They are a group that openly advocates discrimination, bigotry and intolerance based on sexual orientation. They are immune to the science that has proven time and again people are indeed born that way. Being gay is not a lifestyle choice, as basically NOBODY would choose to be ostracized, be the butt of jokes for the rest of their life, be treated as a second-class citizen and cut down the number of potential mates by about 98%. Nobody would choose that. It is something that people have no control over. Nobody can choose who they're attracted to.
I don't care a whit what the A.F.A. Claims its beliefs are and how they shouldn't be labeled a hate group because of their beliefs. If I started a group that said that contrary to scientific fact people of African descent aren't really human and advocated that they be denied basic human rights and returned to slavery, handing out pamphlets and handbills with my anti-African message on them then don't you think my group would be labeled a hate group? But but but ... That's just my beliefs and how dare you label me a hater because of my beliefs, right? Well that's precisely the position the A.F.A. Has proudly taken with regard to gays and lesbians. They're a hate group, plain and simple. If someone can't see that they're in the same league as the A.F.A. Morons.
According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, the American Family Association is a hate group for "demonizing propaganda" against homosexuals. The AFA can have its opinions all it wants to just like any other entity. When it starts to infringe upon the rights of an entire group of people, that's when hate group status is earned. Instead of promoting hate as part of a fundamentalist Christian value, the AFA should love its neighbors as itself.
Yes, the American Family Association can be called a hate group. Any group which promotes intolerance and bias against or exclusion of any group based on race, creed, color, sex or sexual orientation is a hate group. Speaking under the guise of religious beliefs, the American Family group promotes boycotting of businesses or products which promote inclusion and tolerance of minority groups, including homosexuals. If a group is not promoting tolerance and acceptance to further harmony among people and communities but instead chooses to champion bigotry and exclusion, it is by definition a hate group.
A hate group can be defined in a number of ways. The simplest explanation is a group that supports any oppression of another group. With that established, the American Family Association openly supports the oppression of anything involving homosexuals. The AFA has been quite vocal about this. They do not want homosexual content on TV, on the Radio, or in any other public forum. They support the oppression of anything that does not fit their strict Christian values. If shown evidence of homosexuality, they will scowl and curse the act. That is as plain a definition of hate as anyone could expect.
According to Wikipedia the AFA defined itself as "a Christian organization promoting the biblical ethic of decency in American society with primary emphasis on television and other media," later switching their stated emphasis to "moral issues that impact the family." Overall the organization promotes fundamentalist Christian values, generally in what I would term as a conservative fashion. Their tenets are not held the same as many Americans but that does not make them a hate group, just a misguided group.
No, the American Family Association is not a hate group, because they do not hate people, just because they disagree with their way of life. People who preach tolerance are tolerant of everyone accept for the people who dare to disagree with someone's opinion. Tolerance really means that no standards are acceptable at all. The AFA is a fine, loving organization designed to support the interests of the traditional family.