The extreme anti-gay legal organization representing Rowan County, Kentucky clerk Kim Davis is criticizing the Associated Press after a report accurately noted that the group has been listed as an anti-gay “hate group.”
In an October 4 article, Associated Press correspondent Claire Galofaro accurately reported that Liberty Counsel -- the group representing Kim Davis -- has been labeled an anti-gay “hate group” by the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) due to its peddling of damaging falsehoods about the LGBT community. Other media outlets have failed to similarly identify Liberty as a “hate group” in their reporting on the controversy surrounding Davis.
In response to the report, Liberty Counsel president Mat Staver delivered a letter to AP's Assistant General Counsel Brian Barrett demanding that the article be permanently deleted, accusing AP of putting Davis and Liberty Counsel at risk for being targeted for “death threats.” From Breitbart:
In a blistering letter, signed by Liberty Counsel president Mathew Staver and delivered on Monday to Brian Barrett, AP's Assistant General Counsel, the group charges an October 4 story is “defamatory and presents Liberty Counsel and me in a false light. The words and the way the article is written as a whole present a clear and unmistakable message to a reasonable person -- Mat Staver and Liberty Counsel are liars and haters, and the organization is a 'hate group.' These assertions are very damaging and place lives in danger.”
The AP article relies heavily on the claim by the Southern Poverty Law Center that the positions taken by Liberty Counsel on homosexuality amount to hatred no different from that of the KKK and the Nazi Party. The AP story was headlined “Law firm labeled as hate group leading Kim Davis' crusade.”
Staver's letter charges that [AP correspondent Claire] Galofaro knew of the dangers he and Davis were in but published the SPLC charges anyway. He says Galofaro "...knew that Kim Davis had received death threats. She knew that people threatened to kill her and her husband and burn down their house after raping her. She knew that people had threatened to kill her and her staff at the Clerk's office. She knew that I had received death threats and that our staff hat [sic] Liberty Counsel received death threats."
Liberty Counsel is not asking AP for a “minor edit here and there...” Staver writes, “At a minimum, AP should permanently remove the link and the cache.”
Staver said today that AP's General Counsel has acknowledged the letter but not yet responded.