The Southern Poverty Law Center has taken upon itself the role of defining what it is to be a “hate group” and to publicly identify such organizations. As best as I can tell, opposition to the SPLC extreme left-wing agenda will qualify a group for listing. Some otherwise responsible organizations have begun using the SPLC determination of hate group status to filter business decisions.
Amazon has a program called Amazon Smile which allows customers to designate 0.5 percent of the purchase price of qualified items as a donation to a charity registered with the Amazon Smile program. When the D. James Kennedy Ministries tried to register to receive donations, it was turned away because it has been designated as a “hate group” by the SPLC. More info here. The reason that ministry has been designated as a “hate group” is that it opposes same-sex marriage. That opposition is based on the ministry’s religious belief stemming from it’s interpretation of the Bible. The ministry claims that it teaches love, even for one’s enemies, and not hate.
The ministry is suing the SPLC and another organization that collects and reports information on charities called GuideStar for defamation. It is also suing Amazon and Amazon Smile under the Civil Rights Act of 1964 under the theory that it has been blocked from the benefit of a public accommodation based on religion. The suit claims that Amazon’s business of providing entertainment such as movies online qualifies the company as a public accommodation just like a brick-and-mortar theater.
This could get interesting.
UPDATE—Corrected the name of the SPLC in the first sentence. I HATE autocorrupt!