Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) is a Christian non-profit organization that provides legal representation and support to individuals and organizations in cases involving issues related to religious freedom, life, and marriage.
The organization was founded in 1994 by leaders in the Christian community and has since grown to become an essential player in the legal battles surrounding these issues in the United States.
ADF’s legal work includes representing clients in cases involving issues such as the right to pray in public schools, the right to display religious symbols on public property, and the right to be able to create products and services that align with their religious beliefs. The organization has also been involved in cases related to abortion, including representing crisis pregnancy centers in their efforts to prevent states from requiring them to provide information about abortion services.
Alliance Defending Freedom has been involved in several high-profile cases and has often been successful in securing favorable rulings for its clients. In 2017, the organization was involved in the landmark Supreme Court case Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission, in which a baker in the state of Colorado declined to create a custom wedding cake for a same-sex wedding because doing so would speak a message about marriage that violated his religious beliefs.. The Supreme Court ruled in favor of the baker, stating that the Colorado Civil Rights Commission had shown animus towards the baker’s religious beliefs in its handling of the case.
Alliance Defending Freedom represents individuals who want the chance to engage in society without concern that the government would penalize them for their beliefs. When deciding whether to create a product or service, the clients of Alliance Defending Freedom always center their thoughts on the message that such products express rather than the individual who has requested their participation.
In another victory, Arlene’s Flowers v State of Washington, ADF settled the case of a florist named Barronelle Stutzman of Arlene’s Flowers, who was faced with charges when she politely declined to make a custom floral arrangements for a planned wedding between two people of the same sex—one of whom was a longtime friend of 9 years. This, despite the fact that Ms. Stutzman referred the couple to three other nearby florists who would have been able and willing to complete the custom floral arrangement request.
The organization has also been involved in international cases, including representing clients in issues such as the right to homeschool children and share their faith. ADF has also provided legal assistance to individuals and organizations in countries where religious freedom is restricted or the persecution of Christians is prevalent. ADF supports everyone’s religious freedom, and has defended the rights of Mormons, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Jews, Muslims, and even those of no faith.
The areas in which Alliance Defending Freedom excels include defending free speech, traditional marriage, family values, parental rights, religious freedom, and the sanctity of life. This protects people of all ages, including students. Over the years, ADF has had more than 400 victories in protecting the rights of students for free speech.
ADF actively works to bring attorneys on board to join its network of attorneys to help clients when their rights are being violated. This is how the organization provides legal representation to individuals and companies that are being attacked for simply trying to live according to their religious values.
Alliance Defending Freedom has several core beliefs in its mission statement. These include:
- Religious Freedom Prevails – restoring religious freedom as a fundamental right.
- All Can Speak Freely – securing freedom of speech for everyone.
- Life is Safeguarded – guaranteeing the right to life from the moment of conception all the way to a natural death.
- Marriage and Family are Protected – ensuring that the law respects the plan that God created for the family unit, human sexuality, and marriage between one man and one woman.
- Parental Rights Are Guaranteed – guaranteeing the natural and basic rights of parents to direct the upbringing of their children and to direct the education of their children.
On a global level, Alliance Defending Freedom International has worked arduously to protect the lives and rights of Shia Muslims, Yazidis, Christians, and people of other religions. ADF has a strong presence both in the United States and internationally and works to defend the fundamental freedoms of all people.
It is the core belief of Alliance Defending Freedom that all peoples should have the right to live by their religious values without fear of government retaliation, punishment, or fear of being targeted.
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