A liberal coalition on Thursday started a campaign to label socially conservative organizations that oppose transgender rights as hate groups, ratcheting up the antagonism between opposing sides on one of America’s most contentious debates.
The Eliminate Hate Campaign seeks to draw attention to groups it sees as extreme and hateful against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people, accusing them of hiding behind ostensibly Christian or family values.
Alarmed by a surge in reported hate crimes tied to the 2016 presidential campaign, the campaign will pressure the media to use the hate-group designation for about 50 organizations in the United States, based on designations already made by the Southern Poverty Law Center, which has long monitored extremist groups.
It also will encourage the public to oppose extremism and seek to diminish the prestige of groups it believes spread fear and lies about LGBT people.
Conservatives have promised to dig in for a long fight in the debate over whether transgender people deserve legal protection against discrimination and the right to use the public bathrooms of their choice.
“ADF doesn’t have time to respond to organizations who do nothing more than call names, create division and incite violence across the country in order to raise money,” spokesman Greg Scott , spokesman for Alliance Defending Freedom.
“We believe that it’s really not possible for a person to change their sex, that biological sex at birth is essentially immutable,” – Peter Sprigg , spokesman for the Family Research Council.