Statement Against the ADF

Detransitioned Women Resist the ADF write:


We recently became aware that The Alliance Defending Freedom has been contacting high profile detransitioned people attempting to find potential plaintiffs to bankroll medical malpractice lawsuits. We strongly urge all detransitioned people to resist the temptation of ADF’s financial support. We acknowledge that many of us have received medical and mental health care that was grossly negligent. While we believe it protects the well-being of all patients for negligent medical providers to be held accountable, any relationship formed with the ADF assists them in their agenda of eroding the autonomy of lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans-identified and gender non-conforming youth by legitimizing conversion therapy based on Christian fundamentalism. We ask you to think critically about this and reject any “support” that would allow the ADF to treat our painful histories and financial vulnerability as an opportunity to promote their anti-LGBT and anti-woman agenda.


What is The Alliance Defending Freedom?

The Alliance Defending Freedom is the most powerful and best funded right-wing Christian legal organization operating in America today. Taking in around $40 million a year, and working with more than 3,000 associated lawyers around the world, it’s well equipped to push the social and political agenda of the religious Right both in the U.S. and internationally. In the U.S., it works to erode the separation of church and state to better push its version of conservative evangelical Christianity onto the whole of society. For years, it’s been on the front lines of the religious Right’s assault on the rights and well-being of women and LGBT people, hiding behind the guise of protecting “religious freedom.” The Southern Poverty Law Center lists the ADF as a hate group because of the countless attacks it’s made on the LGBT community since its creation in 1993.

The ADF has fought against women’s reproductive rights, LGBT non-discrimination laws, LGBT anti-bullying campaigns in school, and same-sex marriage. It’s fought for the criminalization of gay sex in the U.S. and abroad, creates anti-gay propaganda that alleges there’s a “homosexual agenda” conspiring to undermine American society and promotes gay conversion therapy.

Recently, the ADF has been at the forefront of promoting so-called “Religious Freedom Restoration Acts” (RFRAs). Claiming to protect free expression of religious beliefs, RFRAs legalize discrimination against LGBT people and undermine women’s reproductive autonomy. Worryingly, many members of the Trump administration have ties to the ADF, and several have advocated for RFRAs. While he was the governor of Indiana, now-Vice President Mike Pence signed an RFRA into law. Attorney General Jeff Sessions consulted with the ADF before issuing federal guidelines that support RFRAs. Trump himself made campaign promises (which he affirmed after assuming office) to promote RFRAs. It’s no wonder that the ADF and others in the religious Right see this administration as the perfect vehicle to push their agenda.

Despite their powerful political connections and vast financial resources, the ADF promotes a narrative where conservative Christians like themselves are victims being brutalized by LGBT people, feminists, and others who don’t adhere to their narrow vision of morality. It then uses this narrative to raise millions of dollars to fund its legal activities. Quoted by ThinkProgress in an article profiling the ADF, Rob Boston from Americans United for the Separation of Church and State says, “If you read their emails, their magazines, go to events, you hear a constant message of ‘we’re under attack, under siege, being persecuted.’” This narrative “motivates people to give, makes them afraid, causes them to reach for checkbooks or credit card.”

ADF Moves to Co-Opt Our Experiences

The ADF has now turned its sights onto detransitioned people, viewing us as another fund-raising opportunity and means for advancing their political agenda. Like others on the Right, the ADF sees us as a way to undermine both the trans movement and LGBT rights in general. [….]


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