Federal judge rules an anti-LGBTQ church can legally be called a ‘hate group’

D. James Kennedy – Photo: YouTube screenshot

A federal judge has ruled that an anti-LGBTQ Florida-based church, D. James Kennedy Ministries, can be labelled a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) as a matter of free speech. Although the court didn’t decide on whether the church itself is an actual hate group, the SPLC says the church “maligns the entire LGBT community.”

Related: Mike Pence just did a fundraiser for one of the most vile hate groups in America

The church and its corporate entity, Coral Ridge Ministries Media Inc., sought to sue the SPLC stating that the group “illegally trafficked in false and misleading descriptions of the services offered by [the group] and committed defamation against DJKM arising from the publication and distribution of false information that libels the ministry’s reputation.”

The church also sought to sue the online retailer Amazon because the SPLC’s designation rendered it ineligible for charitable donations through Amazon’s giving programs, as well as GuideStar, an organization that connects donors and grant-makers to non-profit organizations, for dropping the church from its services.

Judge Myron Thompson of the U.S. District Court in Montgomery, Alabama tossed out the lawsuit, basically stating that free speech rights allow the SLPC to label the church as a hate group if it wants.

In a statement, SPLC President Richard Cohen said:

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