Homophobic hate groups and schools that ban gay teachers handed millions in coronavirus relief funds

Donald Wildmon, founder of the American Family Association, speaking in a recorded video

Anti-LGBT+ hate groups and schools that ban gay teachers because of their sexuality have been handed millions in coronavirus relief funds in the United States.

More than $5 billion was handed to organisations under the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), which was set up to help small businesses survive the COVID-19 pandemic.

Seven of the organisations that received funding under the program are listed as anti-LGBT+ hate groups by the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), NBC News reports.

The American College of Pediatricians, American Family Association, Center for Family and Human Rights (C-Fam), Church Militant/St Michael’s Media, Liberty Counsel, Pacific Justice Institute and Ruth Institute were among those that received state funding totalling $2.5 million, despite their designated hate group status.

Most of that money went to the American Family Association, a hate group committed to “combating the homosexual agenda”.

The American Family Association also created One Million Moms, an organisation comprised of a small number of angry mothers who call for boycotts on almost anything LGBT+ related.

Liberty Counsel, a legal organisation that has claimed homosexuality causes “significant damage to those involved”, received $428,000 in funds under the Paycheck Protection Program.

The legal organisation made headlines in 2019 when it tried to have gay people removed from an anti-lynching bill.

Trump administration accused of ‘rubber stamping’ vile hate groups.

Cassie Miller, senior research analyst at the Southern Poverty Law Center, said it is “unconscionable” that the federal government is giving funds to organisations that actively campaign against LGBT+ people’s rights.

“This administration is putting its rubber stamp on the vile ideologies these groups espouse by giving them forgivable federal loans.

“At a time when millions of people in the US are hurting because of the pandemic and the ensuing economic crisis, our federal government should not be sponsoring taxpayer-paid hate.

“These far-right actors have exploited people’s fears and grievances to promote their ideologies.”

Miller added: “We will not stand idly by as hate groups try to take our money to help spew their hate. Every American of good conscience should be outraged.”

The American Family Association, the Ruth Institute and the Pacific Justice Institute did not respond to requests for information on how they used the funding when contacted by NBC.

However, the American College of Pediatricians – which has linked homosexuality to paedophilia and has endorsed conversion therapy – said it used the funds for “the covered payroll period as designated”.

The American College of Pediatricians also denied that it is a hate group, while Liberty Counsel accused the Southern Poverty Law Center of trying to “destroy those with whom they disagree”.

Other SPLC-designated hate groups that received funding under the programme include the Center for Immigration Studies, the Federation for American Immigration Reform, the David Horowitz Freedom Center and the Remembrance Project.