Busted: Mike Pence quietly adds hate group leader to advisory board for his new organization

Busted: Mike Pence quietly adds hate group leader to advisory board for his new organization
United States Federal Government / Wikimedia Commons

Former Vice President Mike Pence launched his new organization, Advancing American Freedom, on Wednesday.

Since then, one name has quietly been added to the advisory boardthat was announced at launch.

Pence's advisory board now includes Mike Farris, the president and CEO of the group Alliance Defending Freedom.

In 2016, Alliance Defending Freedom was declared a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC).

"The SPLC lists ADF as a hate group because it has supported the idea that being LGBTQ+ should be a crime in the U.S. and abroad and believes that is OK to put LGBTQ+ people in prison for engaging in consensual sex," SPLC explained. "It has also supported laws that required the forced sterilization of transgender Europeans."

"ADF has spread lies about the LGBTQ+ community. It has, for example, linked being LGBTQ+ to pedophilia and claimed that a "homosexual agenda" will destroy society. ADF tries to couch its rhetoric in benign-sounding phrases, but the truth is that it works to dehumanize LGBTQ+ people and restrict their rights for being who they are," SPLC explained. "The SPLC defines a hate group as an organization that, based on its official statements or principles, the statements of its leaders, or its activities, has beliefs or practices that attack or malign an entire class of people, typically for their immutable characteristics. The organizations on our hate group list vilify others because of their race, religion, ethnicity, sexual orientation or gender identity — prejudices that strike at the heart of our democratic values and fracture society along its most fragile fault lines. The FBI uses similar criteria in its definition of a hate crime."

Other Republicans who are serving with Farris on Pence's board include Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey, Ambassador Callista Gingrich, former Sen. Rick Santorum, Kellyanne Conway, Larry Kudlow, and actor Kirk Cameron.

The addition of Farris was reported by Nick Surgey.

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