ABC News reporters Pete Madden and Erin Galloway wrote a scathing report on a speech Attorney General Jeff Sessions delivered behind closed doors at the Summit on Religious Liberty at the Ritz-Carlton in Dana Point, California.
ABC News reporters Pete Madden and Erin Galloway wrote a scathing report on a speech Attorney General Jeff Sessions delivered behind closed doors at the Summit on Religious Liberty at the Ritz-Carlton in Dana Point, California. (REUTERS/Aaron P. Bernstein)

Alliance Defending Freedom is demanding a retraction and apology from ABC News after reporters smeared one of the nation's most respected religious liberty law firms as a "hate group."

ABC News reporters Pete Madden and Erin Galloway wrote a scathing report on a speech Attorney General Jeff Sessions delivered behind closed doors at the Summit on Religious Liberty at the Ritz-Carlton in Dana Point, California.

"Jeff Sessions addresses 'anti-LGBT hate group,' but DOJ won't release his remarks," read the headline.

"Attorney General Jeff Sessions delivered a speech to an alleged hate group at an event closed to reporters on Tuesday night, but the Department of Justice is refusing to reveal what he said," read the lead paragraph of the Madden-Galloway hit piece.

By the way, The Federalist obtained an exclusive copy of Sessions' speech. Click here to read.

ABC News based its decision to brand ADF as a hate group on the highly-partisan Southern Poverty Law Center.

Southern Poverty Law Center accuses ADF of "supporting the recriminalization of homosexuality abroad, ending same-sex marriage and generally making life as difficult as possible for LGBT communities in the U.S."

They've also labeled the Family Research Council and the American Family Association—both highly respected religious organizations—as hate groups.

Let's just cut to the chase here, folks. Southern Poverty Law Center is a far-left partisan goon squad that labels any ideology they oppose as hate.

"ABC News has committed journalistic malpractice," ADF spokesperson Kerri Kupec said. "For ABC News to essentially cut and paste false charges against Alliance Defending Freedom by a radically left-wing, violence-inciting organization like Southern Poverty Law Center is a discredit to ABC News and to the profession."

For the record, Alliance Defending Freedom has a stellar record of defending religious liberty before the Supreme Court—seven victories at the high court in the last seven years.

Their most recent Supreme Court win came just a few weeks ago—Trinity Lutheran v. Comer.

They also represent Christian baker Jack Phillips and Christian florist Barronelle Stutzman—both under attack by LGBT activists for putting their religious beliefs ahead of political correctness.

"Southern Poverty Law center spends its time and money attacking veterans, nuns, Muslims who oppose terrorism, Catholics, evangelicals and anyone else who dares disagree with its far-left ideology," Kupec said.

On the other hand, ADF "works every day 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."

For ABC News to label such a respected and revered law firm as a hate group is not just shameful—it's an outright lie.

Reporters Madden and Galloway should be ashamed of this disgusting piece of propaganda.

"Americans' trust in media is cratering, and the blatant bias and lack of professionalism that ABC attempted to pass off as news can only serve to confirm and intensify that distrust," Kupec said.

Based on Alliance Defending Freedom's court room prowess, ABC News would be wise to immediately retract the story and apologize.

Todd Starnes is host of "Fox News & Commentary," heard on hundreds of radio stations. Sign up for his American Dispatch newsletter, be sure to join his Facebook page and follow him on Twitter. His latest book is The Deplorables' Guide to Making America Great Again.

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