Like most Christian right groups, the Alliance Defending Freedom likes to pretend that they’re just worried about religious freedom and opposing same-sex marriage, but their authoritarian bigotry goes far deeper than that. Equality Matters provides the proof that they still want gay people to be in prison.
In 2003, when the Supreme Court was deciding whether to strike down state anti-sodomy laws in Lawrence v Texas, the ADF filed an amicus brief asking the court to uphold such laws. Their primary argument was that homosexuality spreads disease and therefore it’s a legitimate public health problem. As always, they conveniently ignore that lesbians have the lowest incidence of STDs of any group. But the focus is always on male anal sex. They’re absolutely obsessed with it.
In 2003, ADF president Alan Sears co-wrote a book titled The Homosexual Agenda: Exposing The Principal Threat to Religious Freedom Today, which warned that eliminating anti-sodomy laws would lead to the overturning of “laws against pedophilia, sex between close relatives, polygamy, bestiality and all other distortions and violations of God’s plan.”
The Supreme Court disagreed, striking down state bans on gay sex in its Lawrence v. Texas decision. But over a decade later, ADF continues to argue that Lawrence was wrongly decided. In 2011, ADF senior counsel Kevin Theriot criticized then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton for making the case that “the freedom to engage in homosexual behavior” is a “basic human right.” Theriot also wrote that “claiming a legal right to engage in homosexual behavior comes at the cost of religious freedom.”
Only if you think “religious freedom” includes the freedom to throw people in jail if they have sex in ways you think your god disapproves of. And like most of these groups, now that they’ve largely lost the ability to oppress gay people in America, they’ve turned their attention overseas:
But while ADF has largely run out of options for promoting the criminalization of homosexuality in America, the group has taken its anti-sodomy agenda overseas. ADF’s “Foreign Threats” page urges supporters to contribute to ADF’s international efforts to “help stop devastating rulings” against religious freedom like Lawrence, which ADF claims “fabricate[d] legal protection for homosexual sodomy” …In December 2012, the Jamaica Coalition for a Healthy Society hosted an international conference titled “Human Rights, International Law and the Family” in Kingston. The event was aimed at discussing how the fight for LGBT equality — including a legal challenge to the country’s anti-sodomy law — threatened “the traditional, natural family.” Jeffrey Ventrella and Piero Tozzi, two senior legal counsels for ADF at the time, spoke at the conference…
While at ADF, Tozzi repeatedly defended laws criminalizing gay sex. In 2012, he went before Congress to condemn the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child for opposing anti-sodomy laws. He criticized the Obama administration for opposing Jamaica’s anti-sodomy law, writing that the U.S. had “intervened in Jamaican domestic debates under the guise of combating ‘homophobia.’ ” And in 2008, he published an article warning that decisions like Lawrence had moved America toward “sodomizing … itself out of existence.”
ADF has also worked to help defend Belize’s Section 53, a law that criminalizes gay sex. As the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) reported in 2013, ADF attorneys offered legal assistance to Belize Action, a local group working to keep homosexuality criminalized…
In December 2011, India’s Supreme Court voted to restore the country’s colonial-era law banning “carnal intercourse against the order of nature.” The ruling reversed a 2009 decision by the Delhi High Court, which found the law unconstitutional. Under India’s criminalization statute, gay sex is punishable by up to 10 years in prison.
In an interview with OneNewsNow, Alliance Defending Freedom Global executive director Benjamin Bull applauded the Supreme Court’s decision for not “giv[ing] in to a vocal minority of homosexual advocates.”
This has nothing to do with religious freedom, it has to do with them not recognizing gay people as human beings and working tirelessly to deny freedom to them.