Sunday, October 01, 2023

Anti-LGBTQ group the Alliance Defending Freedom 'manufactured' lawsuits it took to the Supreme Court

Editor's note - I was going to post this on Friday, but the death of Senator Dianne Feinstein made me decide to wait until Sunday. All attention should be paid to this because in my opinion, it is one of the most substantial LGBTQ stories of the year. It also underscores the depths the anti-LGBTQ industry are willing to go to undermine our rights, safety, and health.

Anti-LGBTQ hate group the Alliance Defending Freedom has had much winning lawsuits in front the Supreme Court; lawsuits supposedly defending the rights of Christians against the LGBTQ community. However, according to a big expose by The Washington Post, the circumstances of these lawsuits were manufactured by the Alliance Defending Freedom. The goal seems to be bringing these lawsuits to court in the hopes of striking down laws and ordinances protecting LGBTQ people from discrimination.

Before this summer’s landmark Supreme Court ruling that a Christian web designer in Colorado had the right to refuse to work on same-sex weddings, the legal advocacy group behind the case had spent nearly a decade laying the groundwork through similar lawsuits filed around the country. 

 Among the wedding vendors represented by the Christian nonprofit Alliance Defending Freedom were a photographer from Kentucky, videographers from Minnesota and a pair of Arizona artists who created stationery. Each challenged local laws barring businesses from discriminating based on sexuality, which the plaintiffs said violated their First Amendment rights.

 In its petition asking the high court to hear the Colorado case, ADF cited favorable decisions it had won in those three cases. Winning meant its clients were free to express their beliefs about marriage through their work “without fear of government punishment,” ADF said in a statement after one ruling. 

 But an examination by The Washington Post of court filings, company records and other materials found that two of the three vendors cited in ADF’s September 2021 petition had stopped working on weddings, and the other did not photograph any weddings for two years. Three additional vendors represented by ADF in similar lawsuits elsewhere also abandoned or sharply cut back their work on weddings after they sued local authorities for the right to reject same-sex couples, The Post found. 

 Such developments led an opposing lawyer and a judge in two of the cases to separately question whether ADF’s plaintiffs truly intended to exercise the rights they sued for — or if their claims were instead manufactured to be test cases in a national litigation campaign.

 ADF also had a hand in formally establishing companies for some of its clients, The Post found. Lawyers associated with the legal group signed incorporation paperwork and helped to draft company policies that were later used as a basis for the wedding lawsuits. ADF promoted some of its lawsuits with videos and images of plaintiffs photographing women in bridal gowns at what The Post found were staged events featuring ADF employees.

You can read the entire article at the links I supplied which I am able to supply as a free gift (and not behind a paywall), thanks to a very good friend of mine. 

I don't know the legalities of all of this, so I really don't know if any laws were broken. But I do know that what the Alliance Defending Freedom is doing is unethical as hell. It's not right to fake a situation of discrimination and then build a case upon it, particularly when the end result means that a group of Americans could lose a legal protection.  Every victory the Alliance Defending Freedom has won with these lawsuits places a large, ugly stain on the American court system, particularly the Supreme Court. 

One wonders if certain justices (such as Alito and Thomas who are already facing issues with regarding their ethics) were in on these schemes. It's a question which needs to be asked. One of MANY questions for that matter.