December is upon us. And the first mortar rounds in the annual “War on Christmas” have been fired.
Last night, Christmas sentry Bill O’Reilly invited a fellow Christmas-defending warrior from the Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) to join him on his Fox News show to preview the upcoming battle.
O’REILLY: So once again this year, I will keep an eye on the situation. Helping me is the Alliance Defending Freedom organization based in Scottsdale, Arizona. They have been very successful in defending traditional rights in the courts. Therefore I say to them, ‘God bless you, each and every one,’ with apologies to Dickens.
What O’Reilly fails to mention is that while defending Christmas in the fake war at home, the ADF is waging a vastly different and very real legal war abroad: an aggressive effort to imprison LGBT people.
For three years, the ADF and a few other hardline U.S. based religious-right groups have joined a fierce legal battle in Belize over an existing criminal statute that can lead to prison terms for private sexual acts between consenting adults of the same sex. The fight is over the constitutionality of Section 53 of the Central American country’s criminal code, which prescribes a 10-year sentence for “carnal intercourse against the order of nature with any person or animal.” The ADF provides legal and other advice to those seeking to keep LGBT sex illegal in as many countries as possible.
The ADF’s legal work in Belize is an odd initiative for an organization committed to “defending freedom” – and, of course, Christmas. Nowhere does the ADF explain how jailing members of the LGBT community furthers its goals of protecting “religious liberty, the sanctity of life, and marriage and family.” Indeed, the ADF so far has refused to answer any questions about its Belize initiative, one that puts it at odds with an increasing number of prominent, mainstream Christian organizations.
Unsurprisingly, this isn’t the first time Fox has snuggled up with the virulently anti-LGBT ADF. As Media Matters reports, “Fox News has a cozy relationship with the ADF – the network’s reports often lend preference to the ADF’s discriminatory stances, and Fox figures have even solicited donations to the group.”