Elyssa Koren and Paul Coleman

Elyssa Koren and Paul Coleman demonstrate that ADF International promotes the same bigotry as the parent organization.

Images via ADF International

Two employees of ADF International have penned an essay for Witherspoon Institute’s pseudo-intellectual blog. Witherspoon is an ultra-orthodox Catholic organization headed by an Opus Dei numerary. First, it is important to understand what ADF International does.

According to tax filings, ADF International is not part of Alliance Defending Freedom. However, it is fair to say that the organization is under the administrative control of Alliance Defending Freedom. ADF International is newly registered in the United Kingdom (May 26, 2017). No financial information has been required thus far.


ADF International (hereafter ADFI) is headquartered in Vienna as ADF International Austria gemein- nützige GmbH. according to official documents (translated):

Worldwide promotion of Christianity and the Christian
Principles and ethics and the support and promotion of
Human and civil rights, in particular religious freedom
freedom of conscience and freedom of expression for those who
the Christian faiths are.

Under “People” is Alliance Defending Freedom, Scottsdale, AZ.

The budget, based on current exchange rates, is about US $186,000.

The scary part (per website):

ADF International is accredited by the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), the European Parliament and Commission, and the Organization of American States (OAS). Additionally, we enjoy participatory status with the EU’s Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) and engage regularly with the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE).

In addition to the U.N. ADFI claims to engage with the OAS, Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, Inter-American Court of Human Rights, Council of Europe (Europe’s primary civil rights organization), Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, European Court of Human Rights, European Union and Fundamental Rights Agency.

Witherspoon Institute:

Elyssa Koren (director of UN advocacy) and Paul Coleman (Executive Director) have combined to author: The Universal Declaration and the Distortion of Human Rights. I am reminded that three years ago, Coleman was attempting to delegitimize same-sex marriage at the United Nations.

The current post highlights LGBT persecution on their part. This is the same drivel that they are pushing on member states (highlights added):

The Hijacking of Human Rights

The lack of something more substantial to explain our inherent dignity has allowed for the many manipulations of the human rights framework that we see today. The dignity solution has resulted in a human rights hijacking, which, if left unchecked, could lead to the destruction of the entire project so carefully set in motion by the Declaration [Universal Declaration of Human Rights]. The proliferation of newly invented “rights” in the name of dignity seems inevitable without a solid footing on which to stand.


A similar story is unfolding with “LGBT rights.” Article 1 of the Declaration states, “All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.” Although seemingly non-contentious, this statement is at the forefront of the controversial push for “LGBT rights” at the UN. Indeed, the UN’s primary multi-million-dollar LGBT campaign is entitled “Free and Equal,” with all manner of people pulled in to support this cause, including the late Mother Teresa—an ardent defender of the natural family.

In other words, LGBT people have hijacked human rights as evidenced by the presumptive disagreement by a Catholic nun. It is not my intent to denigrate Mother Teresa. It is ADF’s use of Mother Teresa that is problematic and offensive.

… it is high time we resume the Declaration’s back to basics approach. Until then, the project will continue to unravel as preference after preference is labeled a “human right” under the guise of dignity.

The way I read that, these two are claiming that sexual orientation and gender identity are preferences undeserving of U.N. human rights protections. Then there is the suggestion that our desire for dignity is a flimsy pretext for protections that we do not deserve.

They conclude:

Conservatives cannot afford to abandon the institutions of power that seek to redefine human rights for the entire world. While the roar of false rights likely will not diminish, it is by standing firm in defense of fundamental freedoms that we can hope to see progress in the fight to end global human rights abuses. The temptation may be to forsake the international institutions and resist any appearance of assimilation with progressive agendas. The best solution, however, is to stay in the fight and proceed with the best and most truly universal resource at our disposal—the Declaration.

I left the cite in place. It goes to one of their anti-LGBT websites with some very familiar images:

The above are just two of the 12 images on the site. It is “no cake for you” crafted for United Nations consumption. I am quite certain that Iran will fully agree with Elyssa Koren and Paul Coleman. They are directly attacking the international rights of LGBT people to be free of persecution.

Once again ADF expresses the idea that their protections from persecution as Christians are legitimate while the same protections for LGBT people are illegitimate. Remind me again. Which of those two are choices? Dominionist Christianity or being LGBT?

Yet it is even worse:

If you review their campaign it is based on the notion that they are human. LGBT are not even deserving of being considered as such. I am going to start alerting these international organizations to the fact that ADF International is part of a hate group. Actually, I began doing so a couple of hours ago.

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By David Cary Hart

Retired CEO. Formerly a W.E. Deming-trained quality-management consultant. Now just a cranky Jewish queer. Gay cis. He/Him/His.