US: The many ways Alliance Defending Freedom is fighting against transgender student equality

For years, anti-LGBTQ hate group Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) has led a national crusade to block transgender students’ access to school restroom and locker room facilities that align with their gender identity. Media Matters takes a look at ADF’s insidious attacks on transgender student equality over the last year.

Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) is the largest anti-LGBTQ hate group in the nation and received more than $50 million in donations and grants in 2015. The group is representing plaintiff Jack Phillips in the upcomingMasterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission Supreme Court case. The case, which involves a Christian baker who refused service to a gay couple, may determine whether businesses serving the public have the right to discriminate against LGBTQ people under the guise of “religious” or “artistic freedom.”

Since 2015, Media Matters has tracked and exposed how ADF and its allies have infiltrated schools across the country, advocating for harmful and discriminatory policies by drafting a model “Student Physical Privacy Policy” regarding the use of restrooms and similar facilities, sending letters to schools, filing briefs, and arguing in court against transgender student equality. Some of ADF’s allied attorneys, of which there are more than 3,200 in the United States, have also testified at school board meetings and been quoted in news reports opposing specific school policies. And policies proposed in 2017 legislative sessions in at least eight statesand a number of school districts mirror the language in ADF’s model policy.

According to the American Civil Liberties Union, 38 anti-transgender bills have been introduced or been active in 2017 in states across the country, 28 of which involved “single-sex facility restrictions” and specifically targeted public schools or government buildings (which include public schools). Nearly all of those bills are now dead. Media Matters and Rewire’s legislative tracker determined that 10 of the 28 anti-trans “bathroom bills” had language resembling ADF’s policy.

 Here are five different ways that we have found ADF attempting to force anti-trans policies across the country...

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