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‘Submit to your husband’ evangelicals claim LGBT rights threaten women

Nick Duffy March 18, 2019
conference where House and Senate Democrats introduced the Equality Act of 2019 which would ban discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people, on March 13, 2019 in Washington, DC.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) speaks during a news conference where House and Senate Democrats introduced the Equality Act of 2019 which would ban discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people, on March 13, 2019 in Washington, DC. (Mark Wilson/Getty)

An evangelical Christian group that lobbies against access to women’s healthcare, Alliance Defending Freedom, is claiming that LGBT+ rights will undermine women’s rights.

The fundamentalist Christian group has mobilised to lobby against the Equality Act, a bill submitted to Congress that would extend federal civil rights laws to outlaw discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity in all 50 states.

In opposing the proposed bill, Alliance Defending Freedom is focusing its rhetoric on women’s rights by claiming legal protections for transgender women will impede the rights of other women.

Kristen Waggoner of Alliance Defending Freedom’s legal division wrote a piece for The Hill on Saturday (March 16) that claims the bill should be opposed by “anyone who wishes to preserve the vital gains women have made toward equality under the law and in our culture.”

She claimed that “gender ideology strips away my privacy rights and safety.”

However, the ADF is far from a feminist group.

Alliance Defending Freedom CEO: Wives, submit to your husband

Extremism watchdog the Southern Poverty Law Center lists Alliance Defending Freedom as a anti-LGBT hate group, but the ADF has also campaigned against abortion access and women’s healthcare rights.

The group has led lobbying efforts to defund Planned Parenthood, the largest provider of women’s healthcare to women.

It has called for abortion to be re-criminalised, saying: “With your help, and the help of a great alliance that stands for life, Alliance Defending Freedom is fighting to put an end to the abortion industry and restore the human right to life.”

The SPLC notes that ADF CEO Michael Farris has previously signed a statement that called on people to “submit as to Christ… within families, wives to their husbands, and children to their parents.”

Alliance Defending Freedom CEO Michael Farris
Alliance Defending Freedom CEO Michael Farris (Mark Wilson/Getty)

In 2003 book The Spiritual Power of a Mother, he reportedly wrote: “The real test of being submissive is being willing to follow her husband when a wife thinks he is making the wrong decision.

“When you are truly willing to follow your husband, even when you think he is wrong, you are on the first step toward contentment for you.”

Alliance Defending Freedom has a long anti-LGBT record

Alliance Defending Freedom previously lobbied to retain the criminalisation of homosexuality in Belize, while its have leaders linked homosexuality and paedophilia.

The group has also filed legal challenges across the US seeking to strike down laws banning gay cure therapy, and most notably represented anti-LGBT baker Jack Phillips, to advance the argument that religious freedom gives Christian business owners the right to discriminate against gay customers.

In January, Alliance Defending Freedom was linked to UK-based anti-transgender activists who self-identify as “radical feminists.”

More: Alliance Defending Freedom, feminist, LGBT, Trans, Transgender, US, women's rights

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