Alliance Defending Freedom, which defended Downtown Hope Center, called hate group by senior Justice official

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The Christian-based legal group that defended the Downtown Hope Center in Anchorage against the intrusion by a drunk transgender has been labeled a hate group by a senior official of the U.S. Justice Department. And that didn’t sit well with two Republican members of the U.S. Senate.

“Alliance Defending Freedom is one of the nation’s foremost champions of religious liberty and the constitutional rights of all Americans,” Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, said in a statement provided to The Daily Signal. “It’s appalling that a Department of Justice staffer would consider this mission hateful. I’m proud to stand with ADF in its fight for religious liberty. Attorney General Merrick Garland must ensure that the DOJ faithfully executes justice for all, and he should investigate this incident.”

Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., vice chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, called the Justice Department official’s comment “outrageous” and slammed the agency’s credibility, The Signal reported.

“A DOJ lawyer slandering honest, law-abiding Americans as members of a ‘hate group’ simply because of their Christian faith is outrageous,” Rubio told The Daily Signal. “Attorney General Garland promised to uphold the rule of law without fear or favor. The credibility of his department continues to shatter.”

The comments that denigrated the Alliance Defending Freedom were made by Eric P. Bruskin, assistant director of the Justice Department’s Civil Division. The context of the comment was in response to a social media post by Jason Weida, a former Assistant U.S. Attorney in Washington, who is now a state health official in Florida. Weida had shared he was “honored to speak with Matt Sharp at Alliance Defending Freedom about the work we’re doing in Florida to protect kids from experimental medical interventions and to defend parental rights, all thanks to the leadership of Governor DeSantis.”

Bruskin wrote in response, “Jason, this is a hate group. You’re speaking at a conference for a hate group. Are these the beliefs you hold? If so, then it’s time we end our professional association.”

Read: Transgender files lawsuit against faith-based women’s shelter

Alliance Defending Freedom has taken on some of the most high profile cases in the culture wars of recent years. Wikipedia says the group “is an American conservative Christian legal advocacy group  that supports restricting rights and protections for LGBTQ people; expanding Christian practices within public schools and in government and preventing access to abortion.” In fact, the group supports the rights of people to practice their religious beliefs and supports the humanity of the yet-to-be born.

Recent victories for the group include the US Supreme Court decision Americans for Prosperity Foundation v. Bonta in 2021, in which the ADF argued that non-profits should not be required to disclose the identities of their donors on California state tax returns. The court struck down the disclosure law as unconstitutional.

In 2008, in Coorod vs. the State of Alaska, an Alaska court ruled that a property tax exemption for religious schools does not violate either the state or federal constitution. Several groups, including the American Civil Liberties Union, filed suit after the state’s legislature determined that “the residence of an educator in a private religious or parochial school” qualifies as “property used exclusively for religious purposes. The Superior Court for the State of Alaska in the Third Judicial Circuit at Anchorage determined that such tax exemptions are not illegally improper, as Alliance Defending Freedom had explained.

In 2019, Anchorage officials dropped a complaint filed with the Anchorage Equal Rights Commission against the faith-based women’s shelter Downtown Hope Center. The city agreed with Alliance Defending Freedom attorneys to make the court’s temporary order against the city permanent.

The complaint came from an inebriated man who the Downtown Hope Center referred to a hospital to get the care he needed for visible injuries that had come during a fight, and the faith-based group paid for his taxi ride to the hospital. The man later filed a complaint that the center didn’t let him stay at the center, where the group gives shelter to abused and homeless women.

Alliance Defending Freedom attorneys filed a federal lawsuit on the center’s behalf.

“Many of the women Downtown Hope Center serves have suffered rape, physical abuse, and domestic violence. They shouldn’t be forced to sleep or disrobe in the same room as a man. Abused women need a safe place to stay, but incredibly, some Anchorage officials are trying to take that place away.” said Alliance Defending Freedom Senior Counsel Ryan Tucker.

“All Americans should be free to live out their faith and serve their neighbors—especially homeless women who have suffered sexual abuse or domestic violence—without being targeted or harassed by the government,” said ADF Senior Counsel Kate Anderson at the time. “This is the right outcome. Downtown Hope Center serves everyone, but women deserve a safe place to stay overnight. No woman—particularly not an abuse survivor—should be forced to sleep or disrobe next to a man.”

In The Downtown Soup Kitchen dba Downtown Hope Center v. Municipality of Anchorage, the U.S. District Court for the District of Alaska issued an order saying Anchorage’s public accommodation law doesn’t apply to the center’s women’s shelter.

25 COMMENTS

  1. This is a clear message that the left wants to get rid of the right and anything it believes in. It’s us against them from what they are saying no mas.

    • That is an entirely correct and logical conclusion, Mark.
      Because despite all their hypocritical and disingenuous rhetoric, the radical left is fundamentally a rigidly ideological and completely INtolerant movement — more of a religion and a cult, to be honest, who do not see those who disagree with them as simply those with differing opinions, but as heretics who must be attacked, silenced and killed.

  2. Ok, so, some of you are claiming that Bronson is taking Anchorage in the wrong direction? How did that work out with Berkowitz? He’d go to the assembly meetings and tell them that whatever they said was good. I don’t even live in Anchorage, and thank the good Lord I don’t! What a disaster!! But I have to admit, I got a bad feeling that there’s spill over coming to the Kenai Peninsula. I pray not.

  3. No secret to anyone, but obviously the left is at war with the rest of us in this country. And they don’t hide it well.
    They have shifted the focus to supposedly fighting “domestic terrorists” instead of actual enemies. That’s why they try to take guns away from normal Americans, but gift billions of dollars of weaponry to the Taliban. This all makes sense to them.
    It’s part of the plan.
    Someday, the other side will either fight back or be vanquished. Those are the only options.

  4. And this is how it is done. A single comment by a biased wokester reverberates throughout the system becoming factual information. And denying that comment makes you a disinformation spreader and a potential target for future FBI raids.

  5. Hi, I’m a liberal progressive. Though it’s not strictly on topic of the article, I wanted to comment because I see a lot of assumptions in this thread that claim what I want, what I desire, or what my mindset is, and I whole heatedly disagree with those assumptions. I support freedom of religion, I support 2A rights, I support 1A rights. I don’t want to “attack silence or kill” anyone. I don’t consider people on the right as “heretics”. I am not alone in my stances. Every liberal progressive Alaskan I know supports 2A rights, 1A rights, and freedom of religion.

    I’m a liberal progressive because I believe that if we are going to be paying taxes, they should be spent on things that benefit the people which includes my neighbors, regardless of their political leanings. I don’t want our tax money going to big corporations or being wasted on frivolous projects. I want you and your children and my own to drive on good roads, drink clean water, have no fear of lack of food or homelessness, have access to quality medical care. I want children to have the best possible chance at achieving their dreams and dream careers.

    These are the things I want, and if the government botches any of these things I of course support private citizens and entities in their attempts to bridge the gap in a private market. If that means it’s better for a child to go to a private school or home school, then that’s great! They should be private or home schooled because that’s the best path for them! However I also want us to not just ignore when the government is inefficient at a task. If we see a deficiency in our government or governmental service like public schooling we should fix it; not just complain about how it’s always inefficient or give up on solving the problem.

    So much is distorted in today’s media, and positions are advertised for people rather than by them in order to divide and generate hate. Rather than let others speak for me I just wanted to clearly state what my motivations are from the bottom on my heart. I want happyness, privacy, prosperity, grace, and joy for each and every one of my neighbors regardless of their political party.

    God bless.

    • You sound like a liberal, not a leftist. But, you also claim to be a progressive, which these days means leftist.
      .
      You cannot be both a liberal and a progressive. Progressives are not about letting others live without interference. Progressive are all about control. The all powerful State, etc…
      .
      Liberal is good. Leftist is not.

    • Liberal Alaskan, I welcome and appreciate your comment, and I do believe that you are, in fact, a true liberal in the literal sense of that word.
      .
      Sadly, there are many today who try to pass themselves off as “liberals”, a.k.a. “progressives”, a.k.a. “leftists”, who are in fact none of those things, but who are quite simply intolerant authoritarians. You would do well to clearly and unequivocally separate yourself from being identified with such people.

      • As a non affiliated voter my entire life (60 years), the only folks talking about progressive liberals are libertarian voters disguised as republicans, and in actuality are authoritarian in belief.

    • I’m a conservative and we probably disagree about many things but I feel like we could discuss our differences to advance to our common goals. You and I are on the same team even though I’m willing to bet you might want universal healthcare, something like student loan forgiveness, unions for many things, free childcare, etc etc. But we both agree that the state of journalism and social media is toxic and I think that is the single biggest issue the world is facing right now. I 100% agree with many of the things you said. And I feel comfortable explaining to someone like you why I don’t believe in universal healthcare, more student financing, more social services that are “safety nets” for the homeless, higher minimum wage, etc without you labeling me as a 2 dimensional Disney villian that is a spiteful greedy monster. And I also agree that too many conservatives throw up their hands and want to run to the hills and pull their kids out of public education instead of staying to make sure public school is the best it can be.

      But I hope you understand why so many of us feel like things are futile and get upset when we are treated like domestic terrorists for simply pointing out things that don’t flatter the school boards’ point of view. This isn’t an uncommon thing. My kids go to public school and all of the staff and eager parents are very presumptuous when they believe their liberal points of view speak for everyone. If I speak up about anything and provide reasons to pump the breaks, they take it as a strong gut punch and that I must be spiteful or something and treat me as such. I know this because I have experienced it myself a few times, in particular about a major project my school is pushing for that I consider, sorry, I know is a terrible priority for school funding. The PTA is very presumptuous in thinking all parents want it because to them it feels like an opportunity to get money from the sky, and when I sent an email to the PTA president saying I don’t share the same feelings, she took strong offense and asked if I wanted to be taken off the email list. This is the world a conservative experiences right now all while the liberal agendas say self righteously that they are all about being “inclusive”. That’s infuriating, especially because we have opinions that identity politics that Democrats practice are the opposite of “inclusive” and the opposite of equality and only increase racial tensions and make minorities that buy into it feel like helpless powerless victims that can blame everything in their lives on anything but what they choose to do with their lives. We can debate the merits of these opinions but it in no way do they make us racist white supremacists, especially because conservatives aren’t all white. Not at all. Ted Cruz is considered white only because of his points of view. That is sign of authoritarian madness…

      Anyway, I have no doubt you are not alone. But your voice and your sentiments are not allowed to have any power and validity in the Democrat party that is being amplified by the media, school boards, NEA, liberal politicians (especially the Anchorage assembly), etc etc. But stay strong. You sound like you have some integrity, and I have hope that integrity will be valued once again after everyone else has made a complete fool of themselves like Icarus flying too close to the sun. In the meantime, I suggest not voting for people that don’t want to do anything to stop the complete disregard and condemnation for human beings that simply don’t agree with the lock stop of the media, the radical progressives with twitter armies, and the current state of the Democrat party.

      • Thank you Justin. The amplification by the media on the flip side causes the same kinds of issues for me, with people assuming my character from my political title, as they certainly assume against you. I’m trying my best to amplify our voices instead; people like you and me who just want the best for our neighbors regardless of some letter or color labeling us. The most American tradition we can foster is to be free individuals who discuss, debate, and then still respect each-others personal views and work together to do things that otherwise divided peoples never could. I am certainly not alone in these beliefs, as I’m faithful and certain that you are not alone in yours either despite what seems to be all around us online and in the media. I think it’s really important we remember and hold onto that.

        I’m incredibly proud and thankful to have you as a neighbor.

  6. Hate.
    That is perhaps the single most abused and misused words coming from the left. When you disagree with a leftist about anything they have an emotional stake in, they will declare you are a hater. And, not specific to the topic at hand, but across the board. If you think an open southern border is not a good idea, you hate all immigrants.
    Next thing you know, the conversation is about your feelings, not the southern border. It is a technique called closing the argument.
    .
    This is no different. Transgenders are the new tool of the left. And if you do not think it is a good idea for a biological male to sleep in the same shelter as abused females, you HATE all LGBTQWERTYWHATEVER+-*/s.
    .
    Getting a bit tired of it.

      • They love to use the canard of “racism” in that same way as well. As if being racist (which most people in the world are, and unashamedly so — see the Chinese, for example) is the worst of all possible sins and crimes — worse than theft, worse than rape, worse than murder. Really?

    • You are so right. My family has a close friend that is a liberal activist. Went camping with her and things were good. We were even finding some common ground. And then she said she likes how the world is seeing how important daycare is because covid forced many parents to have their kids at home. Somehow she thought it illustrates how important it is that parents get free childcare. I knew she was baiting me so I casually and mildly said “well, I don’t agree with that.” Her response “ooooohh Justin! Your white male privilege is really showing and you need to spend more time talking and listening to your wife.” It’s like she had her gun cocked and loaded and ready to fire as soon as I said something. She was just looking for an opportunity to use that new insulting extremely arrogant line. She’s very white by the way. Then when she noticed that she made me upset about the whole thing, she predicted I would feel that way and said I need to work out my feelings…

      Then she had a birthday party for her 3 year old that we hadn’t seen for a long time because she kept her child locked down and isolated for nearly 2 years because of her fear of covid. It was an outdoor birthday party of course, but she asked that I not come because I’m not vaccinated. That especially irked me because they were all vaxxed and supposedly protected and my unvaxxed kids were invited. I was singled out as the one person not allowed. I said I’m done trying to be her friend. Guess who got labeled as a hate filled bigot…

    • Really Jim? Try boning up on history. And do try to think critically, it’s very important to do so.
      I hate it when a fellow with an Irish name makes an AT&T out of himself.

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