U. S. Reports Term Year 2006-2010

Coral Ridge Ministries Media, Inc. v. Southern Poverty Law Center

The petition for a writ of certiorari is denied. JUSTICE THOMAS, dissenting from the denial of certiorari. Coral Ridge Ministries Media, Inc., is a Christian nonprofit dedicated to spreading the “Gospel of Jesus Christ” and “a biblically informed view of the world, using all available media.” 406 F. Supp. 3d 1258, 1268 (MD Ala. 2019) (internal quotation marks omitted). In 2017, Coral Ridge applied to receive donations through AmazonSmile, a program that allows Amazon customers to contribute to approved nonprofits. To its dismay, Coral Ridge learned it was ineligible for the program. The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) had designated Coral Ridge an “Anti-LGBT hate group” because of its biblical views concerning human sexuality and marriage. Id., at 1270 (internal quotation marks omitted). AmazonSmile excluded Coral Ridge based on SPLC’s “hate group” designation.

Objecting to that designation, Coral Ridge sued SPLC for defamation under Alabama law. Coral Ridge maintained that although it “opposes homosexual conduct” based on its religious beliefs, it is in no sense a “hate group.” Amended Complaint in Coral Ridge Ministries Media, Inc. v. Amazon.com, Inc., No. 2:17–cv–566 (MD Ala., Oct. 18, 2017), ECF Doc. 40, p. 13. To the contrary, it “has nothing but love for people who engage in homosexual conduct” and “has never attacked or maligned anyone on the basis of engaging in homosexual conduct.” Ibid. C