It is so often the little things that we do, behind the scenes and that no one even really sees in the moment, which can make the biggest impact for Christ.
When I look at the work of ADF and the clients and attorneys who are out in the public eye fighting for freedom, and I think of who is behind the scenes—it's you. By God's grace, you are behind the scenes with your prayers and support making a difference.
That's why on this #GivingTuesday, we want to thank YOU for giving so selflessly to ADF. In the last year alone, you've helped us defend numerous individuals who simply want the freedom to live their lives according to their faith without being punished or silenced.
Clyde and Ann Reed
This 80-year-old couple never dreamed that their small church signs would have such a big impact for the Kingdom. After an eight-year battle with the Town of Gilbert in the courtroom, Pastor Clyde and Ann Reed received a unanimous victory at the United States Supreme Court in June. The ruling upheld their free speech and their freedom to have their church signs treated like all other signs, instead of being restricted because they invite people to church.
Blaine is the owner of a promotional printing company in Kentucky who was accused by the Gay and Lesbian Services Organization of discrimination after he declined to print a message on a shirt that conflicted with his convictions. The Lexington-Fayette Urban County Human Rights Commission initially decided that Blaine had discriminated, but in April, the Fayette County Circuit Court reversed that ruling in a decisive win for Blaine's religious freedom.
Last October, ADF attorneys filed a motion in a Texas court to stop an attempt by the City of Houston to subpoena sermons and other communications belonging to five area pastors. The resulting outrage (and subsequent withdrawal of the subpoenas) brought national attention to the lawsuit revolving around the so-called Houston Equal Rights Ordinance (HERO). The Texas Supreme Court intervened, and the people of Houston were able to vote on the law earlier this month, overwhelmingly rejecting HERO 61%-39%.
Former Atlanta Fire Chief Kelvin Cochran was fired after he wrote a men's Bible study book on his own time that briefly mentions sexual immorality. This distinguished public servant and former presidential appointee saw over 30 years of selfless service unjustly end because of his faith. ADF filed a lawsuit against the City of Atlanta on Cochran's behalf, with the initial oral arguments taking place in October before the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia.
The lovable Washington grandmother and florist became a well-known face in the marriage debate after she was sued by a longtime customer and the state for declining to participate in the customer's same-sex ceremony. While a lower court ruling threatens to take both her business and her personal assets, ADF has appealed to the Washington Supreme Court and will continue to defend her right to live out her faith in her business without being forced by the state to violate her conscience.
When Colorado cake artist Jack Phillips declined to use his creative talents to design a cake celebrating a same-sex ceremony, he never thought he'd be taken to court, let alone be accused of discrimination and ordered by the government to re-educate his staff that his belief that marriage is between one man and one woman is illegal. ADF has petitioned the Colorado State Supreme Court to take Jack's case and rule that the government cannot force him to use his creative talents to communicate a message with which he fundamentally disagrees.
In 2007, the Washington Board of Pharmacy decided to make it illegal for pharmacists in the state to refer customers to other pharmacies for abortion-inducing drugs, like Plan B, for religious reasons. Facing formal complaints brought by the State and pro-abortion activists that threatened their pharmacy license, Kevin Stormans and his family decided to fight for their religious freedom and their right to run their family business in accordance with their sincere beliefs. Two pharmacists at other stores in Washington, who faced the loss of their jobs because of the new law, joined the lawsuit. They enlisted the help of ADF, who filed a federal lawsuit on their behalf. Now, in 2015, after an eight-year legal battle, ADF plans to petition the United States Supreme Court to hear the Stormans' case and uphold this family's freedom to live by their conscience, instead of forcing them to violate their beliefs.
Organizations that are Pro-life
It has been a good year for organizations that believe in the sanctity of life and that are fighting back against the Obama Administration's Abortion-Pill Mandate, which forces employers to provide coverage of abortion pills in their insurance plans. Legal wins for March for Life, Dordt College, Cornerstone University, and more, provide excellent momentum as we head to the Supreme Court once again. This time, we'll be representing a Christian college in Pennsylvania and four Christian universities in Oklahoma after the Supreme Court agreed to take up their cases earlier this month.
Continue to Make a Difference
We are so appreciative of all you have helped us accomplish this year. Without your support, without your prayers, and without your financial gifts, ADF would not have been able to serve and continue to serve such inspirational people. Whether you pray for these individuals or donate to support the work that ADF is doing on their behalf, you are ensuring that we can continue to defend these clients who are boldly standing for religious freedom, life, and marriage and family.
I Support Religious Freedom