No Gays Allowed, a provocative new campaign, is shining a spotlight on the conservative legal group, which it says is waging “war” on LGBTQ people.
By Julie Compton
Nov. 14, 2018
Surrounded by the skyscrapers that tower over Times Square, a new billboard went up this week that in large black letters reads: “NO GAYS ALLOWED.” Just below, a smaller message states: “STOP Alliance Defending Freedom. Learn more at NoGays.org.”
The billboard is part of a new campaign that aims to draw attention to the conservative Christian legal group Alliance Defending Freedom, or ADF, which has been labeled an anti-LGBTQ “hate group” by the Southern Poverty Law Center, a designation the group disputes. Since its founding nearly 25 years ago, ADF has been linked to efforts seeking to criminalize homosexuality, restrict transgender people’s access to sex-segregated facilities and permit businesses to deny service to LGBTQ people.
Caleb Cade, a spokesman for Citizens for Transparency, the advocacy group behind the campaign, said the powerful nonprofit law group has fought for years to undermine lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer rights, often behind the scenes.
“We want to remind people that there are still really insidious forces at work against our community,” Cade told NBC News. “ADF has been leading that war for a long time, with tens of millions of dollars to do it.”
The Times Square billboard, which went up Tuesday and is expected to remain through February, directs viewers to the campaign’s website, which provides information about ADF’s past works and links to news articles about its efforts to “make LGBT people second-class citizens.”
In response to the newly launched campaign, ADF’s senior counsel, Jeremy Tedesco, shot back at Citizens for Transparency, calling it “an anonymous group that simply copies and pastes false claims” of the Southern Poverty Law Center.
“ADF is one the nation’s most respected and successful Supreme Court advocates, working to preserve our fundamental freedoms of speech, religion and conscience,” Tedesco wrote in an email to NBC News. “ADF is not litigating any cases, pursuing any legislation, nor supporting the passage of any laws domestically or internationally that criminalize sodomy.”