Wisconsin attorney general defends ADF conference trip

Republican Attorney General Brad Schimel is defending his appearance at a conference put on by a group the Southern Poverty Law Center has classified as an extremist anti-gay organization.

Schimel accepted about $4,000 from the Alliance Defending Freedom to appear at its California conference in July. He participated in a panel discussion about states’ rights during the conference.

The SPLC, a nonprofit legacy advocacy group that tracks hate groups, has classified ADF as an extremist group that supports criminalizing homosexuality. Schimel’s Democratic opponent, Josh Kaul, has said it’s unacceptable that Schimel would participate in the group’s conference

Schimel told WTMJ-AM on Wednesday that ADF isn’t a hate group and is focused on “how we build better love in the world.” He said the group advocates for religious freedom.