An Arizona lawmaker has shone a light-weight on how the state’s transportation division has been serving to fund an anti-LGBT group branded an “extremist hate group” by means of the sale of specialty “In God We Trust” license plates.
Democratic State Senator Juan Mendez introduced the problem to gentle as he proposed laws that can forestall proceeds from the state’s “In God We Trust” license plates, that are provided by means of the Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT), from persevering with to go the Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF).
The ADF has stated its mission is to “keep the doors open for the Gospel by advocating religious liberty, the sanctity of life and marriage and family.” However, the Southern Poverty Law Center has branded the group a “hate group” since 2016 as a result of anti-LGBT views it promotes.
“Founded by some 30 leaders of the Christian Right, the Alliance Defending Freedom is a legal advocacy and training group that has supported the recriminalization of homosexuality in the U.S. and criminalization abroad,” the SPLC says on its website. It additionally accuses the ADF of getting “defended state-sanctioned sterilization of trans people abroad” and having “linked homosexuality to pedophilia and claims that a ‘homosexual agenda’ will destroy Christianity and society.”
The ADF had additionally been “one of the most influential groups” to supply steerage to former Attorney General Jeff Sessions in what the regulation middle branded the Trump administration’s “attack on LGBT rights,” the SPLC provides.
In a statement to The Arizona Republic, ADF senior counsel Jeremy Tedesco rejected the “hate group” label, nonetheless, telling the newspaper that the group “advocates for the freedom of all Americans to live peacefully in accordance with their beliefs, including those with no belief.”
“It’s disappointing to see elected officials become uncritical pawns in the Southern Poverty Law Center’s ugly propaganda campaigns,” he stated.
Mendez, nonetheless, seems to consider the designation is correct, with the state senator reportedly introducing two payments to forestall a single greenback extra going in direction of the ADF, which has already acquired greater than $900,000 from the sale of the specialty license plates since 2014, in line with the Republic.
One invoice goals to do away with the “In God We Trust” plates altogether and the opposite seeks to make sure larger transparency from the Arizona transportation division round which organizations profit from the sale of specialty plates.
“State dollars should not be funding an organization that works to strip residents of our state of their human rights and human dignity,” Mendez stated, in line with the Republic. “It’s appalling that we’ve already sent over a million dollars to this extremist hate group.”
Phoenix commuters drive on the I-10 Freeway in the course of the morning commute to work April 5, 2005 in Phoenix, Arizona. An Arizona state senator has shone a light-weight on how the gross sales of ‘In God We Trust’ specialty license plates are being funneled into a company branded a ‘hate group’ by the Southern Poverty Law Center. Jeff Topping/Getty