Grove City College Alumni Object to Hate Group Representative at the 2019 Vision & Values Conference

We, the undersigned Grove City College alumni, are deeply disappointed by the College’s endorsement of a hate group — Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) — through hosting ADF attorney Kristen Waggoner at the 2019 Vision and Values Conference.

ADF has been identified as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center, and the founders have a long history of affiliation with racism, hate against queer people, protecting child abusers, and exploiting vulnerable people of faith for their own personal gains.

The founders of ADF and their histories are as follows: Larry Burkett’s group, Crown Financial Ministries, teaches that debt is sinful, condemning working class people to struggle with guilt over their own exploitation by a late-stage capitalist society. James Dobson’s group, Focus on the Family, endorses (among other similarly egregious things) parenting practices that have been identified as child abuse by the American Academy of Pediatrics. D. James Kennedy of Coral Ridge Ministries was known for arguing for creationism to such an extent that he was willing to use rhetoric that downplayed the Holocaust, and handed his church and legacy over to a sexual predator. And finally, Marlin Maddoux was a televangelist who used his platform to spread hate and reap a personal profit.

As for the ADF of today, Michael Farris, the current CEO, is largely responsible for the deregulation of homeschooling laws in the United States, enabling abusive parents to get away with violating and murdering hundreds of children. Their stories can be found at His former organization, Home School Legal Defense Association, which he helped found, has deep ties to anti-LGBTQ activists in Russia who support genocidal action toward members of the LGBTQ community.

The Southern Poverty Law Center has identified ADF as a hate group in particular for its rabid hunger for disenfranchising LGBTQ people of their basic human rights: the right to employment, the right to access to housing, the right to fair treatment under the law.

Celebrating the ADF representative who argued the Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission case is a slap in the face to queer Grove City College alumni and students, suggesting that the hatred ADF has so clearly represented is hatred the College endorses and supports.

We encourage the College to issue a statement and separate its position from that of ADF, and we also request that the College trustees make a sizeable donation to a group like the Human Rights Campaign or the Trevor Project to counterbalance the invitation to Ms. Waggoner, to make clear that the College does not endorse the acts of a hate group against their LGBTQ students and alumni.


Eve (Hännah) Ettinger, Class of 2011
Dr. Andrew J. Welton, Class of 2010
Olwen (Brenden) Kline, Class of 2014
James O’Connor, Class of 2012
Matthew Turpin, Class of 2011
Tim Schellhase, Class of 2013
Laura (Lunz) Prosser, Class of 2007
Emily (Maust) Wood, Class of 2011
Katherine Krieger, Class of 2014
Rachel (Wagner) Marchetti, Class of 2008
Evstratios George Stephanis, Class of 2007
Rebecca Collins, Class of 2017
Connie Johnson Long, Class of 1975
Joanna Rutter, Class of 2013
Anna Barnes, Class of 2013
Laura Kiebler Martin, Class of 1978
Dabney (Gordon) Schlea, Class of 2012
Aarika Turpin, Class of 2011
Joel Richardson, Class of 2013
Ellen Pierson, Class of 2017
Kat Stephanis, Class of 2010
Erin Behan, Class of 1998
Joelee Pasztor, Class of 2019
Dr. Bonnie Marie Sykes, Class of 1981
Ben Filippone, Class of 2002
Jacob Gish, Class of 2019
Madeline Myers, Class of 2019
Lauren Shay, Class of 2019
Elijah Gersims, Class of 2019
Katelyn Dauer, Class of 2021
Hannah Freyvogel, Class of 2019
Jason Dauer, Class of 2017
Jessamine Paul, Class of 2010
Douglas Smith, Class of 2011
Deborah Nafziger, Class of 2016
Sarah Seyler, Class of 2017
Rev. Dr. Katherine M. (Lewis) Douglass, Class of 2003
Dr. John Douglass, Class of 2003
Daniel Van Matre, Class of 2011
Kelly (Cole) Hollis, Class of 2004
Dr. Edward Alan Moore, Class of 1991
Elana (Marlo) Schmelzle, Class of 2007
Peter Augustine, Class of 2016
Abigail Marsan, Class of 2016
Monte Moser, Class of 1989
Dr. Heather D. Barton, Class of 2005
Adelaide Kivala, Class of 2017
Madeline (Lussenhop) Hart, Class of 2016
Matthew Hoekstra, Class of 2017
Jacob Carrick, Class of 2017
Gabrielle Johnston, Class of 2017
Brendan McCreath, Class of 2017
Joan Purdy Karns, Class of 1937
Alan J. Karns, Class of 1975
Annamarie Mickey, Class of 2014
Emma Cinatl, Class of 2016
Dr. John LaDue, Class of 1999
Elizabeth Malavathu, Class of 2016
Brittany LaPalme-Wilson, Class of 2011
Lindsay Sier, Class of 2017
Margaret Klein, Class of 2019
Emily Perper, Class of 2012
Sara Fisher, Class of 2013
Rachel (Smith) Burns, Class of 2015
Faith Thompson, Class of 2011
Barbara Bird Evans, Class of 1975
Carrie Lamanna, Class of 1996
Melody (O’Neal) Sainvil, Class of 2016
Cassandra Dasher, Class of 2011
Ann Wilder Haefele, Class of 1978
Judi (Zurasky) Hamrick, Class of 1979
Chad Haefele, Class of 2004
Mark Schmidbauer, Class of 1986
Keith Parrish, Class of 1987
Lisa Quoresimo, Class of 1987

Written by

Writer, editor. MFA in Creative Writing, Hollins University. Working on a memoir about growing up in a fundamentalist Quiverfull cult.

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