ABC and NBC News described Alliance Defending Freedom, a nonprofit legal organization dedicated to protecting religious liberty, as a “hate group” in headlines this week.
Attorney General Jeff Sessions addressed the group’s summit on religious freedom in California on Tuesday, and the networks were covering Democrat and LGBT backlash against the speech.
"Jeff Sessions addresses 'anti-LGBT hate group,' but DOJ won't release his remarks,” read ABC’s headline. NBC’s was no better: "Attorney General Jeff Sessions Criticized for Speaking to ‘Hate Group.'"
The hate group designation of ADF comes from the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), which has been widely criticized in recent years for labeling mainstream conservative and religious organizations as ‘hate groups’ without justification. In recent years, the FBI has distanced itself from the SPLC, due to the egregious politicization. In 2012, a gay activist shot a security guard at the offices of the Family Research Council in Washington, D.C. The shooter targeted the Family Research Council after locating the the organization on the SPLC’s “hate map.”
THE WEEKLY STANDARD was present for Sessions’s speech Tuesday. In addressing the alleged ‘hate group,’ Sessions quoted liberal Catholic historian Gary Wills and spent significant portions of the speech discussing the positive example of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. (The Weekly Standard)
ADF has worked on a number of high-profile religious liberty cases, including the recent Supreme Court ruling in favor of one of its clients, Trinity Lutheran Church.
The group has played a role in 51 victories at the Supreme Court and has won nearly 80 percent of all its cases, according to ADF's website.