CfA Releases Report Showing State Anti-LGBT Laws Coordinated at National Level

Photo of Gov. Greg Abbott signing Texas’ Pastor Protection Act in 2015: Office of the Governor.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: JULY 14, 2016

Contact: Daniel Stevens, dstevens@campaignforaccountability.org, 202.780.5750

WASHINGTON D.C. – Today, Campaign for Accountability (CfA) released a new report, Documenting Discrimination, uncovering how national right wing religious groups – working through smaller local groups – are spearheading the movement to legalize discrimination against LGBT individuals through Religious Freedom Restoration Act (“RFRA”) legislation.

Read the report here.

CfA Executive Director, Anne Weismann, said, “The religious right continues to advance an agenda of hate and intolerance. Contrary to the way supporters portray them, state RFRAs are not enacted to alleviate public anxiety over the loss of religious liberty; they’re passed because well-financed national anti-LGBT groups demand it.”

In the fall of 2015, CfA filed open record requests in Arizona, Texas, and Kentucky to identify the national groups behind state efforts to pass RFRAs. Documents reveal that local groups often work under the direction of national groups like Alliance Defending Freedom and Family Research Council to secure passage of anti-LGBT bills in state legislatures.

In Arizona, CfA uncovered a close working relationship between state legislators, the Center for Arizona Policy, Alliance Defending Freedom, and the Family Research Council. Emails show that national groups helped write anti-LGBT bills and then testified in support of them.

One email chain reveals how the religious right groups directed the Arizona Legislature to pass a resolution honoring the Boy Scouts’ “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” policy, which was nevertheless terminated six weeks after they passed the resolution.

In Texas, emails from a top staffer in the governor’s office reveal how First Liberty, working hand-in-glove with a Texas group, Texas Values, was behind the state’s RFRA bill.

In Kentucky, a national religious right group, Liberty Counsel, intervened on behalf of Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis to prevent any documents from the clerk’s office from being released to CfA, drawing a rebuke from the state’s attorney general.

Ms. Weismann continued, “No one should be fooled into thinking these laws reflect the values of the vast majority of Americans. Rather, these anti-LGBT policies embody the hatred and intolerance of a vocal few.

Read the report below.