The Corner

Law & the Courts

The New York Times vs. Alliance Defending Freedom

Jeremy Peters writes in the New York Times:

“We think that in a free society people who believe that marriage is between a man and a woman shouldn’t be coerced by the government to promote a different view of marriage,” said Jeremy Tedesco, a senior counsel and vice president of United States advocacy for the group, which is based in Scottsdale, Ariz. “We have to figure out how to live in a society with pluralistic and diverse views.”

But civil liberties groups and gay rights advocates say that Alliance Defending Freedom’s arguments about religious liberty and free expression mask another motivation: a deep-seated belief that gay people are immoral and that no one should be forced to recognize them as ordinary members of society.

And what does Alliance Defending Freedom say about what the motivations of the “civil liberties groups and gay rights advocates” are? Just kidding, Peters isn’t interested in asking that question. And he’s 100 percent behind the Left’s characterization of the conservative group. Exhibit A, the headline: “Fighting Gay Rights and Abortion With the First Amendment.” The Times wouldn’t want to leave the impression that the arguments the Alliance makes about free speech and religious freedom might have some actual merit. Exhibit B, this thesis statement in paragraph three: “The First Amendment has become the most powerful weapon in the legal arsenal of social conservatives fighting to limit the separation of church and state and roll back laws on same-sex marriage and abortion rights.”

The news in this article is that a major group defending the free-speech and free-exercise rights of social conservatives is itself made up of social conservatives. This revelation is about as shocking as learning that the New York Times is a powerful weapon in the arsenal of the Left.

Ramesh Ponnuru — Ramesh Ponnuru is a senior editor for National Review, a columnist for Bloomberg View, a visiting fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, and a senior fellow at the National Review Institute.

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