The American Family Association is a non-profit organization based in Tupelo, Mississippi which can be reached on their website, AFA.net. The AFA was established in 1977 by Revered Donald Wildmon and they promote conservative Christian values. The AFA have been the subject of much criticism and controversy in recent years and were labeled as a hate group by the SPLC in November 2010 on the basis of the AFA’s “propagation of known falsehoods and demonizing propaganda.” Other groups labeled as “hate groups” in the United States include the Ku Klux Klan and neo-Nazis.
The AFA.net website provides information about the organization’s mission, philosophy, and action statements. The AFA are active in organizing their members to boycott and engage in letter-writing campaigns against movies, businesses, and television shows which the group deems to be obscene, indecent or homosexual. Groups and companies which have been boycotted by the AFA include PepsiCo, Sears, IKEA, Pampers, Old Navy, 7-Eleven, Abercrombie & Fitch, American Girl, Blockbuster Video, Hallmark Cards, Burger King, American Airlines, MTV, and the People’s Republic of China. Recent boycotts from the AFA have also been against McDonald’s, The Gap, Campbell Soup Company, and Ford.
The director of Issue Analysis for Government and Public Policy for the AFA, Bryan Fischer, said in August of 2010, “each Islamic mosque is dedicated to the overthrown of the American government.” The AFA also state, “We oppose the homosexual movement’s efforts to convince our society that their behavior is normal” and they actively encourage action for the “preservation of Marriage and the Family.”
Although the AFA have fought against their being labeled as a hate group, the SPLC has supported their decision. Slate magazine published an article in December 2010 in which Mark Potok states, “the SPLC’s listings of these groups is based on their propagation of known falsehoods – claims about LGBT people that have been thoroughly discredited by scientific authorities – and repeated, groundless name-calling.” The “impact” of the AFA is detailed in a listing on the AFA.net website.