The Alliance Defending Freedom has cases pending before the Supreme Court of the United States, but that did not stop them from being removed from the Amazon Smile program. Amazon Smile allows customers to give 0.5% of the price of their purchases to the charity of their choice. However, Amazon chooses to exclude some groups from the list that they deem to be hate groups. Rather than evaluating charities themselves, Amazon relies on the list put out by the Southern Poverty Law Center.
The Alliance Defending Freedom began in 1994 to protect causes related to religious freedom, pro-life causes, and marriage and the family. They claim to have “played a role” in winning 52 cases before the Supreme Court and represent Jack Phillips of the Masterpiece Cake Shop in his case before the highest court in the land.
The Southern Poverty Law Center added the ADF to their list of hate groups in 2017 because of their stance on LGBT issues. In a release announcing the designation, they say it came about because of the ADF’s “propagation of known falsehoods about LGBT people over the years (including the conspiracy theory that there is a “homosexual agenda” or “homosexual legal agenda” to undermine “the family” and Christianity), its demonization of LGBT people, its support of criminalization of gay sex in the U.S. and abroad and its continued attempts to create state and local policies and legislation (so-called “religious liberty” laws) that allow Christians to deny goods and services to LGBT people in the public sphere and marginalize LGBT students in schools.”
In a letter to Amazon protesting the decision, ADF President Michael Ferris took aim at the SPLC’s motives. “Although the SPLC did good work many years ago, it has devolved into a far-left propaganda machine that slanders organizations with which it disagrees and destroys the possibility of civil discourse in the process.” He further stated that, “Once the SPLC identifies an ideological opponent, its goal is to ruin them. As SPLC Senior Fellow Mark Potok said: ‘Sometimes the press will describe us as monitoring hate crimes and so on…. I want to say plainly that our aim in life is to destroy these groups, to completely destroy them.’”
Ferris offered to work with Amazon to establish guidelines so that legitimate faith-based organizations would not be excluded in the future.
Publication date: May 4, 2018