The “800lb Christian Gorilla” partnering with the Australian Christian Lobby
The Australian Christian Lobby Annual Conference is almost upon us, hosted by the Wesley Mission’s Wesley Conference Centre in Sydney. See more here and here. Principal speaker is Eric Metaxas. He’ll be joined by our very own Treasurer, Scott Morrison. But the most important guest is arguably Jeffrey J Ventrella from the Alliance Defending Freedom.
Alliance Defending Freedom is an enormous and very rich US organisation. Founded in 1994 by very rich, white, male, hard-right conservative evangelical Christians, ADF reported total revenue of US$54,532,567 for the year ending June 30, 2014, with net assets of US$39,845,439.
“Today, ADF is one of the largest conservative legal organizations in the United States… Indeed, one might argue that it is chiefly responsible for the rightward jurisprudential shift on religion in the public sphere… They are best known for litigating on the role of religion in public life, a category encompassing abortion, LGBTQ rights, freedom of expression—including the right to religious free speech in public schools—homeschooling, parental rights, and family, among other issues.”
But their legal push for, among other things, recriminalization and decriminalization of “sodomy” doesn’t stop at America’s borders. ADF claims to have been involved in over 500 cases in six continents and 41 countries, including Argentina, Belize, Honduras, Mexico, Peru, Slovakia, and India, where they have been providing legal and financial support for the case to retain Raj-era anti-gay laws. They are currently helping to promote the spread of Russian-style laws outlawing “gay propaganda” across Eastern Europe.
In 2010, ADF ramped up the “international fight for religious liberty for Christians and establishing a larger ADF footprint to accomplish this mission.” That year, ADF was granted United Nations ECOSOC special consultative status. This gives them virtually unfettered access to U.N. missions during key convention and treaty-drafting meetings. They advocate face-to-face with delegates and help them develop rights-limiting language for inclusion in U.N. documents. [Political Research]
“In 2012, ADF opened their first international office in Vienna, Austria, which enabled them to easily toggle between the various European courts, including the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg. They have also inserted themselves at the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights in Vienna, the European Parliament in Brussels, and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe. In all these regional bodies they have focused their efforts on issues like abortion, euthanasia, registration of churches, and homeschooling, wielding their influence across countries such as Sweden, Turkey, Germany, Hungary, and Bulgaria.”
They are a major partner in the World Congress of Families, who attempted to stage a conference here in 2014, organized by Babbette Francis of the Endeavour Forum. Their star speaker was to have been “International Ambassador” Kevin Andrews, who excused himself from attending and asked for his name to be taken off the publicity material.
“A substantial part of WCF’s modest budget comes from… Alliance Defending Freedom, Catholic Family & Human Rights Institute, Family Research Council, Family Watch International, Focus on the Family, and National Organization for Marriage. The combined annual budget for WCF’s partner network amounts to over US$200 million.” [Political Research]
The stirrer wrote extensively about WCF at the time, including their promotion of anti-gay laws across Europe.
Someone is Lying About Kevin Andrews : Gays ‘Conspire with Boko Haram’ : WCF
World Congress of Families Protest : World Congress Of Families: the Forgotten Firebrand
The Oligarch, World Congress of Families, and MH17
IN THEIR OWN WORDS
When they don’t have standing in a foreign court, ADFpartner with local lawyers, providing support and above all, money. ADF International says
“Europe, India, Latin America
- Financial Resources
Since its launch in 1994, Alliance Defending Freedom has provided lawyers with more than €33m through thousands of grant awards that have helped fund cases, amicus efforts, and advocacy-related projects across the world. We recognize that without financial support, many issues that ADF International and its allies deem important will not be pursued.
- An Alliance
We offer a partnership that goes beyond financial support. We invest together and offer consultation and legal expertise when you need it.”
This is the “800lb Christian Gorilla” now partnering with the Australian Christian Lobby and eager to spread its tentacles down under, giving the ACL access to an almost unlimited war chest with which to try to halt our progress towards equality, and smash what rights we have already gained. We are in for a very rough ride.
*G.A.Y. = the acronym formerly known as LGBTI2QQA+