An organization labeled a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center had its attempted lawsuit thrown out in court this week.
Liberty Counsel, an evangelical anti-LGBT group, threatened to sue charity rankings website GuideStar because it classified the group as a hate organization on their website, according to PinkNews. Federal Judge Raymond A. Jackson granted GuideStar’s request to dismiss the case and the claim that the classification was not “defamatory,” and instead a commercial statement.
“In the lawsuit, Liberty Counsel alleged that GuideStar had violated the federal Lanham Act regulating unfair competition and false advertising by including in its Nonprofit Profile the Southern Poverty Law Center’s designation of Liberty Counsel as a ‘hate group,’” GuideStar said in a statement. “GuideStar promptly moved to dismiss, arguing that this notation was not commercial speech and did not violate the Lanham Act.”
Liberty Counsel said in a statement they will consider appealing the federal court’s decision.
“The GuideStar publication was designed to inflict financial harm because its purpose was to affect the financial transactions of the public,” said Liberty Counsel Founder Mat Staver. “The SPLC false label has become discredited and it has proven to be dangerous as history has shown with the attack against Family Research Council. This false label applied to non-violent and law-abiding groups must stop.”