anti-LGBT group by the Southern Poverty Law Center. The CWA is a conservative Christian public policy organization that purportedly seeks to "bring Biblical principles into all levels of public policy." As one of its six core issues, the CWA states that it "believes that marriage consists of one man and one woman" and that it seeks "to protect and support the Biblical design of marriage and the gift of children." CWA donated $409,000 in support of California's Proposition 8. CWA also opposes legal recognition of LGBT rights as civil rights, the Employee Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA), and hate crime legislation that includes sexual orientation; and describes homosexuality as "disordered," "unnatural" and "immoral."
DOMA Watch "is a joint effort by a growing coalition of Americans and organizations that support the preservation of marriage as a union of one man and one woman." DOMAwatch.org, a program of the Alliance Defense Fund, is designed to inform legislators and attorneys about current laws and litigation involving the Defense of Marriage Act.
Family Research Council (FRC)
The FRC is classified as an anti-LGBT hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center. The FRC uses religion to argue that one-man-one-woman marriages are superior; all others are inferior; and that marriage equality threatens civilization itself. The FRC describes itself as "champions marriage and family as the foundation of civilization, the seedbed of virtue, and the wellspring of society, working to shape public debate and formulate public policy that values human life and upholds the institutions of marriage and the family, believing that God is the author of life and liberty, promoting the Judeo-Christian worldview as the basis for a just, free, and stable society." The FRC believes "that homosexual conduct is harmful to the persons who engage in it and to society at large, and can never be affirmed. It is by definition unnatural, and as such is associated with negative physical and psychological health effects." The oranization opposes what they term to be "the vigorous efforts of homosexual activists to demand that homosexuality be accepted as equivalent to heterosexuality in law, in the media, and in schools." The FRC supports state and federal constitutional amendments to ban marriage equality.
Focus on the Family (FOTF)
Focus on the Family is an evangelical Christian tax-exempt non-profit organization founded in 1977 by James Dobson. FOTF supports citizen initiatives at the state level that define marriage as the union of one man and one woman in state constitutions; a federal Marriage Protection Amendment, which would define marriage at the federal level as the union of one man and one woman; and efforts to limit adoption to married, opposite-sex couples. FOTF opposes the ordination of non-celibate, self-identified LGBT people and the celebration of homoerotic sexuality as one of God's gifts; teaches that homosexual behavior violates God's intentional design for gender and sexuality; affirms Scriptural teaching that homosexuals can and do change their sexual identity; and supports counseling and the availability of professional therapy options for unwanted homosexual attractions and behavior.
The Institute for Marriage and Public Policy bills itself as a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to research and public education on ways that law and public policy can strengthen [one man-one woman] marriage as a social institution. In fact, iMAPP hires writers with “credentialed” names to produce papers with pre-ordained conclusions that are purposely phrased to sound like scholarly research. iMAPP claims that marriage equality is not a fundamental right, supports the right of Americans to vote on civil marriage equality, and advocates for preference for married opposite-sex couples in adoption, among other positions. Maggie Gallagher is the President.
NOM is classified as an anti-LGBT group by the Southern Poverty Law Center. The National Organization for Marriage (NOM) is a nonprofit organization with a mission to protect marriage [one man-one woman] and the faith communities that sustain it. Founded in 2007 in response to the growing need for an organized opposition to same-sex marriage in state legislatures, NOM serves as a national resource for marriage-related initiatives at the state and local level. Brian S. Brown serves as President and Maggie Gallagher of iMAPP is the Chairman of the Board.
In August of 2009, political consultant Fred Karger, of Californians Against Hate, filed a formal complaint with the Maine Ethics Commission alleging money laundering and election donor disclosure law violations by NOM and other groups in the 2009 Maine election that repealed the right to marry for same-sex couples. NOM unsuccessfully sued the state of Maine to try and stop the resulting investigation. After becoming a candidate for the Republican Party’s presidential nomination, Karger turned over his research on NOM to the Human Rights Campaign for its project NOM Exposed. In May of 2010 Nom was ordered to disclose its donor information to the state of Maine. On 27 March 2012, via court order, HRC received internal documents from NOM, which they then released. These heretofor confidential documents shed light on NOM strategies to, among other things, utilize racially divisive tactics in its anti-gay campaigns, undermine the 2012 Obama presidential campaign, protect the identilty of NOM donors despite campaign finance laws, and portray the opponents of marriage equality as victims. Click here to read NOM documents courtesy of HRC.
The Proposition 8 Legal Defense Fund, under the umbrella of ProtectMarriage.com, and therfore NOM, finanacially supports the legal team currently defending Proposition 8 in the Perry v. Brown (formerly Perry v. Schwarzenegger) trial in the Federal Courts.
RenewAmerica began in January 2002 as a grassroots support for Alan Keyes' MSNBC TV show Alan Keyes Is Making Sense. Over the years, the website has evolved into a significant Christian political vehicle, promoting the core issues of moral conservatism. Columnists for RenewAmerica include prominent anti-gay voices and representatives of organizations classified as hate groups by the Southern Poverty Law Center.
Rev. Louis P. Sheldon is the Chairman and founder of TVC leads the largest non-denominational, grassroots church lobby in America. The TVC is classified as an anti-LGBT hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center.
Watchmen on the Walls is listed as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center which considers the Watchmen "a virulently anti-gay group". Watchmen was co-founded by at-that-time AFA California state director Scott Lively and and New Generation Church preacher Alexey Ledyaev and is based in Riga, Latvia. The Watchmen have close ties to anti-gay Russian immigrant communities in Sacramento, CA and Seattle, WA. The Watchmen's self-description includes the following: "We are against cohabitation, divorce, abortion, adultery and other behaviors that weaken the marriage-based society on which civilization depends. But we are especially focused against homosexuality, because those who practice this self-destructive vice, and have organized themselves into a political movement, are the chief enemies of the natural family." And, "We do not apologize for opposing homosexuality because it is morally, physically, psychologically and socially wrong, unnatural and harmful." On their website the Watchmen are described as being as being a "ministry to pastors" supported by the Family Research Council.
The Westboro Baptist Church is classified as an anti-LGBT hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center. The Westboro Baptist Church is an independent Baptist church known for its extreme stance against homosexuality and its protest activities, which include picketing funerals and desecrating the American flag. The church's slogan is "God Hates Fags". It is headed by Fred Phelps and consists mostly of members of his large family. It is not affiliated with any other Baptist Church.