The Southern Poverty Law Center Pushes LGBT Issues in Schools in the Name of Tolerance

The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), a group which earned its reputation fighting racist organizations like the Ku Klux Klan but now brands mainstream nonprofits as "hate groups," has also launched a program for teaching children to view LGBT identities as good and healthy, even going so far as bribing teachers to push this messaging.

"Binary notions of gender, biology and sexual orientation exclude large swaths of human diversity," the SPLC's "Teaching Tolerance" program explains on its website. "This diversity can be better understood by using spectrum-based models. Spectra make room for anyone whose experiences do not narrowly fit into binary choices such as man/woman, feminine/masculine or straight/gay."

The "Teaching Tolerance" program, launched in 1991, "provides free resources to educators — teachers, administrators, counselors and other practitioners — who work with children from kindergarten through high school." The program aims to "reduce prejudice, improve intergroup relations and support equitable school experiences for our nation's children."

"Teaching Tolerance" boasts a community including "more than 500,000 educators who read our magazine, screen our films, visit our website, participate in Mix It Up at Lunch Day, use our curriculum or participate in our social media community."

Many aspects of the project are laudable. Teaching Tolerance is also a free magazine sent to educators, addressing the issues of race & ethnicity, religion, ability, class, immigration, gender & sexual identity, bullying & bias, and rights & activism.

The SPLC made its name fighting the KKK, and its work in revealing racist groups — both white and black — is laudable. The group's efforts to promote tolerance of people of different races, religions, and abilities may deserve praise from both Right and Left.

As with other projects from the SPLC, however, the program has a clear bias. The "Teaching Tolerance" section on "rights & activism" praises the women's suffrage movement and the civil rights movement — but also emphasizes the issue of "Standing Rock," the controversial, long, and dirty protest against an oil pipeline. The immigration section also offers help for teachers looking to offer "undocumented" students support.

This slant should not be surprising. After all, the SPLC is the same organization which lists Christian organizations like D. James Kennedy Ministriesthe Family Research Council (FRC), Liberty Counsel, the American Family Association (AFA), and Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) on its list of "hate groups" along with the KKK.

To make matters worse, the group has listed innocent towns on its "hate map," and presented ever-changing reasons for listing reformist Muslim Maajid Nawaz as an "anti-Muslim extremist." (Among those reasons was his visit to a strip club for his bachelor party.) Most egregious perhaps was the group's listing of elementary schools on a map of Confederate monuments.