Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Why Alliance Defending Freedom Is A Hate Group

The latest tactic of anti-LGBT hate groups is to lie - lying is one of their hallmarks - and claim that they are being persecuted and slandered because of their religious beliefs.  The tactic is part of the organized effort to create the myth in America that Christians are facing persecution and, therefore, need to have "religious freedom" laws enacted in their favor.  As noted numerous times, these laws are in fact a license to discriminate and simply allow Christofascists to exempt themselves from non-discrimination laws and ordinances.  They undermine the rule of law and establish a de facto national religion in the form of extremist Christianity.  The Southern Poverty Law Center has a piece that looks at what these hate groups all have in common: spreading know lies and untruths and working endlessly to subject LGBT citizens to discrimination and, sometimes, criminalization.  It is a part of the Christofascists effort to destroy anything and anyone who does not comport with their fear and based beliefs and/or might make others question such beliefs.  Here are highlights from the piece which shows the deliberate dishonesty and viciousness of Alliance Defending Freedom (the same agenda applies to Family Research Council and a host of "family values" groups):
In 2016, The Southern Poverty Law Center added the Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF; formerly Alliance Defense Fund until 2012) to its list of anti-LGBT hate groups.
The designation is a result of ADF’s propagation of known falsehoods about LGBT people over the years (including the conspiracy theory that there is a “homosexual agenda” or “homosexual legal agenda” to undermine “the family” and Christianity), its demonization of LGBT people, its support of criminalization of gay sex in the U.S. and abroad and its continued attempts to create state and local policies and legislation (so-called “religious liberty” laws) that allow Christians to deny goods and services to LGBT people in the public sphere and marginalize LGBT students in schools.
The SPLC does not name groups to its anti-LGBT hate list simply for having biblical objections to homosexuality or for opposing same-sex marriage.
Founded by some 30 leaders of the Christian Right, the Alliance Defending Freedom is a legal advocacy and training group that specializes in supporting the recriminalization of homosexuality abroad, ending same-sex marriage, and generally making life as difficult as possible for LGBT communities in the U.S. and internationally. . . . . Since its founding, the ADF has expanded its operations abroad as it battles abortion, LGBT equality, and what it considers the “myth” of the separation of church and state.
The ADF’s longstanding antipathy toward LGBT people has become public through its work on lawsuits, various statements it has made, and materials it has offered on its website over the years. It has also promoted the idea of a “homosexual agenda— a nefarious scheme to destroy Christianity and, eventually, civilization through LGBT people’s efforts to secure equality under the law. To those who believe in this conspiracy theory, LGBT people are not really seeking equality; rather, they are actually seeking to destroy such things as Christianity, the family and culture.
ADF Senior Counsel Erik Stanley at the Gospel, Homosexuality, and the Future of Marriage conference, 2014:  “Alliance Defending Freedom seeks to recover the robust Christendomic theology of the 3rd, 4th, and 5th centuries.
Alan Sears, then-president of ADF (he was president until January, 2017) publishes a book he co-wrote with then-ADF colleague Craig Osten titled The Homosexual Agenda: Exposing the Principal Threat to Religious Freedom Today, which was heavily advertised for sale on the ADF website and offered in fundraising pitches for years. The book is the authors’ attempt to describe how far the conspiracy of “the homosexual agenda” has infiltrated the country and undermined Christianity through things like media and educational institutions. Sears and Osten described the media campaign conducted by LGBT activists in the 70s and 80s (as summarized in the account After The Ball: How America Will Conquer Its Fear and Hatred of Gays in the 90s) to "a war of propagandajust as Hitler did so masterfully in Nazi Germany."
Sears and Osten also claim that homosexual activists are attempting to “indoctrinate children” as early as kindergarten. (p. 52)  The authors link homosexuality to pedophilia . . . .
Lawrence v. Texas amicus briefs . . . ADF files two friend-of-the-court briefs in the landmark Lawrence v. Texas case, which struck down anti-LGBT sodomy laws in the United States. Both briefs support retaining criminalization. One, with ADF attorney Glen Lavy, is a litany of graphic descriptions of sex acts and how dangerous same-sex sexual activity is (more so than opposite-sex sodomy, the brief argues), ultimately claiming that the state (Texas) should continue to criminalize same-sex sexual acts in the interest of public health and “morality.”
A pamphlet titled “The Truth about Homosexual Marriage” — available on the ADF’s website — claims that same-sex marriage, civil unions and domestic partnerships are dangerous to children. . . . . The pamphlet promotes ex-gay ministry Exodus (Exodus International shut down in 2013) for its role in helping thousands of individuals stop homosexual behavior.”
According to the ADF website, “The homosexual legal agenda is one of the greatest threats to religious freedom in America today.” The strategy of proponents of this agenda “is twofold: dilute moral values so that homosexual behavior is thought to be normal, natural and good, while suppressing the religious and free speech rights of those who disagree.” Clearly, the ADF says, “The homosexual agenda is at odds with religious freedom.”
Alan Sears speaks in a plenary session (PDF) at the anti-LGBT World Congress of Families gathering in Madrid, Spain. The session is titled “The Homosexual Agenda” and Sears states that, “the homosexual legal agenda” reveals “an extremism that seeks out and persecutes any soul, in any corner of our society, who refuses to publicly embrace and aggressively promote homosexual behavior.”
ADF attorney Piero Tozzi addresses (PDF) an anti-LGBT conference in Jamaica, where he voices his support for the continued imposition of the Jamaican anti-sodomy law which, he says, is a “the bulwark” against a “larger agenda” and falsely links childhood trauma to homosexuality.
ADF attorney Erik Stanley speaks in Tennessee at a conference titled “The Gospel, Homosexuality and the Future of Marriage” where he pushes the myth that Matthew Shepard’s brutal murder was “fabricated” and had nothing to do with his homosexuality. Rather, the story about his murder being a hate crime was to advance the “homosexual legal agenda.”
 ADF sends a letter to school districts around the country stating that no school is legally beholden to implement trans-inclusive policies and allow trans students to access bathrooms and locker rooms of the gender with which they identify. The letter denies the gender identity of such students and claims that such inclusive policies are allowing opposite sex students to access the facilities, which is “dangerous.”
ADF legal counsel Douglas Wardlow testifies in an Anoka-Hennepin school board meeting in Minnesota against allowing trans students to access facilities in accordance with their gender identities. Prior to his testimony, he sent a letter to the board in which he used the discredited research of Mark Regnerus and Paul McHugh to falsely claim that protecting trans students from discrimination is not supported by medical science (it is).

ADF's lies are endless.  Here in Virginia, The Family Foundation spreads the same untruths and amazingly to date has escaped a formal hate group designation, perhaps because its propaganda is limited to within Virginia.  Both groups seek to spread anti-LGBT hatred and to give Christian extremists special rights and need to be recognized as a menace to true religious freedom. 

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