In an interview with extreme anti-LGBTQ group Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) about the group’s defense of a business for discriminating against LGTBQ customers, Fox & Friends Weekend co-host Pete Hegseth praised ADF's attorney and client for “raising this issue to the national level” and told the anti-LGBTQ business owner, “One could argue you reflected the definition of tolerance.”
The segment was the latest example of Fox News giving ADF a platform to discuss its anti-LGBTQ cases and policy positions. In 2019, ADF discussed at least eight of its cases during at least 11 segments on Fox News.
On September 11, ADF filed a petition to the U.S. Supreme Court on behalf of Barronelle Stutzman and her business, Arlene’s Flowers, asking for review of the Washington Supreme Court’s decision that Stutzman’s refusal to sell flowers to a gay couple violated that state’s nondiscrimination law. During an October 6 segment on Fox & Friends Weekend, ADF attorney Kristen Waggoner called on the U.S. Supreme Court to weigh in on the case, saying, “A win for Barronelle is a win for everyone. … It’s about tolerance being a two-way street.”
ADF has a history of fighting LGBTQ protections in the courts and attempting to sway policies at all levels of government. In fact, ADF will present oral arguments to the U.S. Supreme Court on October 8 in R.G. & G.R. Harris Funeral Homes v. EEOC & Aimee Stephens, a case in which ADF represents an employer that fired a transgender woman for her gender identity. The case will be heard alongside two similar cases involving employment discimination on the basis of sexual orientation.
ADF has also recently worked on several other cases attacking LGBTQ nondiscrimination protections:
Doe v. Boyertown Area School District: On May 28, the Supreme Court declined to hear ADF’s case against a Pennsylvania school district’s trans-inclusive policies that permit students to use facilities consistent with their gender identity, allowing the policy to remain in place.
Telescope Media Group v. Lindsey: On August 23, the federal Court of Appeals for the 8th Circuit ruled that two filmmakers who own Telescope Media Group could proceed with their challenge of Minnesota’s nondiscrimination law. The owners, Carl and Angel Larsen, argue that they should be allowed to deny wedding video services to same-sex couples.
Brush & Nib Studio v. City of Phoenix: On September 16, the Arizona Supreme Court overturned multiple lower court decisions and ruled that a Phoenix art studio that ADF represented did not have to make custom invitations for a same-sex wedding. However, the court did not strike down Phoenix’s nondiscrimination law.
Title IX sex-discrimination complaint: ADF filed a complaint on June 17 with the U.S. Department of Education on behalf of three students arguing against a trans-inclusive athletics policy. On August 7, the Education Department agreed to investigate the complaint.