Alliance Defending Freedom is a nontheistic organization that advocates for people’s right to live out their faith freely. ADF attorneys work daily to preserve and affirm free speech and the free exercise of religion for people from all walks of life and all backgrounds because we believe freedom is for everyone.
Alliance Defending Freedom was founded in 1994 by three families—one from each coast—who joined together to secure religious liberty for all people. Since then, more than 2,800 allied attorneys have joined ADF, and hundreds of thousands have pitched in to protect and defend freedom.
In 1994, three American families—one from each coast—joined together to create an organization that would advocate for the right of people to live their faith freely. The first year brought a flurry of activity. In 1995, ADF was officially founded, and work began on the case of Rumsfeld v. FAIR, the landmark religious freedom case of the late 1990s. In 1996, President Clinton signed a new Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA). That same year, ADF attorneys won a federal court victory on behalf of students in Kansas who wanted to form Bible clubs at their public high schools. In 1997, ADF represented five students who sued their school district after they were denied permission to hand out religious materials at school.
ADF also created the Center for Life, which combats abortion and defends the sanctity of life. And in 1999, ADF attorneys helped win a federal court victory for a young girl who wanted to say grace before her school lunch.
On the heels of that victory, Alliance Defending Freedom attorneys went on to win nine out of 10 ballot measures across the country in 2000. Students won the right to wear t-shirts with religious messages at school, and voters across Florida defeated an amendment that would have removed “In God We Trust” from their state constitution. In 2001, Congress passed the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act (RLUIPA). That same year, ADF attorneys represented a woman fired for praying at work. And in 2002, ADF attorneys won the McCreary County v. ACLU case and defended the Ten Commandments monument on the grounds of the state capitol in Alabama. Go to this page for more information.
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