Culture

On #GivingTuesday, a Look at Where We’ve Been and Where We Go from Here

It’s been a big year.

In the last twelve months, you helped win two major victories at the U.S. Supreme Court.

By God’s blessing and your prayers and generous support, we successfully represented Colorado cake artist Jack Phillips and California pro-life pregnancy centers before the highest court in the country. These victories helped secure your freedom of speech and religion.

Achieving these victories for freedom is a big deal, as there is a lot at stake in these battles. And when you consider how rare it is to gain an audience at the Supreme Court – the high court only hears about 80 of the 7,000 to 8,000 cert petitions filed each term – it’s even further evidence of God’s hand at work!

And while this is an exciting time in the battle for freedom, we know the threats to our most basic freedoms of religion, speech, and conscience will not stop. Opponents of freedom will continue working to banish and silence the viewpoints they disagree with and punish those who seek to live out those views.

Opponents of freedom include groups such as the American Civil Liberties Union, which is involved in lawsuits trying to force citizens like floral artist Barronelle Stutzman to celebrate events that violate their faith. They include organizations such as the Southern Poverty Law Center, which labels everything it disagrees with as “hate” in order to banish certain ideas from the public square. And they include organizations such as Citizens for Transparency, an anonymous group that put up a billboard in Times Square misrepresenting Alliance Defending Freedom and our work.

And then there are the local and state governments that have passed laws used to punish people of faith for holding disfavored viewpoints on issues such as marriage and sexuality.

What all of these opponents of freedom fail to recognize is that the freedoms ADF advocates for benefit us all. If our clients are free to live according to their beliefs, that secures that same freedom for everyone – even those who hold different viewpoints.

In our pluralistic society, that’s something we should all be able to support. Tolerance is a two-way street, after all.

Yet the attacks on our basic rights continue. For example, ADF just asked the Supreme Court to hear a case in which we are defending high school students in Pennsylvania. Their school district changed its policies to allow students to use the locker rooms and restrooms consistent with their beliefs about their own gender. That allows boys who believe they are girls to use the girls’ locker rooms. But schools have a duty to protect the privacy, safety, and dignity of all students, and this policy fails that duty. No one’s right to privacy should depend on what others believe about their own gender.

ADF also has three cases pending before three different state supreme courts. Through those cases, we seek to defend the right of all Americans to live consistently with their faith without fear of government punishment.

  • The Washington Supreme Court is reevaluating Barronelle’s case after the U.S. Supreme Court wiped out the decision against Barronelle and sent it back for reconsideration in light of the Masterpiece Cakeshop decision.
  • The Arizona Supreme Court announced that it will hear the case of two Phoenix artists, who are asking the courts to uphold their artistic and religious freedom. They are challenging a Phoenix law that requires them to create custom art celebrating events and expressing messages against their faith.
  • The Kentucky Supreme Court will hear the case of promotional printer Blaine Adamson and decide whether he has the freedom to print only the messages that are consistent with his deeply held beliefs.

Thanks to you, we have been able to successfully defend our constitutional freedoms at the highest levels – achieving nine victories at the Supreme Court in the past seven years. But as our many ongoing cases show, there is still much work to be done.

We know that this #GivingTuesday, many organizations are asking for your help. But we would be so grateful if you would consider a gift to help continue fighting for our freedoms at courts across the country, all the way up to the Supreme Court.

We know the efforts to take away freedom won’t stop. With God’s grace and your support, we can continue to defend your most basic liberties in the coming year.

Sarah Kramer

Digital Content Specialist

Sarah worked as an investigative reporter before joining the Alliance Defending Freedom team.

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