Liberty Counsel, a Florida organization well known for its opposition to LGBT rights, received a large Payment Protection Program loan from the Federal Government for coronavirus relief.
The amount is between $350,000 to $1 million. Their lender is Seacoast National Bank.
The Southern Poverty Law Center, an organization that keeps tabs on anti-LGBT groups, has designated Liberty Counsel as a hate group.
“Liberty Counsel fulfills its mission to advance the family by promoting and defending measures to strengthen marriage and the family,” Liberty Counsel’s website reads. “Marriage as the union of one man and one woman predates every form of government and transcends politics. The first and most basic form of government is the family unit, consisting of a mother and a father, and providing the optimal environment for raising children.”
The PPP loans were designed to help businesses keep their workforce employed during the coronavirus crisis and are eligible to be forgiven.
“The loan will be fully forgiven if the funds are used for payroll costs, interest on mortgages, rent, and utilities [due to likely high subscription, at least 60% of the forgiven amount must have been used for payroll],” reads the Small Business Administration’s website.
Recently Liberty Counsel has filed lawsuits trying to overturn the bans against conversion therapy on minors in Florida.
“Over 80 State and local governments have passed laws which effectively force people into an LGBT lifestyle,” a blog post on their website reads. “Liberty Counsel is representing some of the victims of these morally shocking and deeply unconstitutional laws…”
Currently there are two lawsuits from Liberty Counsel making their way through the courts challenging the bans on conversion therapy in West Palm Beach, Boca Raton, and Tampa.
Meanwhile several months ago Tallahassee passed the strongest and most expansive ban on the debunked practice. In addition to minors the ban includes “vulnerable adults.”
Currently there are nine bans in Palm Beach County on conversion therapy on minors.
According to the American Independent at least eight anti-LGBT organizations have received PPP loans. In addition to Liberty Counsel they include American Family Association, Center for Arizona Policy, Concerned Women for America, Dr. James Dobson Family Institute, First Liberty Institute, Pacific Justice Institute, and The Family Leader Foundation. American Family Association and Pacific Justice have both also been designated as hate groups by the SPLC.
Local LGBT organizations have also received PPP loans including the Pride Center in Wilton Manors, and Compass, the LGBT community of the Palm Beaches in Lake Worth.