Anti-Rights Profile: 10 Things You Should Know About the Alliance Defending Freedom


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The so-called Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) is one of the USA’s most dangerous organisations working to prevent equality for LGBT people.

An enthusiastic leader in defending the unconscionable “right” to discriminate against LGBT people, they are also a world-wide exporter of their own brand of hate.  ADF bills itself as an “alliance-building legal organization that advocates for the right of people to freely live out their faith”—unless of course that faith contradicts with their own anti-LGBT version.

This paper presents 10 of the ways the ADF is supposedly working to protect their “freedom” to discriminate:

  1. Working to promote its non-inclusive agenda, ADF is the nation’s largest anti-LGBT legal advocacy group in the nation, raising over $178 million over the past 5 years, with an annual budget of over $45 million and rapidly expanding.
  2. ADF practically invented marriage discrimination. They literally wrote the original language for discriminatory same-sex marriage bans in Idaho (2005), Colorado (2006), and South Carolina (2006).
  3. Sticking their head in the sand, ADF stubbornly refuses to stop defending same-sex marriage bans, even when leaders in those states abandon them and stand on the right side of history.
  4. ADF wants the “freedom” to discriminate. They’ve sued cities and states for passing LGBT-inclusive anti-discrimination laws and ordinances—because it isn’t just about marriage, it’s about protecting the “freedom” to discriminate against LGBT people.
  5. ADF stands up for bigotry. They enthusiastically defended the “rights” of businesses to discriminate against LGBT people. They even developed Arizona’s incredibly controversial bill, SB 1062, which would have legalized bigotry against LGBT people in restaurants, shops, and businesses all across the state.
  6. ADF protects bullying. When school districts try to prevent harmful bullying of LGBT teens, ADF has stood up for the bullies by attacking the school districts for teaching tolerance. They’ll also fight for a student’s “right” to wear an anti-LGBT slogan on a t-shirt.
  7. Forget about dignity and respect.  ADF thinks they know best. They’ve fought to overrule principals and stop schools from treating transgender students with the dignity and respect they deserve, arguing: “Are parents supposed to be OK with allowing such boys to use the girls’ restroom and locker room facilities?”
  8. ADF is committed to keeping families together, unless of course someone is LGBT. ADF fights to split families apart by defending disgraceful decisions of biological parents to deny visitation rights to LGBT people who’ve raised children as their own.
  9. ADF loves science, especially the pseudo type. ADF defends the tremendously harmful and debunked pseudoscience known as reparative or “conversion” therapy. Telling LGBT kids they can change who they are if they just try hard enough, they’ve fought against efforts—including in New Jersey—to ban this destructed and discredited practice.
  10. ADF is an exporter of hate. They have an entire international program dedicated to promoting their hateful anti-LGBT laws and rhetoric abroad. They’ve advocated against the rights of LGBT people in international human rights cases, and have partnerships with attorneys in 31 countries around the world.

This profile was produced by the Human Rights Campaign.

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