Valley nonprofit labeled 'hate group' speaks out

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(Source: 3TV/CBS 5) (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
(3TV/CBS 5) -

The Southern Poverty Law Center has compiled a list of organizations across America and labeled them as hate groups.

According to the SPLC’s online hate map, there are 917 different organizations that have “beliefs or practices that attack or malign an entire class of people, typically for their immutable characteristics.”

[RELATED: The Southern Poverty Law Center's list of hate groups near you]

They accused hate groups are split up into categorizes like white nationalists, anti-immigrant, and anti-LGBT.

Family Watch International, a nonprofit based out of Gilbert, is one of 18 organizations listed SPLC’s hate map. It's labled as an anti-LGBT group. 

Sharon Slater, the president of FWI said she was surprised to see her organization’s name on the list and called it “absolutely unfair labeling.”

[RELATED: High-profile white nationalist calls Maricopa home]

“Let's be really clear here. It's simply not true,” said Slater. “Family Watch International is not a hate group.”

FWI group leaders explained they promote traditional marriages between a man and a woman, but clarified “FWI is not anti-LGBT. We are not anti-gay as they've tried to characterize us.”

[RELATED: These are the new symbols of hate]

“We do not discriminate against any population,” she added. “We have a policy for those who may disagree with those positions based on social science data and peer review research that we promote dialogue discussion and civility and we're very open to looking at all the information that's out there.”

3TV/CBS 5 reached out to the SPLC for comment on how it specifically determined why FWI made the list or other organizations, but has yet to get a response. 

Its website generally explained the hate map was "compiled by using hate group publications and websites, citizen and law enforcement reports, field sources and news reports." 

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