The Southern Poverty Law Center has identified 12 anti-gay hate groups in the United States: Hate groups are organizations that “go beyond mere disagreement with homosexuality by subjecting gays and lesbians to campaigns of personal vilification.” Among the hate groups are Peter LaBarbera’s former project the Illinois Family Institute; Lou Sheldon’s Traditional Values Coalition; and several organizations linked to Exodus ally, Holocaust revisionist, and ex-gay activist Scott Lively.

Mission America, the Ohio-based nameplate for antigay activist Linda Harvey, may be envious: It’s not listed. That may be one reason why Harvey — aided by the antigay parent group Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays, according to Ex-Gay Watch — is urging antigay conservatives to write to the SPLC and demand that California supporters of open campaign-donation records be collectively branded a hate group.

Why is Mission America equating open records with hate? Not because of any actual violence or harassment of campaign donors: There hasn’t been any.

Perhaps, then, Mission America is simply hopping on the bandwagon of, a coalition of wealthy, out-of-state, antifamily religious-rightists who want their identities — and their antigay extremism — kept secret from California voters. Exodus International is among the coalition’s endorsers.

There’s little chance of California open-records laws being overturned, and no actual evidence that the records have been used to promote violence of any kind against members of the antigay, antifamily coalition. So the objective of P-FOX and Mission America may be twofold:

1. Deflect their supporters’ attention from their organizations’ association with certified hate groups
2. Gain inclusion in future editions of SPLC’s hate-group list, so that Mission America — a little-known outfit among the giants of the religious right — may claim victimhood at the hands of those who warn America against defamation and vilification done in the name of religion