Houston anti-gay crusader Steven Hotze has been so strident for so long that the Southern Poverty Law Center has taken notice. The group named the Republican attack dog's organization an official hate group.
Hotze's Conservative Republicans of Texas was among four organizations in Texas to be named an anti-LGBT hate group by the SPLC in its annual census of hate groups and other extremist organizations released on Wednesday.
The Texas Observer dubbed the Houston organization's new status as a hate group "the equivalent of a lifetime achievement award" for Hotze. And the SPLC pointed to Hotze's bankrolling of HERO opposition efforts as a factor in including his group on the list. Via the Observer:
“What we look at in the anti-LGBT groups is primarily the use of lies, of falsehoods, that have the effect of demonizing gay people,” SPLC senior fellow Mark Potok said. “So, it’s not merely that they opposed the HERO ordinance; it’s the way in which they did it — the description of gay people as pedophiles and so on.”
The anti-HERO campaign relied heavily on ads suggesting the ordinance would allow men to enter women’s restrooms and prey on victims, even though no such incident has been reported in any of the more than 200 U.S. cities with similar laws.
Hotze, who recently said HERO was linked to a “Satanic movement,” didn’t immediately respond to a message seeking comment.
According to CRT’s website, the organization is dedicated to advancing “Constitutional liberties based upon Biblical principles.”
Hotze recently said gays are as "crazy as bedbugs" and has called gay marriage "evil and wicked" and a big "mirage." He also trolled Houston airwaves with radio ads trying to convince Texas Republicans to defy the U.S. Supreme Court decision legalizing gay marriage.
Texas – with 84 – is among the states with the most hate groups, according to the SPLC. In addition to Hotze's group, three others are classified as anti-LGBT hate groups – Stedfast Baptist Church in Fort Worth, Probe Ministries in Plano and Tom Brown Ministries in El Paso.