Breaking News
More () »

New campaign shames Scottsdale as home of group fighting LGBT rights

An ad campaign targets the city as the site of the Alliance Defending Freedom's headquarters. But should Scottsdale be singled out?


A new ad campaign backed by LGBT activists ties the city of Scottsdale to Alliance Defending Freedom, the legal advocacy group fighting LGBT rights in court.

The campaign, titled “Scottsdale Discriminates,” includes TV ads, social media and billboards starting this weekend. 

On this weekend’s “Sunday Square Off,” activist Rob Chevaleau explains what the campaign hopes to achieve, whether it’s fair to highlight ADF’s Scottsdale location, and why donors won’t come forward.

In one of the campaign videos, a mock restaurant owner says: 

“Scottsdale's own Alliance Defending Freedom fights for my right to serve traditional dishes to traditional people and they'll make sure I can fire a woman for wearing slacks or a man for girlish hair.  Thank you ADF for defending Scottsdale's freedom to discriminate.”

The campaign launches the same week the U.S. Supreme Court will consider whether the federal Civil Rights Act of 1964 bars discrimination against LGBT Americans. Alliance Defending Freedom is representing the plaintiff, a Michigan funeral home. 

RELATED: Supreme Court to decide if LGBT people should get workplace discrimination protection

Here in Arizona, ADF lawyers won a state Supreme Court ruling against the city of Phoenix last month over the city’s civil rights ordinance protecting LGBT residents. By a narrow 4-3 margin, the justices allowed a wedding invitation maker to refuse requests for custom invitations for same-sex weddings.

RELATED: Arizona Supreme Court protects business' religious right to reject work for same-sex marriages

The Human Rights Campaign gives Scottsdale a score of 64 out of 100 for "laws, policies, and services that support LGBTQ people."

 Alliance Defending Freedom senior counsel Jeremy Tedesco provided this statement to 12 News:

“The charges in this website are utterly false and defamatory. But even worse, the names and caricatures they use to depict Scottsdale residents are themselves hateful. It is impossible to understand how this organization intends to rally support of local residents by insulting and lying about them. 

 “Their website marks the start of a new anonymous smear campaign by activists ashamed to identify themselves. It was apparently developed by a partisan lobbying shop that sells its influence services. 

"Alliance Defending Freedom is, in fact, the world’s largest legal organization committed to protecting religious freedom, free speech, and the sanctity of life.  ADF has defended the rights of Catholics, Protestants, Jews, Muslims, Mormons, Jehovah’s Witnesses, and people of no faith. We’ve won free speech victories on college campuses protecting students of varied religious faiths, as well as libertarian, conservative, pro-life, pro-conservationist, and LGBT students. 

 “ADF is one of the nation’s most respected and successful United States Supreme Court advocates… Since 2011, ADF has represented parties in nine victories at the Supreme Court.

 “ADF stands up, in court, and defends our clients in public, under our own names. We work within the rule of law, not by smearing innuendo under cover of anonymity. If an activist group wants to take us on, they can start by signing their names to their deceit.”

Also on this weekend’s “Square Off”:

- Reporter Meg O’Connor of Phoenix New Times explains the Maricopa County Board’s selection of Allister Adel as the new county attorney.

- In our Left/Right debate, Julie Erfle, Democratic communications consultant at ErfleUncuffed, and Barrett Marson, Republican consultant at Marson Media, discuss the impeachment inquiry’s potential impact on Arizona’s 2020 vote. 

“Sunday Square Off” airs at 8 a.m. Sundays on 12 News, after NBC’s “Meet the Press”, with Chuck Todd.

Before You Leave, Check This Out