|Formation||March 25, 1993|
|Purpose||"To advocate for religious freedom to uphold justice and preserve the right of people to freely live out their faith." |
|Alliance Defense Fund|
Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF, formerly Alliance Defense Fund) is an "American "conservative Christian "nonprofit organization with the stated goal of advocating, training, and funding on the issues of "religious freedom, sanctity of life, and marriage and family." ADF is headquartered in "Scottsdale, Arizona and runs the Center for Academic Freedom. It also has four branch offices located in "Folsom, California, "Washington, D.C., "Lawrenceville, Georgia and "New York. The organization is deemed a hate group by the "Southern Poverty Law Center. Because of its budget, caseload, and network of allied attorneys, ADF is also seen as the most organized and influential Christian legal interest group in the country.
In the early 1990s, people from various denominations["which?] began to notice what they saw as progressive values supplanting traditional Judeo-Christian values in American society and threats to religious liberty. They viewed the American Civil Liberties Union as a major contributing factor to the erosion of values. In response ADF was incorporated in 1993 by "Bill Bright (founder, "Campus Crusade for Christ), "Larry Burkett (founder, "Crown Financial Ministries), "James Dobson (founder, "Focus on the Family), "D. James Kennedy (founder, "Coral Ridge Ministries), "Marlin Maddoux (president, International Christian Media), and William Pew.
ADF’s first president was Alan Sears who also served as CEO and Chief Counsel. Sears was the staff executive director of the Attorney General's Commission on Pornography, popularly known as the "Meese Commission.
In 1995, ADF took its first case, "Rosenberger v. University of Virginia. The landmark case was described by law professor "Marci Hamilton as a "fork in the road" with respect to judicial review of the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment. Rosenberger involved a Christian newspaper at the University of Virginia which was denied student funding. ADF provided funding and the case was heard by the Supreme Court, resulting in a victory for ADF.
In 2000 Blackstone Legal Fellowship was founded with 24 participants. The nine week intense summer internship program trains law students from a traditionalist perspective.
The Christmas Project is launched in 2003. The annual initiative features hundreds of lawyers in teams across the country to resist the censorship of Christmas celebrations. In its press release ADF singled out the American Civil Liberties Union as the chief target of the campaign. By 2004 participation had reached over 700 attorneys and 3,600 school districts had been contacted and informed that Christmas celebrations are constitutional.
In 2005 the first Day of Truth was held with over 1,100 students in 350 schools participating. The annual event was instituted as an answer to the homosexual agenda.
ADF launches the Center For Academic Freedom (CAF) in 2006. CAF advocates for college students in the areas of free speech and free exercise of religion. David French is CAF's first director.
2008 marked the launch of Pulpit Freedom Sunday which has been called "perhaps [ADF's] most aggressive effort." The national event encourages pastors to include political endorsements in their sermons, in defiance of Internal Revenue Service regulations.
On July 9, 2012, the Alliance Defense Fund changed its name to Alliance Defending Freedom. The name change was a strategic initiative designed to reflect the organization's shift in focus from funding allied attorneys to litigating cases.
By 2014, ADF had an annual budget of $40 million and more than 40 staff attorneys, and had "emerged as the largest legal force of the religious right, arguing hundreds of pro bono cases across the country." The surprise hit "God's Not Dead is released. The film's producer, Russell Rolfe stated that the inspiration for the film came from Alan Sears who shared a story about a First Amendment case where a college coed's faith is challenged. Over 1,800 ministers enroll in the annual Pulpit Freedom Sunday.
Also in 2014 ADF achieved its most notable legal victory in a case challenging the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare. In "Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc., the Court ruled that the birth control mandate in employee funded health plans was unconstitutional. The case set a precedent for evaluating legal questions relating to religious liberty.
In 2016 "Tony Abbott, the former prime minister of Australia and current Member of Parliament, gave an address at ADF regarding traditional marriage. Abbott was an outspoken opponent of the legalization of same-sex marriage in Australia during the national debate.
In January 2017, "Michael Farris became the new "CEO of ADF. Farris lobbied Congress for the passage of the "Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993, and is the founder of "Patrick Henry College.
The "Southern Poverty Law Center as of 2017 has labeled the organization an anti-LGBT hate group and described it as "virulently "anti-gay". The SPLC's describes the group's mission as "making life as difficult as possible for LGBT communities in the U.S. and internationally"; the group and its representatives have repeatedly engaged in defamation of and scare tactics against LGBT communities and persons in the USA, says "NBC. 
In July 2017 U.S. Attorney General "Jeff Sessions attended ADF's Summit on Religious Liberty. Praising the group, Sessions said “While your clients vary from pastors to nuns to geologists, all of us benefit from your good work.” LGBTQ groups criticized Sessions for his participation at the event. Dominic Holden wrote in Buzzfeed News that ADF's growing influence in the Federal government can be attributed to Sessions' support.
ADF supports the inclusion of "invocations at public meetings and the use of religious displays (such as "crosses and other religious monuments) on "public lands and in public buildings. ADF opposes "abortion, and believes that "healthcare workers have a right to decline participation in the performance of abortions and other practices an individual health worker finds morally objectionable. ADF opposes "same-sex marriage and "civil unions, as well as "adoption by same-sex couples based on their belief that children are best raised by a married mother and father. ADF believes parents should be able to opt their children out of "sex education in schools that run counter to a family's religious beliefs.
The international branch, ADF International, argued for European countries to be allowed to prohibit changing genders on government-issued identification documents unless the individual has been sterilized.
ADF is a tax-exempt "501(c)(3) organization. It had a budget of $9 million in 1999.:84 ADF reported a total revenue of $61.9 million for the year ending June 30, 2015, and net assets of $39.9 million.
Donors include the Covenant Foundation, the "Bolthouse Foundation, the "Edgar and Elsa Prince Foundation,:84, 255 the "Richard and Helen DeVos Foundation, the "Bradley Foundation, The "M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust, one of largest charities in the "Pacific Northwest, donated nearly $1 million to ADF from 2007 to 2016.
Blackstone Legal Fellowship is a highly competitive, nine week intensive summer legal training program. Notable faculty have included U. S. Court of Appeals Judge "Amy Coney Barrett. It was founded in 2000 for the purpose of preparing Christian law students for professional legal careers. The first class comprised 24 interns. Since its inception Blackstone has trained more than 1,900 Christian law students. In an interview, ADF co-founder "Alan Sears said in 2000 Blackstone was created in response to his observation, "There’s got to be a better way for law students in America and for young lawyers than we currently have." The program is made up of interns, called Fellows, from a diverse selection of law schools as well as elite institutions such as Harvard and Yale.The program is named for "Sir William Blackstone, the famed eighteenth century English legal scholar and jurist who wrote about the "supremacy of God's law which had a profound impact on the Founding Fathers of the United States.
In 2012, Sears was asked about the major achievements of ADF. He said "among the things I am most thankful for are our Blackstone Legal Fellowship graduates."
In 2017 President "Donald Trump's nominee to the "United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, "Amy Coney Barrett, was criticized by Senator "Al Franken for teaching constitutional law at Blackstone. In her Senate committee hearing he referred to ADF as a "hate group." Barrett responded that the hate group label is "controversial." Barrett was confirmed to the court by the full Senate.
The Alliance Defending Freedom states that it established the "Day of Truth "to counter the promotion of the "homosexual agenda and express an opposing viewpoint from a Christian perspective." The Day of Truth is held annually following the "Day of Silence, which is organized by the "Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network.
ADF claims that students who have attempted to speak against same-sex relationships and behavior have been censored or, in some cases, punished for their actions under campus "hate-speech rules, such as Chase Harper, a high school student whose activism sparked the first Day of Truth. Harper was suspended for wearing a "T-shirt that read "Be Ashamed" and "Our School Embraced What God Has Condemned," and on the back read, "Homosexuality is Shameful" and ""Romans 1:27." ADF filed an unsuccessful federal lawsuit against school officials on behalf of Harper, claiming his religious freedoms were violated. The case was appealed to the Supreme Court.
The Day of Truth was first organized in 2005. According to ADF, over 1,100 students in 350 schools participated in the first Day of Truth.
ADF announced that beginning in 2009, it had passed on its leadership role in the Day of Truth to an "ex-gay organization, "Exodus International, who has prepared the resources for the event. On October 6, Exodus International stated they will no longer be supporting or leading the Day of Truth.
On November 11, 2010, evangelical Christian organization "Focus on the Family announced it had acquired the Day of Truth event and was renaming it to the Day of Dialogue.
Pulpit Freedom Sunday is ADFs initiative designed to challenge the "Johnson Amendment, which prohibits non-profit organizations including churches, from endorsing political candidates. According to the New York Times, ADF's campaign has become "perhaps it's most aggressive effort." In 2008 the program was launched with 35 churches participating--including several mega-churches. In an act of civil disobedience pastors include endorsements for political candidates in their sermons in defiance of Internal Revenue Service regulations and in hopes of triggering a court challenge based on First Amendment grounds. The inaugural 2008 event included Minnesota reverend Gus Booth who encouraged his congregation to vote for "Senator McCain and had prohibited them from voting for "Senator Obama because he supported US law on abortion rights.
By 2014 participation in the event had grown to over 1,800 pastors. That brought total participation since 2008 to more than 3,800 pastors. At the same time the IRS indicated that it would ramp up enforcement of the prohibition against candidate endorsement at churches.
In 2017 the "Free Speech Fairness Act was introduced in the "United States House of Representatives. The legislation proposes to permit political speech in churches. ADF supports passage of the bill.
ADF has been involved in several landmark "United States Supreme Court cases, including "Rosenberger v. University of Virginia, "Good News Club v. Milford Central School and "Town of Greece v. Galloway. Rosenberger was ADF's first landmark case, described by law professor Marci Hamilton as a "fork in the road" with respect to judicial review of the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment. Good News Club and Town of Greece established important precedents relating to Free Speech and the Establishment Clauses of the First Amendment respectively. But its most notable legal victory involved a 2014 case challenging the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare. In "Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc., the Court ruled that the birth control mandate in employee funded health plans when the company is "closely-held" was unconstitutional. The case set a precedent for evaluating legal questions relating to religious liberty. Since 2015, ADF has played a role in five victories at the Supreme Court.
The following is a list of people who are currently or have been affiliated with ADF.
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