The Southern Poverty Law Center, a civil rights group based in Montgomery, Ala., is adding four nonprofit ministries to its Hate Group list for 2011.
One is in Colorado Springs, one made national headlines in September, and two have close ties to Focus on the Family.
The groups being added, due to their anti-gay rhetoric, are Family Research Institute in Colorado Springs, the Family Research Council in Washington D.C., the American Family Association in Tupelo, Miss., and Dove World Outreach, led by Pastor Terry Jones, who threatened to burn a Quran on Sept. 11, creating a worldwide outcry.
The y are now listed alongside Nazi, Klu Klux Klan and other ”hate group” organizations in America. Read about the new entries at the SPLC site here.
Because of the Family Research Institute’s listing, I wanted to meet its leader, Paul Cameron. We met today at the Colorado Springs Gazette office.
Cameron,71, dresses smartly and has impeccable manners. His silver hair, tall stature and rosy cheeks make him look like a news anchor.
But he says things no news anchor would ever say.
God’s 11th Commandment is “Thou shalt not corrupt boys,” Cameron told me. He celebrated the Ugandan anti-gay bill, in which the penalty for gay activity could be death. “Whatever they decide, I’m OK with,” he said.
Cameron believes homosexuality should be criminalized in America. He proposes heavily taxing single American adults and homosexuals because of their failure to procreate. He would also like to see gays undergo a “public shaming,” though he offered no specifics.
Cameron has an impressive resume, according to the Family Research Institute website. He has a doctorate in psychology from the University of Colorado and has been a professor at the University of Louisville, the University of Nebraska and Fuller Theological Seminary.
He’s been married 51 years and has three adult children. He now makes his living as a private psychologist.
Since the 1980s, Cameron’s been writing anti-gay tracts based on studies he’s done. He started the Family Research Institute in the 1990s.
FRI, operated out of Cameron’s Colorado Springs home, is a nonprofit supported by donations. Its 2010-11 fiscal budget is $85,ooo. The organization employs four staffers.
Cameron is deeply Christian and believes the Bible literally, but he says FRI is not faith-based.
He and his workers have little support for their ideas on gays, including from Christian right groups. Not even the Family Research Council is willing to regularly proclaim that homosexuality in America should be criminalized. I say “regularly” because the Family Research Council has.
Last February, FRI’s Peter Sprigg told MSNBC host Chris Matthews, “I think there would be a place for criminal sanctions on homosexual behavior.” “So we should outlaw gay behavior?” Matthews asked. “Yes,” Sprigg replied.
During our 90-minute talk, Cameron expressed his ideas in a calm, professorial manner. He said the SPLC Hate Group list is a “left-wing deal” and he’s unconcerned about the FRI being on it. He said gays “want to shut down Christianity.”
The gay lifestyle, which he says is chosen, will lead to the destruction of the West. “Liberal minds are attracted to societal destructive things like moth to a light,” he told me. “No society can long endure that does such a thing.”
“If God has changed his mind (about homosexuality being an abomination, as written in the Bible), he must want the West to die.”
With a hearty handshake and wide smile, Cameron said goodbye to me and left the Gazette offices to continue his crusade.