The US army labelled a Christian pro-family organisation as a ‘domestic hate group’ at a training session for soldiers last week.
Dozens of troops were told that the American Family Association (AFA), which supports traditional marriage, should be classed alongside groups such as the Ku Klux Klan and Neo-Nazis.
The group has previously been designated a hate group in a list of organisations compiled by the Southern Poverty Law Centre (SPLC).
During the training session at Camp Shelby in Mississippi, soldiers were told they may face punishment if they support organisations which the army considers to go against its values.
A chaplain at the briefing challenged the instructor, who refused to retract the claims.
And one Christian soldier who attended the session contacted a journalist, raising concerns about the fact he donates to the AFA.
He also said: “I listen to American Family Radio all day. If they hear it on my radio, will I be faced with a Uniformed Code of Military Justice charge?”
The AFA has urged its supporters to contact politicians to ask “why the Pentagon relies on the extreme left-wing Southern Poverty Law Center as its source for listing ‘hate groups'”.
Last month a gunman who opened fire on a pro-family organisation which was designated a ‘hate group’ by the SPLC received a sentence of 25 years in prison.
Floyd Lee Corkins II, 29, targeted the Family Research Council (FRC) in August last year, but was apprehended by an unarmed security guard who was shot in the arm in the process of preventing further harm.
Corkins was carrying 50 rounds of ammunition when he entered the building.
He had a list of organisations in his pocket, inspired by the SPLC list of hate groups, which had the FRC at the top.
He was also carrying 15 Chick-fil-A sandwiches that he intended to smear in the faces of his victims.
Chick-fil-A is a fast-food outlet in America which found itself at the centre of a media storm when its owner voiced opposition to gay marriage.