RELEASE: Where Does Rep. Mesnard really stand on LGBTQ Equality, Women’s Rights?

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PHOENIX – Where does Rep. J.D. Mesnard stand on LGBTQ equality and women’s rights? His direct ties to the hate group Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) indicates he would put his personal beliefs ahead of Arizonans freedoms.

The ADF, a Scottsdale-based conservative legal group, has made news in recent weeks due to several controversial court cases that were profiled at the U.S Supreme court level and for a court case, the ADF is pursuing here in Arizona at the Arizona Supreme Court. Southern Poverty Law Center has labeled the ADF as a hate group for their anti-LGBTQ.

One of ADF’s affiliate organizations, Church Alliance, has a familiar face that may stand out to voters in Legislative District 17: Rep. J.D Mesnard. As a member of a group with very close ties to the ADF, Mesnard must clarify to voters where he stands on LGBTQ equality and women’s rights.

Chandler, which makes up a large part of the district, was ranked as a top town in Arizona for LGBTQ equality by the Human Rights Campaign in 2017. Voters in LD 17 should know whether Rep. Mesnard supports discrimination against Arizona women and LGBTQ people, or if he will represent the values of their district.                                                                                                                                                         
 “The Church Alliance was established by Alliance Defending Freedom to support the ever-growing legal needs of churches across the United States. Launched in 2017, it has steadily developed into a robust service that protects, advises, and engages churches for their religious liberty.” – ADF Church Alliance

Media coverage of the Alliance Defending Freedom:

The Arizona Republic: “Wedding invitation designers appeal ruling requiring them to serve same-sex couples”

By: Jessica Boehm

Date: July 10th, 2018

KEY POINTS:

“He said the women decide whether to serve a couple based solely upon their gender — not the message they want to convey on the invitations.”

“The items (Brush & Nib) would produce for a same-sex or opposite-sex wedding would likely be indistinguishable to the public […]” Presiding Judge Lawrence F. Winthrop wrote in the court’s June decision.”

“He also wrote that it is “unlikely that a general observer attributes a company’s product or offer of services, in compliance with the law” as an endorsement of marriage between same-sex couples.”

The Arizona Republic: “Court: Phoenix wedding invitation designers must serve LGBT customers”

By: Jessica Boehm

Date: Oct. 26, 2017

KEY POINTS:

“‘It’s terrible that groups like the Alliance Defending Freedom want to create conflict and controversy and stir up bias against same-sex couples and LGBT people,’ Minter said.”

“’These concerns do not prevail over the government’s interest in preventing discrimination,’ Rosenbaum said.”

The Washington Post: “Inside the Christian legal powerhouse that keeps winning at the Supreme Court”

By: Jessica Contrera

Date: July 4th, 2018

KEY POINTS:

“Opponents say ADF is seeking to enshrine discrimination into law”

“ADF regularly sues colleges for creating versions of “safe spaces” that it sees as First Amendment violations. What some people call birth control, ADF calls “abortion-inducing drugs” and argues that the government is forcing those who oppose abortion to provide them. Allowing transgender students into their chosen bathrooms is, to ADF, failing to protect the privacy of the majority of students.”

Background Information:

The Southern Poverty Law Center: “Anti-LGBT Hate Group Alliance Defending Freedom Defended State-Enforced Sterilization for Transgender Europeans”

By: Alex Amend

Date: July 27th, 2017

KEY POINTS:

“But they also went further, arguing equal dignity does not mean that every sexual orientation warrants equal respect.”

“[…] they argued that European member states should have the right to determine what sorts of medical treatments and diagnoses they require of transgender citizens seeking new documentation, including sterilization […]”

“At that gathering, in a plenary session titled “The Homosexual Agenda,” Sears described ADF’s mission in apocalyptic terms: And in the course of the now hundreds of cases the Alliance Defense Fund has now fought involving this homosexual agenda, one thing is certain: there is no room for compromise with those who would call evil ‘good.’”

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