|The Alliance Defending Freedom is also behind nationwide 'religious liberty' bills|
A few days ago, NBC published a wonderful article which exposed the Alliance Defending Freedom as the anti-lgbt hate group behind the crop of anti-transgender bathroom bills bubbling up across the nation. It should be required reading:
Bills have been introduced in 15 states nationwide this year that aim to restrict transgender people's access to sex-segregated facilities. From Minnesota to New York, many of the legislative bills awaiting votes focus specifically on schools as kids and teens find themselves at the center of a battle over bathrooms.
But many of the so-called "bathroom bills" filed across multiple states closely resemble each other. That's because many used language strongly similar to the model legislation called the Student Physical Privacy Act drafted by Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), a powerful conservative Christian law firm with a decades-long track record of litigating against LGBT rights. It's also been labeled a "hate group" by the Southern Poverty Law Center.
. . . The Southern Poverty Law Center describes the Alliance Defending Freedom mission differently: "Making life as difficult as possible for LGBT communities in the U.S. and internationally" by fighting against same-sex marriage and transgender people's access to private facilities. In 2016, the Southern Poverty Law Center designated ADF an "active hate group" in a list that includes Westboro Baptist Church, KKK chapters, and Neo-Nazi groups. In a report, SPLC cited ADF's briefs in the 2003 Lawrence v. Texas case in which the firm argued for criminalizing gay sex through sodomy laws, and claimed ADF was behind efforts to keep sodomy laws on the books in Belize.
The article primarily focuses on ADF's attack on the transgender community via "bathroom bills." However we should remember SPLC's words about how the group is doing what it can to make life difficult for the lgbt community.
Remember the SB1062 fight in Arizona in 2014? SB1062 was the so-called "religious liberty" bill which was so extreme in allowing anti-lgbt discrimination on the grounds of "religious beliefs" that it caused huge protests and then-governor Jan Brewer to cast a veto.
I'm sure you remember the controversy:
The fight over SB1062 was so brutal that it is still being felt today by the Arizona legislature.
Guess who was behind SB1062?
Using the same tactics back then it now uses to push "bathroom bills," the Alliance Defending Freedom was behind it, as well as other "religious liberty" bills. ADF even had a hand in "advising" Indiana lawmakers during that state's disastrous attempt to create a "religious liberty" law.
I would venture to say that the Alliance Defending Freedom has become one of the most, if not the most dangerous anti-lgbt organization in the nation. It's one thing to utilize petitions, junk science, and homophobic rhetoric. It's quite another to gather together and plan a behind-the-scenes physical strategy to actively create discriminatory laws and keep groups in second-class status.
Photo courtesy of Media Matters.