Proud Boys founder Gavin McInnes sues Southern Poverty Law Center over hate group label

The SPLC says the group is "known for anti-Muslim and misogynistic rhetoric" and members "maintain affiliations with known extremists."
Gavin McInnes attends an Alt-right rally in front of CUNY in New York on May 25, 2017.
Gavin McInnes attends an Alt-right rally in front of CUNY in New York on May 25, 2017.Susan Watts / NY Daily News via Getty Images file

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By Associated Press

MONTGOMERY, Ala. — The founder of a far-right men's group called the Proud Boys is suing the Southern Poverty Law Center for labeling the organization a hate group.

Gavin McInnes filed the defamation lawsuit Monday in federal court in Alabama. The lawsuit contends the designation is false and damaged his career.

McInnes was a co-founder of Vice Media. He founded the Proud Boys, an organization that describes members as "western chauvinists."

The SPLC says the group is "known for anti-Muslim and misogynistic rhetoric" and members "maintain affiliations with known extremists."

The SPLC press office did not immediately return a telephone message seeking comment.

The SPLC in June apologized and agreed to pay $3.4 million to a British group and its founder after labeling them anti-Muslim extremists. Several lawsuits have been filed since then.