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Advocacy group petitions PayPal to shut down account of anti-gay LaBarbera

Friday, September 16, 2011
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Anti-Gay activist Pete LaBarbera, President of the one-man anti-gay operation “Americans For Truth About Homosexuality” (AFTAH), who earned himself a place on the Southern Poverty Law Center’s list of hate groups, is incensed that LGBTQ advocacy group AllOut.org is demanding PayPal sever its relationship with what it calls an anti-gay hate group.

Earlier this month, All Out launched a petition drive asking PayPal to “end the online hate trade” and shut down AFTAH’s account, citing PayPal’s mission statement that its service may not be used to distribute money intended to promote hatred and violence.

All Out gathered more than 25,000 signatures in an online petition, says PayPal quickly banned white supremacist group the Ku Klux Klan when complaints rose about that group’s account.

All Out says 11 groups, mainly from the US, should have their accounts closed. They include Abiding Truth Ministries, which has supported anti-gay legislation in Uganda, and Family Research Institute and Americans for Truth About Homosexuality, both of which say homosexuality is dangerous and unnatural.

A spokeswoman for PayPal said: “PayPal does not allow the use of its service for activities that promote hatred, violence or racial intolerance. We take very seriously any cases where a user has incited hatred, violence or intolerance because of a person’s sexual orientation.

“However, we also take into account the rights of free speech and freedom of religion. Balancing these conflicting rights is often difficult, and so we assess possible infringements objectively against our Acceptable Use Policy.

“While we can’t comment on any specific accounts because of customer confidentiality, we regularly review organisations and websites that use our service, and stop working with those that break our Acceptable Use Policy. We also enable people to report suspected breaches of this policy on our website.”

AFTAH, who last year lost its a 501(c)3 tax-exempt status for failing to submit IRS-required filings, accepts online donations through PayPal.

LaBarbera calls the effort “homofascism in action:”

“It is no longer advisable to laugh off, dismiss or ignore the activist homosexual/liberal lobby’s escalating campaign to demonize Christians and punish groups like Americans For Truth,” LaBarbera writes.

“That is because everyday Americans are being influenced by the liberal media, which enable groups like the SPLC and All Out by failing to call into question their preposterous analogies, lies and hateful smears against Christians.

“We must fight back with the Truth and engage our politically enemies in a dogged, “house-to-house” battle to preserve our liberties and our ability to operate freely in the public square.”

LaBarbera insists his anti-gay rhetoric doesn’t violate PayPal’s rules because unlike Muslims, he claims, AFTAH doesn’t overtly call for the executions of homosexuals.

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