Legal group representing web designer in gay marriage case receives backlash

The University of Virginia School of Law’s Federalist Society was set to host an event, entitled 'The 411 on 303: Previewing 303 Creative,' featuring ADF senior counsel.

The event was set to preview the Supreme Court case 303 Creative LLC v. Elenis, in which ADF defends a Colorado business refusing service to a same-sex couple.

The University of Virginia (UVA) School of Law’s Federalist Society was set to host an event, entitled “The 411 on 303: Previewing 303 Creative,” featuring Erin Hawley, senior counsel for Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) on November 15th.

The event was set to preview the Supreme Court case 303 Creative LLC v. Elenis, in which ADF defends a Colorado business refusing service to a same-sex couple.

The Federalist Society received backlash in response to hosting ADF, however. 

The National Lawyers Guild, whose focus is on human rights and the rights of ecosystems, according to its website, released a statement on Nov. 12th condemning the Federalist Society for sponsoring ADF. 

It went on to allege that ADF is a “hate group.” 

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“[T]here is a difference between encouraging healthy debate among students and requiring LGBTQ+ students to share a space with an actual hate group,” the statement read.

More law groups, however, have done the same. 

The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), for example, put ADF on their anti-LGBTQ hate group list, alleging that “its demonization of LGBT people, its support of criminalization of gay sex in the U.S. and abroad and its continued attempts to create state and local policies and legislation (so-called 'religious liberty' laws) that allow Christians to deny goods and services to LGBT people in the public sphere and marginalize LGBT students in schools” has landed ADF on their watch list.  

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While the event would have still been held in spite of these allegations, it was canceled due to the shooting that ended the lives of three UVA football players on November 14.

“We have decided to follow the University’s lead in observing tomorrow out of respect for the tragedy that occurred last night,” the Federalist Society told Campus Reform

Campus Reform contacted UVA, National Lawyers Guild, ADF, and Erin Hawley for comment. This article will be updated accordingly.