Arizona Capitol

Andy Biggs, Other Politicos Tied to Gilbert Religious Group Labeled as Anti-Gay "Hate Group" by Southern Poverty Law Center

The Southern Poverty Law Center rolled out with its new round of "hate group" labels, adding the Arizona chapter of the charity/religious advocacy group United Families International to the list for being "anti-gay."

Republican state Representative Andy Biggs is the former policy adviser to the group, and his wife Cindy Biggs is currently listed as the organization's secretary and treasurer on its website. Congressional candidate Matt Salmon's mother Nancy used to be the president.

According to Republican state Representative Cecil Ash's website, he and his wife have been affiliated with the group for "several years."

United Families International is one of 26 "active anti-gay groups" listed by the Southern Poverty Law Center, alongside Faithful Word Baptist Church -- the Tempe church with the pastor who says "the government should put [homosexuals] to death" -- and Fred Phelps' world-famous Westboro Baptist Church.

What exactly the Southern Poverty Law Center doesn't like about United Families International isn't mentioned, and we've got a call out to get that information.

According to the general "anti-gay" overview provided, it's pretty much described as a religious crusade against equal rights for gays and lesbians.

"For Christian Right leaders, the gay rights movement and its so-called 'homosexual agenda' are the prime culprits in the destruction of American society and culture," the description says. "In the words of Focus on the Family founder James Dobson, the battle against gay rights is essentially a 'second civil war' to put control of the U.S. government in the right hands, meaning those who reject gay rights."

Here are some interesting things from the United Families International "guide to family issues" about gays:

  • "Pedophilia is widespread among the homosexual community."
  • "Reputable studies and decades of successful treatment show that homosexual behavior can be changed."
  • "Discrimination on the basis of gender or race is vastly different from discrimination on the basis of sexual practice."
  • "It is not marriage, but women in marriage, that help to contain and channel the male sexual appetite."
  • "In fact it is more compassionate to discourage homosexuality than to tolerate it."

There are also accompanying "fact" sheets for topics such as "the harms of pornography" and some opinions on abortion.

Still, some view the Southern Poverty Law Center as the political-correctness police. For example, it's gone after the "Men's Rights Movement" in its most recent publication -- a group eloquently described by a Business Insider reporter as "men who are rude about women and their sex lives."

Reason isn't happy about it either.

Either way, United Families International is on the list.