Alliance Defending Freedom

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…[the ADF's] ultimate goal is to see the law and U.S. government enshrined with conservative Christian principles.
—Profiles of the ADF at Right Wing Watch,[1] SourceWatch,[2] and the Southern Poverty Law Center[3]

Alliance Denying Defending Fascism Freedom (formerly known as the Alliance Defense Fund until 2012) is a right wing religious legal group with an income of $55 million in 2018.[4] On the basis of its extremist evangelical viewpoints on homosexuality, transgender people, it is designated a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center.[3]

Aims[edit]

The ADF is dedicated to:

Analysis[edit]

Pulpit Freedom Sunday in 2011

The group was conceived as a conservative counter to the ACLU. They have, on occasion, done some good — if self-serving — work for Christian groups that are unfairly prevented from using school property by officials who don't understand the Establishment Clause. But, then again, so has the ACLU.[16]

On the other hand, they have helped defend the right of the Boy Scouts of America to discriminate against gays. The very nature of their mission runs counter to both the spirit and letter of the Constitution of the United States.

Starting in 2008, they have cajoled right-wing pastors into observing Pulpit Freedom Sunday, an intentional violation of the tax-exempt status of those pastors' churches.[17]

Incidentally, Bill O'Reilly likes them.[18]

2020 election activity[edit]

See the main article on this topic: 2020 U.S. presidential election

Michael Farris, CEO of ADF, wrote and circulated a draft lawsuit that was used largely as the basis for Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton's lawsuit against the states of Pennsylvania, Georgia, Michigan, and Wisconsin, claiming that the states unconstitutionally expanded use of absentee ballots during the COVID-19 pandemic.[19] The lawsuit was dismissed as moot because Texas (whom Paxton represented as AG) lacked standing regarding another state's election laws.[20]

Funding[edit]

Major donors include James Leininger, Erik Prince, Bill and Bradley Foundation, Richard and Helen DeVos Foundation, Berniece Grewcock Foundation, and the Bolthouse Foundation, which insists that "man was created by a direct act of God in His image, not from previously existing creatures".[21][1] According to The Guardian, "the ADF saw a huge increase in its funding between 2020 and 2021. The group funneled some of that money into a slew of smaller anti-LGBTQ+ and anti-abortion groups across the US."[22]

International impact[edit]

The Christian Legal Centre is a British organization suspected of receiving funding from the ADF. The CLC and ADF jointly set up the UK based Wilberforce Academy, which tries to train Christians as public leaders. Overall, the Christian Legal Centre is less successful than the ADF claims it to be. The Christian Legal Centre has lost a high proportion of the cases taken on,[23] while the ADF claims a high success rate.[24]

Future[edit]

Polling evidence suggests that the percentage of Christians in the United States falls by about 1% yearly. As the proportion of Christians continues to decline, the culture in the United States is likely to more closely resemble that of Britain, making it harder for the ADF to win cases.

Moment of supreme irony[edit]

Biron's mugshot

In April 2013, ADF attorney Lisa Biron (1969–) was convicted of six counts of sexual exploitation of children, and one count of possession of child pornography when she filmed her own 14-year-old daughter having sex with two men on multiple occasions, and the ADF moved swiftly to whitewash their connection to Biron by removing mention of her on the ADF web site and Facebook page.[25] Biron got 40 years in prison.[26]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. 1.0 1.1 Alliance Defense Fund and Alliance Defending Freedom, Right Wing Watch.
  2. Alliance Defense Fund and Alliance Defending Freedom, SourceWatch.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Alliance Defending Freedom at the Southern Poverty Law Center.
  4. Jessica Glenza (February 20, 2020). "The multimillion-dollar Christian group attacking LGBTQ+ rights". The Guardian.
  5. David D. Kirkpatrick (October 2, 2023). "The Next Targets for the Group That Overturned Roe". The New Yorker.
  6. Selena Simmons-Duffin and Diane Webber (August 16, 2023). "Ruling deals blow to access to abortion pill mifepristone — but nothing changes yet". Health Shots (NPR).
  7. Alliance Defending Freedom Through The Years Southern Poverty Law Center.
  8. Group makes noise over Day of Silence NBC News. 4/12/2005.
  9. Michael Allen, Christian Brian Johnson Sues to Hand Out Bibles at Gay Pride Rally. opposingviews.com, 3 April 2012.
  10. See also, Man sues after being restricted from passing out bibles. rationalskepticism.org, 5 April 2012.
  11. This Law Firm Is Linked to Anti-Transgender Bathroom Bills Across the Country NBC News. April 8, 2017.
  12. Christian Shelter Defends Choice To Reject Homeless Transgender Woman Huffington Post. 01/14/19.
  13. Mark Joseph Stern, It Wasn’t About Bathrooms, and It’s Not About Women’s Sports. Slate, 7 April 2021.
  14. Alex Amend, Anti-LGBT Hate Group Alliance Defending Freedom Defended State-Enforced Sterilization for Transgender Europeans. Southern Poverty Law Center, 27 July 2017.
  15. Fake ‘radical feminist’ group a paid political front for anti-LGBT organization, LGBTQ Nation, April 12, 2017
  16. The ACLU fights for Christians. 20 March 2015.
  17. No Theocracy, Thanks. metroland.net, 1 February 2012.
  18. Anna Dimond and Joe Brown, What is the Alliance Defense Fund, and why does Bill O'Reilly advocate donating to it? Media Matters, 14 October 2005.
  19. Christian Conservative Had Secretive Role in Bid to Block Election Result: Drafts of a lawsuit filed with Supreme Court by Texas’ attorney general in December had been circulated by the leader of an anti-abortion group. by Eric Lipton (Oct. 7, 2021, 4:03 p.m. ET) The New York Times.
  20. See the Wikipedia article on Texas v. Pennsylvania.
  21. Christian Legal Centre fights more than 50 religious discrimination cases
  22. Ava Sasani (November 26, 2023). "'Archaic': the Tennessee town that made homosexuality illegal". The Guardian.
  23. For examples, take a look at Wikipedia's page on the Christian Legal Centre.Wikipedia
  24. The Work of Alliance Defending Freedom where in 2015, they claim "80% of all cases litigated have been won" and "38 U.S. Supreme Court victories".
  25. Anti-gay activist lawyer guilty of child pornography after videotaping daughter by Evelyn Schlatter (January 11, 2013 9:25PM EST) Salon.
  26. Former Manchester lawyer sentenced to 40 years for producing child pornography by Jeremy Blackman (May 24, 2013) Concord Monitor (archived from July 6, 2015).
  27. (September 29, 2023). "Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF)". GLAAD.

Notes[edit]

  1. If successful, this could set a precedent allowing secularists to hand out material by authors like Richard Dawkins at Christian events. Can these Christians think things through?[10]