Gregory S. Baylor
Gregory S. Baylor is a fan of fact-lite argument methodology

Gregory S. Baylor is an attorney with the hate group, Alliance Defending Freedom. On Saturday Baylor was quoted at American Family Association’s blog. AFA is also a hate group. The title of AFA’s little tantrum is: SPLC at root of ADF’s unjustified boot from charity program. AFA’s outlet is supposed to be a news blog yet it seems that every article is an editorial. This one was written by Chris Woodward.

Alliance Defending Freedom says it was kicked out of the AmazonSmile program after Amazon used “discredited” information from the Southern Poverty Law Center.

Fundamentalist-to-English translation: Discredited means criticism that we do not like.

Baylor describes what he calls the “discredited” Southern Poverty Law Center as an organization that’s essentially a “fundraising propaganda outfit” that “fills its ever-increasing coffers by attacking” various groups, such as veterans, Catholics, Muslims who oppose terrorism, and nuns.

No points for originality there. Just the usual anti-SPLC rhetoric. What is obviously missing? That would be specifically what SPLC says about ADF that is incorrect or unfair. I hear crickets.

“So we’re calling on Amazon to change its mind about this and to stop relying upon the SPLC,” the attorney tells OneNewsNow.

Does that mean a lawsuit? “We’re keeping all of our options on the table at this point, but we really think that Amazon should do the right thing and not look to the SPLC,” Baylor answers.

The “right thing” is not to enable hate groups to directly benefit from an Amazon charitable giving program. There are now two cases citing the Lanham Act. A magistrate’s recommendation to dismiss Coral Ridge Ministry’s suit against Amazon and SPLC. The recommendation cites a similar case; Liberty Counsel v. Guidestar USA. A third case could rightly subject the lawyer for the plaintiffs to sanctions.

Beyond that there is the very real potential for Amazon to litigate ADF into the ground. Amazon has sufficient resources to make Mr. Baylor regret his decision. SPLC is sitting on a $320 million endowment and has far more legal firepower than ADF.

More importantly, SPLC has every freedom to publish opinions about other organizations. Just as ADF is free to offer its opinion of SPLC. Amazon has every right to establish guidelines for inclusion in a charitable program. Other than the Lanham Act I suppose that ADF could make some sort of claim based upon religious discrimination. That would quickly fall apart because there is nothing Christian about espousing and orchestrating hate.

Again, Mr. Baylor is not terribly original:

“[The SPLC is] an organization that just slanders people and raises money off of that [and] tries to put them out of business. It lumps together groups that don’t belong with each other. ADF is one of the nation’s most respected and successful Supreme Court advocates. We work to preserve our fundamental freedoms of speech, religion and conscience for people from all walks of life. We’re not a racist or violent organization.”

What he is trying to do is to claim that they are not like the Klan. First Baylor is saying that anti-LGBT bigotry is not the equal of racism. The SPLC disagrees. Then Baylor is claiming that only violent groups deserve to be deemed hate groups. Again, SPLC disagrees. Furthermore, Gregory S. Baylor again does not dispute anything that Southern Poverty Law Center says about ADF.

Slander (actually it would be libel) is the result of making false claims. If you want to then say that you have been defamed, it is helpful to know what is defamatory. All we know from Baylor is that he doesn’t like ADF being designated a hate group and he doesn’t like Amazon making suitability judgments based on that designation.

SPLC offers quite a collection of quotes from ADF people. Here is just one:

“[C]ontrol of the educational system is central to those who want to advance the homosexual agenda. By its very nature, homosexual acts are incapable of bearing fruit – indeed, strictly speaking, they are not sexual, as they are incapable of being generative or procreative. Thus there is the need to desensitize and corrupt young minds, both to undermine resistance to the agenda and for recruitment among those that are at an emotionally vulnerable stage of development.”

— Then-senior ADF Legal Counsel (Global) Piero Tozzi, speaking at the World Congress of Families gathering in Madrid, Spain, 2012

Apparently Mr. Baylor cannot dispute that Tozzi said that and he doesn’t attempt to argue that Tozzi’s words do not constitute hate. What he does say, without specifics:

“Therefore it’s wrong for Amazon to exclude us from their program based on the SPLC,” he continues. “When Amazon kicked us out, they were initially unwilling to tell us why they had done so – and when we pressed them, they did reveal that they made what we think is a really unreasonable decision to just take at face value what the SPLC says.”

Personally I think that it is unreasonable to assert that gay people corrupt and recruit children (as Mr. Tozzi does). Baylor can argue against Amazon’s judgment all he wants. SPLC has a considerable amount of evidence to support their opinion.

Now let me quote Southern Poverty Law Center:

The designation is a result of ADF’s propagation of known falsehoods about LGBT people over the years (including the conspiracy theory that there is a “homosexual agenda” or “homosexual legal agenda” to undermine “the family” and Christianity), its demonization of LGBT people, its support of criminalization of gay sex in the U.S. and abroad and its continued attempts to create state and local policies and legislation (so-called “religious liberty” laws) that allow Christians to deny goods and services to LGBT people in the public sphere and marginalize LGBT students in schools.

The SPLC does not name groups to its anti-LGBT hate list simply for having biblical objections to homosexuality or for opposing same-sex marriage.

From Baylor all we get is hackneyed rhetoric. He will not dispute the specifics because he is unable to persuasively do so.

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By David Cary Hart

Retired CEO. Formerly a W.E. Deming-trained quality-management consultant. Now just a cranky Jewish queer. Gay cis. He/Him/His.