U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions is scheduled to deliver remarks this evening to the Alliance Defending Freedom’s Summit on Religious Liberty in Orange County, California. CQ and the DOJ press office say the event is closed to press.
The Alliance Defending Freedom is the largest of the Religious Right legal groups, engaging in culture war battles against LGBTQ equality and reproductive choice in the U.S. and increasingly around the globe. So why would the address of the attorney general to ADF, a group not normally shy about taking credit for its work, be closed to the media?
We took a look at the ADF’s website. There’s a series of blog posts explaining why laws protecting people against discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity are a threat to free speech and religious freedom. There’s some crowing about winning a recent Supreme Court case that could undermine church-state separation. There’s a recent post about how intolerant the Left is. But there’s no information about the summit. Ditto for ADF’s Twitter feed @AllianceDefends. The events tab on its Facebook page says, “Alliance Defending Freedom does not have any upcoming events.” Googling the conference turns up only a mobile app for the summit, but after downloading it, we ran into a password wall.
It seems likely that the summit could be part of ADF’s programs to train Christian lawyers to do the kind of work ADF does, though it is not listed among the legal training programs. A bio of Timothy Chandler, an ADF senior counsel and senior vice president of alliance advancement says he supervises training initiatives and has “designed and implemented new programs such as the Religious Freedom Summit, Young Lawyers Academy, and State Legislative Summit.”
But why keep Sessions’ address so hush-hush?