The Christian conservative group American Family Association (AFA) has rejected a claim that it is an anti-gay hate group.

The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) recently added the AFA, a group that opposes gay rights, to the same list of hate groups as the Ku Klux Klan, the Nation of Islam and the Aryan Nations. Also added were the National Organization for Marriage (NOM), the nation's most vociferous opponent of gay marriage, and the Family Research Council (FRC), which hosts the annual conservative celebrity-studded Values Voter Summit in Washington.

According to the SPLC's website, all the hate groups on its list “have beliefs or practices that attack of malign an entire class of people, typically for their immutable characteristics.”

Referring to a sidebar in the SPLC report titled 10 Anti-Gay Myths Debunked, Bryan Fischer, director of issue analysis at the AFA, rejects the hate group designation in a blog post at the group's website, arguing that “what the SPLC calls 'myths' about homosexuality turn out to be what neutral observers call 'truths' about homosexuality.”

Fischer asserts that it's true that “homosexuals controlled the Nazi Party and helped orchestrate the Holocaust,” that “homosexuals molest children at far higher rates than heterosexuals,” that “hate crime laws will lead to the jailing of pastors who criticize homosexuality and the legalization of practices like bestiality and necrophilia,” and that being gay is a choice.

“People leave the homosexual lifestyle every day, just like people stop abusing drugs and alcohol every day,” he wrote.

In an earlier blog post, Fischer reached out to troubled gay teens considering suicide. He wrote that he was “here to help” and urged the teens to “resist homosexual impulses” which will “leave you diseased, lonely and dead.”