Revealed: Christian legal non-profit funds US anti-LGBTQ+ and anti-abortion organizations - The Guardian

The Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), a registered non-profit behind the ongoing 303 Creative supreme court case which could chip away at LGBTQ+ rights, saw its revenue surge by more than $25m between 2020 and 2021, a period in which a rightwing obsession with transgender rights and sexual orientation saw almost 200 anti-LGBTQ+ bills introduced in states around the US.

It has handed over hundreds of thousands of dollars of that newfound wealth to fringe organizations which have sought to diminish the rights of trans students in schools and the right for trans people to participate in sports, an investigation by the watchdog group Accountable.US has found.

The ADF, which was founded in 1994 by a group of “leaders in the Christian community”, according to its website, has also given money to groups involved in efforts to ban books which address LGBTQ+ topics, and to organizations which seek to ban abortion.

[A report from Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the country’s largest LGBTQ+ advocacy group] this month found that 75 anti-LGBTQ+ bills were signed into law in the first five months of 2023 – more than double the entire amount passed in 2022.

Accountable.US found that the ADF donated $85,000 to the Child and Parental Rights Campaign, a group which, according to a Politico report, helped Florida Republicans shape the state’s so-called “don’t say gay” law, which prohibits discussion of sexual orientation and gender identity in schools.

The group has also sued two school districts in Florida over issues relating to the rights of trans youth. One case saw the Child and Parental Rights Campaign sue the Leon county school district, complaining that teachers had allowed a child to choose their preferred pronouns. The case was dismissed by a judge in January.

The Women’s Liberation Front (WLF), a group which previously campaigned against the Obama administration providing protections for transgender students in schools, received $50,000 from the ADF the same year.

Another beneficiary of the ADF’s largesse was the Kriegshauser Ney Law Group, which in 2022 brought a lawsuit, with the ADF, on behalf of a Kansas teacher who refused to use transgender or non-binary students’ preferred pronouns. The Geary county school district settled with the teacher for $95,000.

The Ethics and Public Policy Center, which filed an amicus brief supporting the ADF in the 303 Creative case, received $78,000. Leonard Leo, an influential rightwing activist who helped Donald Trump select three supreme court justices, serves as a director for the group, which has also supported a case which challenges FDA approval of the abortion pill mifepristone.

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The Guardian

Locations: Florida Kansas 

Organizations: Alliance Defending Freedom Accountable.US Human Rights Campaign Child and Parental Rights Campaign Politico Republican Party (GOP) Women’s Liberation Front Kriegshauser Ney Law Group Ethics and Public Policy Center Food and Drug Administration (FDA) 

People: Leonard Leo 

Tags: 303 Creative LLC v. Elenis LGBTQ+ Transgender Discrimination Christianity Religion Abortion Lawsuit 

Type: Headlines