Questions and Answers
A CALL FOR CIVIL DIALOGUE AND CONSTRUCTIVE ENGAGEMENT
The World Congress of Families Responds to The Human Rights Campaign
and the Southern Poverty Law Center
Sponsored by the Howard Center for Family, Religion and Society, the World Congress of Families (WCF) was founded in 1995 with the mission to bring together the finest scholars, government and religious leaders, healthcare professionals, and advocates to research, present, discuss, and promote facts and practices that support life and the natural family. In doing this, the WCF addresses trends affecting the family as well as a broad range of issues impacting the family, including human trafficking, child exploitation, pornography and addictions, health issues like clean water and access to medicine, and even family finances and management.
This year celebrates the WCF’s 20th Anniversary and the first time in its history that a congress is being held in the United States in Salt Lake City in October 2015.
Soon after announcing the location of WCF IX, a barrage of unprecedented protests from radical gay rights groups emerged, resulting in a variety of negative, and unwarranted attacks on the WCF initiated primarily by the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) and the Human Rights Campaign (HRC).
The most significant of these baseless attacks was the labeling of WCF as a “hate group,” one that encourages or supports violence against the LGBT community. Nothing could be further from the truth, as WCF strongly opposes violence and would never advocate violence or hatred toward any group of people, regardless of differences.
The most vicious and inaccurate accounts stem from the misinformation disseminated by HRC from two documents: “Exposed: The World Congress of Families: An American Organization Exporting Hate” and “The Export of Hate”, both of which rely heavily on the radical-left SPLC’s ongoing mischaracterization of WCF and other pro-family organizations.
SPLC cites as support for their WCF designation the April 2009 newsletter of the World Congress of Families. The citation is actually a straight news item reporting on efforts to legalize homosexuality in Uganda, included among several items in a section entitled, “Family News from Around the World,” and was published without opinion or editorializing of any kind (detailed further in this report; see the section titled “‘Exposed: The World Congress of Families: An American Organization Exporting Hate'”).
One prominent example of these inaccuracies, among a multitude (as detailed in this report), is the claim that WCF was involved in promoting an anti-gay legislative initiative in Uganda. Although WCF had absolutely no role in any aspect of that initiative, the SPLC used this false narrative as justification to place WCF on its list of “hate groups.” Facts are important: The WCF has never met in Uganda. It has not worked in Uganda. And it maintains no relationship with the government of Uganda. Despite HRC representations to the contrary, Larry Jacobs, managing director of WCF, has never even been to Africa. The WCF rejects and condemns violence against anyone, in any country, as well as any law that would legalize such violence.
More Oft-Repeated False Accusations
HRC also makes numerous false statements regarding WCF’s efforts in Russia (detailed further in this report). The truth is WCF supports efforts in Russia, and anywhere else, to protect children from destructive activities and propaganda to engage in drug use, alcohol, pornography, gambling, prostitution and solicitations for “non-traditional sexual relations,” which are dangerous, as shown by statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
HRC and others also attempt to mislead by attempting to associate the statements and activities of individuals and groups who are not and never have been spokespersons, employees, or any other way official representatives of the WCF (detailed further in this report).
These are a few examples of how the SPLC and HRC work to falsely discredit those whose agenda they believe interferes with their own. Both SPLC and HRC use misinformation and gross fabrications. They extrapolate statements and activities beyond their context and attempt to paint the WCF with a broad brush to include the activities or statements from individuals and organizations who may have attended WCF events, but who neither represent nor have the right to speak on behalf of the WCF.
A Call for Civil Dialogue
As an organization dedicated to authoritative research and dissemination of information promoting ideals and best practices for children and the future, the WCF invites all parties, including HRC, SPLC, and others to engage in thoughtful, constructive, and civil discussion on the seminal issues of our time. Understanding that while all participants and organizations will never agree on everything all the time, the WCF is hopeful that transparent engagement will allow agreement on some things sometimes, as well as the establishment of common ground to earnestly build shared objectives for the welfare of all.
WCF recognizes the right to privacy for consenting adults in their relationships and practices, insofar as those practices do not threaten the welfare of life, children, and the natural family. WCF is working to strengthen families where the natural and unique complementarity of a mother and father provide essential contributions to the psychological, physical, intellectual, and spiritual development of children, as well as a cohesive and dependable fabric upon which communities and societies at large can thrive.[xa_slide title=”Background” icon=”angle-down”]
The announcement by the World Congress of Families of its global conference to be held in Salt Lake City, Utah, October 27-30, has resulted in a chorus of protests from gay rights groups and media attention unparalleled in the organization’s 20-year history. The Southern Poverty Law Center placed the organization on its notorious list of “Hate Groups,” alongside the Aryan Nation, Brotherhood of Klans, and Neo-Nazi organizations. The Human Rights Campaign published a purported massive exposé, attempted to get Salt Lake City hotels and businesses to boycott the congress, and recently held a press conference in which it claimed WCF was a “hate” organization and announced it would hold a counter-conference in Utah.
Never has the attack on WCF been so antagonistic, the language so vile, nor media attention so pervasive. And through it all, little has been done to check facts and correct inaccuracies, distortions, and even mean-spirited accusations. Writing on deadline, journalists appear to have little time to confirm information before referring to the World Congress of Families with characterizations promoted by pro-gay organizations that believe WCF undermines their collective agenda. The mammoth Human Rights Campaign and Southern Poverty Law Center, with annual budgets of more than $40 million respectively, have an information juggernaut with some of the finest communications strategists in the world, compared to WCF, with its annual budget of less than $1 million and only one full-time employee. These resources are supported by an aggressive lobby and growing public consensus that includes the President of the United States and appears to have as part of their strategy the objective of shutting down constructive and thoughtful speech regarding anything they believe may hinder their mission—including the welfare of and support for the natural family.
The purpose of this paper is to provide history and the facts related to the World Congress of Families, correcting the inaccuracies and addressing accusations used by the Southern Poverty Law Center and the Human Rights Campaign in their attempt to distort and marginalize the effective work being done by WCF. To assist those who want to know the truth, footnotes have been included, and an invitation is offered to contact representatives of the WCF if, after reading this paper, questions remain. Similar offers have been made to both the Southern Poverty Law Center and the Human Rights Campaign, inviting them to correct their narratives, but their reactions suggest they would rather maliciously and erroneously name, shame, and defame than print the truth. Nevertheless, the offer stands. WCF welcomes representatives of both organizations to meet, even in a public forum, to engage constructively on some of the most important issues of our time, to ensure that the welfare of children, families, communities, and nations is well considered and attendant policies promoted.[/xa_slide] [xa_slide title=”The World Congress of Families” icon=”angle-down”]
Sponsored by the Howard Center for Family, Religion and Society, the World Congress of Families was founded in 1995 by Dr. Allan Carlson, one of the foremost historians of the family, as a way to encourage an international alliance of academic, professional, ecclesiastical, and advocacy organizations that promote the natural family. This year celebrates the WCF’s 20thAnniversary and the first time in its history that a congress is being held in the United States.
The WCF regards the natural family as “the fundamental social unit, inscribed in human nature, and centered on the voluntary union of a man and a woman in the lifelong covenant of marriage. The natural family is defined by marriage, procreation and, in some cultures, adoption. Free, secure, and stable families that welcome children are necessary for healthy societies. History has shown that those societies that abandon the natural family as the norm are destined to decline and even extinction. The loving family reaches out in love and service to their communities and those in need. All social and cultural institutions should respect and uphold the rights and responsibilities of the family.”
Central to the mission of the World Congress of Families is the celebration of and advocacy for the natural family, described by the 1948 United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights as “the natural and fundamental group unit of society” and, as such, “entitled to protection by society and the state.” The UN declaration also observes that “men and women of full age…have the right to marry and found a family.” And the WCF believes the natural family is the foundation of a free and prosperous society, as well as the cradle of civilization. It is also far and away the best environment in which to raise children.
The WCF is an affiliation of scholars, government and ecclesiastical leaders, as well as advocates who focus on all issues relevant to the welfare of children and family. At present, it has 42 organizations in 14 countries, on five continents, affiliated as partners. From 1997 to 2013, WCF held seven international Congresses—Prague (1997), Geneva (1999), Mexico City (2004), Warsaw (2007), Amsterdam (2009), Madrid (2012) and Sydney (2013). WCF IX is scheduled for Salt Lake City in 2015.
The WCF has also held regional events in Vancouver, B.C.; Port of Spain (Trinidad); Santa Cruz (Bolivia); London (United Kingdom); Riga (Latvia); Tbilisi (Georgia); Nairobi, (Kenya); Moscow and Ulyanovsk (Russia).
At WCF congresses scholars, parliamentarians and elected officials, ecclesiastical leaders, journalists, and advocates of the natural family address a broad range of issues impacting the family, including human trafficking, child exploitation, pornography and addictions, health issues like clean water and access to medicine, and even family finances and management.
Congress speakers have included: Martha Fox (then first lady of Mexico), Jehan Sadat (widow of Anwar Sadat), Gary Becker (a Nobel Laureate in economics), Kevin Andrews (former Australian Minister of Social Services and now Australian Minister of Defence), Ellen Sauerbrey (a former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations), Francisco Tatad (former majority leader of the Philippine Senate), the Chief Rabbis of both the Netherlands and Spain, presidents of the Pontifical Council on the Family, a past president of the Southern Baptist Convention, a representative of the Patriarch of the Russian Orthodox Church, and two members of the Quorum of Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. For more information on WCF, click here for “Introducing World Congress of Families.”
The Congress also has special consultative status with the UN Economic and Social Committee as a non-governmental organization (NGO).[/xa_slide] [xa_slide title=”Activities of the World Congress of Families” icon=”angle-down”]
While the World Congress of Families neither lobbies nor engages in policy debates, other than to serve as a clearinghouse of information and gather a network of experts, it will add its voice to public debates when it believes outcomes may prove injurious to the natural family. For example, in August 2012, the WCF organized a letter signed by more than 120 pro-family and pro-life leaders protesting the U.S. Embassy’s participation in the Prague “Gay Pride” parade. Signers included a former President of the Southern Baptist Convention, a former Majority Leader of the U.S. House of Representatives, a former Arkansas Governor, the head of Torah Jews for Decency, and the former Venezuelan Ambassador to the Vatican.
The letter expressed concern that the Obama administration had made promoting gay rights—including same-sex marriage—a foreign policy priority. It also observed the irony that those who traditionally complained about America’s “cultural imperialism” were forcing the American left’s radical worldview on nations with traditional values. Further, the letter commented that, “The United Nations has never affirmed homosexual marriage or rights,” and that the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights specifically states that “men and women…have a right to marry and found a family.” Family is described as “the natural and fundamental group unit of society” and, as such, “is entitled to protection by society and the state.”
The letter was not hostile toward gays, but affirmed that those choosing to participate in the gay lifestyle “have the same rights as other citizens.” However, the letter stated that WCF believes those rights do not include “[forcing] others to validate a lifestyle they find objectionable, for religious or other reasons. It also does not include the right of men to marry men and women to marry women….[such] pseudo-rights do not advance human freedom and dignity but debase them.” The full text of the letter is available here.
Other official pronouncements by the World Congress of Families offer clarity concerning where the organization stands regarding the natural family and any agenda that may undermine its welfare. Many are similar to the Madrid Declaration of the World Congress of Families VI (May 25-27, 2012)—unanimously adopted by more than 3,200 delegates from 72 countries—which stated: “We affirm the natural family to be the union of a man and a woman through marriage for the purposes of sharing love and joy, propagating children, providing their moral education, building a vital home economy, offering security in times of trouble, and binding the generations.”
None of the statements is hostile toward homosexuals or attacks the gay lifestyle, insofar as their agenda does not undermine the welfare of the natural family. However, by taking this position and marshalling worldwide support for the natural family, the WCF has attracted the animosity of many of the more radical gay organizations.
The reports addressed in this paper include the latest attempts by the Human Rights Campaign and other homosexual activists to demonize the WCF.[/xa_slide] [xa_slide title=”The Human Rights Campaign” icon=”angle-down”]
To fully understand the genesis and agenda of the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) is to understand why the organization holds particular animus toward WCF. HRC is the largest lobbying group in the world that promotes an agenda most would consider radical on behalf of the LGBT community. While HRC has made startling inroads in its aggressive campaign domestically, culminating recently in the Supreme Court’s decision affirming gay marriage, its efforts to export that campaign internationally—what many would consider an overt act of cultural imperialism—is facing increased resistance in many areas around the world. Perhaps frustrated by their inability to co-opt media and key institutions in these nations, HRC staff have launched an international program to intimidate and silence international groups that oppose its agenda. Instead of using its resources to promote respect, understanding, and goodwill towards self-identified LGBT individuals, HRC has raised millions of dollars for an international initiative that has the World Congress of Families directly in its crosshairs. To date, HRC has used this international project money to issue two ad hominem broadsides against pro-family groups, including one solely targeting the World Congress of Families. Reminiscent of David and Goliath, HRC chose to target and attempt to silence a group whose entire annual budget is smaller than the amount that HRC spends in a week.[/xa_slide] [xa_slide title=”The Human Rights Campaign Exposé” icon=”angle-down”]
The most significant of these attacks are “Exposed: The World Congress of Families: An American Organization Exporting Hate” and “The Export of Hate”, both of which rely heavily on the radical-left Southern Poverty Law Center’s ongoing mischaracterization of WCF and other pro-family groups as “hate groups.” When WCF inquired as to why it was placed on the list, they were informed that it was because of their work to promote an anti-gay legislative initiative in Uganda, which at one point reportedly included the death penalty under certain circumstances. The eventual law to protect children against homosexual predators and recruitment efforts did not include the death penalty. Regardless, WCF had absolutely no role in any aspect of that initiative. The WCF has never met in Uganda. It has not worked in Uganda. It maintains no relationship with the government of Uganda. More will be written about this later. For purposes here, let it suffice as a prime example of how the SPLC and HRC work. The fact is that the very reason the WCF is listed as a “hate group” by the SPLC is based on inaccurate information, whether deliberate or otherwise—though it should be noted that efforts to correct the record with the SPLC have been ignored.
The HRC, emboldened by the SPLC, has perpetuated not only the same misinformation, but embellished it with their own either through gross fabrications, extrapolating statements and activities beyond their context, or by painting the WCF with a broad brush to include the activities or statements from individuals and organizations who may have attended WCF events, but who neither represent nor have the right to speak on behalf of the WCF. This seems to be common practice by the radical left to silence those who may not agree with them. Rather than engage constructively, or meet in an open forum to engage in civil discussion, they find it more effective to maliciously name, blame, and defame without regard to truth. Their radical tactics are as dangerous as they are disingenuous. For example, to hold a reputable international organization of scholars, professionals, and government and religious leaders accountable for the personal opinions or actions of an individual who may largely agree with that organization is as illegitimate in logic and practice as suggesting that David Duke represents the Republican Party, or Al Sharpton the Democratic Party, or that Floyd Corkins—the gunman who confessed to attempted mass murder against the Family Resource Council, after being provoked by SPLC’s list of “Hate Groups,”—represents the SPLC. 
It appears, however, that both HRC and SPLC adhere to the advice of Marxist community organizer Saul Alinsky, author of Rules for Radicals, wherein he instructs activists never to debate opponents. Instead, he advocated ridiculing them and stigmatizing them: “Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it.” A case in point: On Oct. 21, 2014, Ty Cobb, director of HRC Global, sent a letter to two Salt Lake City hotels where the WCF is planning its first U.S.-based World Congress in October 2015. The letter accuses the WCF of “the export of hate,” and warns each hotel that “its brand will be damaged by association with this organization and its extremist affiliates.”
Sometimes, HRC resorts to even less savory tactics than simple smears, such as exposing confidential Internal Revenue Service (IRS) tax records, as its staff did with the National Organization for Marriage (NOM) at a time when the IRS was targeting conservative organizations.
In June 2014, a federal judge awarded NOM $50,000 in damages from the IRS for the leak. An IRS employee had supplied an individual with NOM’s amended 2008 Form 990, but without redacting the names and addresses of NOM’s donors as required by law. The recipient forwarded a copy to HRC, which published it and also sent it to a Huffington Post reporter, who wrote an article about an Alabama state political action committee connected to Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney making a $10,000 donation to NOM in 2008, according to Politico.
This brief background provides valuable context when reading “Exposed: The World Congress of Families: An American Organization Exporting Hate.”[/xa_slide] [xa_slide title=”“Exposed: The World Congress of Families: An American Organization Exporting Hate”” icon=”angle-down”]
The HRC’s 20-page document, first released in August 2014 and rereleased June 5, 2015, when the organization announced it would hold a counter conference to WCF’s October event in Salt Lake City, contains a number of specious claims, accompanied by repeated uses of words such as “extremists,” “hate,” and other name-calling that substitutes for rational, fact-based arguments.
It opens with a gross accusation that finds legitimate documentation nowhere in the lengthy report: “The World Congress of Families is one of the most influential American organizations involved in the export of hate. Since 1997, WCF has held conferences and events around the world that foster homophobia and transphobia under the guise of protecting the ‘natural family.’” (italics added)
The Truth: WCF has held numerous events with distinguished scholars, parliamentarians, government executives, ecclesiastical leaders, and pro-family advocates who are dedicated to garnering support for traditional marriage and the natural family in cultures and political systems worldwide. There is no hidden agenda, nor is there animus toward people who choose a gay lifestyle. In its history, the WCF has never taken a position for or against anti-sodomy laws, nor has it attempted to roll back the rights gained by these individuals and organizations.
The WCF only takes issue with LGBT activists in their attempts to undermine the natural family by redefining marriage in the law and to ignore or distort the overwhelming social science, psychological, medical, and demographic evidence that the two-parent, mother-and-father family is the optimal unit for social stability and raising children.
HRC Accusation: “WCF is an organization with strong ties to American religious and conservative groups—including Focus on the Family, Alliance Defending Freedom, American Family Association and Family Research Council—and religious groups—such as The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and the Knights of Columbus.”
The Truth: Guilty as charged. Though the WCF is not a religious organization, and has no religious affiliation, it is honored to partner with these exemplary, pro-family and religion-based organizations, as well as with secular organizations and individuals involved in sustaining the natural family.
HRC Accusation: “WCF’s mission is to spread American ‘pro-family’ views—specifically opposition to LGBT and women’s rights—to other countries. Its staff members and representatives have made associations that few Americans would embrace, such as Russian President Vladimir Putin and anti-LGBT extremists in Africa.”
The Truth: The WCF does promote pro-family views, but does not support special legal rights based on sexual behavior or preference. The organization supports women’s rights as equal to those of men in a free society, such as property ownership, voting and all the privileges of citizenship. However, the WCF does not regard abortion on demand as a right (as HRC does), and holds that the legalization of abortion is a tragedy not only for the tens of millions of slain, unborn children, but for the mothers who undergo abortions, often coerced by others. The WCF affirms the Human Rights Declaration of the United Nations. When Russia, a strong proponent of the natural family within the UN, promotes pro-family resolutions, the WCF will support those resolutions. Likewise, when Russia looks for scholarly information, demographic studies, and related materials to promote the natural family in that country, the WCF will assist, as it will with any government or nation seeking the same. And when Russia passed a law to prevent homosexual propaganda and exploitation of children, the WCF positively acknowledged the initiative, though no member of the WCF has an “association” with Vladimir Putin.
HRC Accusation: “[WCF] has encouraged the passage of anti-LGBT laws in Russia, most notably its 2013 ban on ‘LGBT propaganda.’”
The Truth: Unlike HRC, the World Congress of Families is not a lobby organization and had nothing to do with enactment of Russia’s Child Protection Law (passed in 2010, amended in 2013). In fact, as a 501(c)(3) organization, the WCF has never lobbied for or against legislation in the United States or abroad. However, the organization does provide information about laws related to children and family, including the Russian Child Protection Law, which is similar to many in the United States. This includes correcting misconceptions about the law, which are often perpetuated by radical organizations. In the case of Russia’s Child Protection Law, WCF has explained that it is aimed solely at protecting minors from numerous destructive activities, including drugs, alcohol, pornography, gambling, prostitution and solicitations for “non-traditional sexual relations,” which are dangerous, as shown by numerous statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
As part of this educational effort, WCF signed a worldwide civil society statement in defense of the law.
HRC Accusation: “In Ukraine, WCF inflamed concerns that joining the European Union would force the country to accept marriage equality. The group supported legislation that would have banned discussion of homosexuality in Polish public schools, and lobbied against marriage equality legislation in Albania and Romania.”
The Truth: Nations that join the European Union do face cultural pressures to recognize same-sex marriage and legalize the killing of unborn babies through abortion. The WCF circulated a leadership petition for international support efforts in Romania to enact a law protecting natural marriage. WCF made no statements regarding this, but participants at the WCF regional meeting in Ukraine cited reports and data regarding the issue. All statements in Ukraine were made by individuals in their personal capacities as experts. The WCF has never been involved in Albania in any way.
HRC Accusation: “WCF does not back away from its association with [Russia]. The group takes full credit for Russia’s anti-LGBT and anti-choice laws, and holds up Russia—and Putin specifically—as a model for the United States to follow. Indeed, WCF has nothing but praise for the Putin regime. In 2012, WCF Managing Director Larry Jacobs wrote that Putin ‘is the one defending laws and morality consistent with the freedom in the U.S. Constitution.’ And after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, WCF spokesman Don Feder continued to defend Putin, writing that ‘Putin is a power player who cares more about Russia’s national interests, and Russian minorities in his near abroad (smaller countries around Russia that were formerly part of the Soviet Union), than in that mythical force known as world opinion.’”
The Truth: Mr. Jacobs did write the statement that Russia’s pro-life legislation helps to protect the most basic of human rights—the right to life—and the sanctity and dignity of all human life from conception to natural death. The statement is self-evident. Likewise, Jacobs attended a Sanctity of Motherhood forum in Moscow in 2011, and The New York Timescorrectly noted that he “praised Russia’s new activists as allies.” All of these activities all took place before Russia engaged in Ukraine and were specific to activities relevant to the welfare of children, women, and families. Concerning HRC’s accusation regarding Don Feder, they fail to note that he is an unofficial spokesperson for the WCF and has a career as a national columnist, where he writes about myriad issues unrelated to his occasional contract work for WCF. In fact, his statement about Putin was for an online publication completely unrelated to WCF and its mission, and Feder does not speak in an official capacity for WCF.
HRC Accusation: “Duma member Yelena Mizulina…would prove to be a staunch ally of WCF and a key supporter of anti-choice and anti-LGBT legislation in Russia. Head of the Russian parliament’s Committee on Family, Women and Children, Mizulina is known as Putin’s ‘morality crusader’….Currently, Mizulina is facing U.S. sanctions for her role in Russia’s annexation of Crimea.”
The Truth: Homosexual propaganda and child protections laws have widespread support in Russia, and the laws in question originated in the Duma and were passed with overwhelming margins. Mrs. Mizulina, who is actually a member of the party in opposition to Putin, heads up the women’s committee in the Duma. She is a grandmother who has written myriad bills to protect unborn babies in a nation where women have an average of seven abortions in their lifetime. She has never officially spoken at or attended a WCF congress or regional event, though the WCF has praised her for pro-life legislation to protect unborn babies and the women of Russia. WCF has nothing to do with any of her legislative initiatives, and may not even agree with them, however there have been suggestions that the sanctions cited by HRC are punishment from the Obama administration to disrupt Russia’s pro-life efforts.
HRC Accusation: “In the years since WCF became active in Russia, the country has become an increasingly harsh place for the LGBT community. Thirteen anti-LGBT laws have been passed since [WCF Managing Director Larry] Jacobs’ first visit to Russia.”
The Truth: These statements are simply untrue. They are a dishonest attempt to create a chain of causation from events that are at most loosely correlated. The purpose of Mr. Jacobs’ visits to Russia was to educate on pro-family and pro-life issues, not to lobby for anti-homosexual legislation. Again, WCF does not lobby on legislation. All of Mr. Jacob’s visits before 2013 were focused on pro-life issues. WCF helped organize and launch the national pro-life movement, pro-life pregnancy centers, and a network of pro-life advocates, including an annual conference.
Since 1993, homosexuality has been legal in Russia and there are a large number of gay businesses, restaurants and night clubs. When hate crimes occur they are prosecuted like any other crimes, according to WCF European advisor Pavel Parfentiev, who reports:
“There were some regional laws passed at the oblast (state) level aimed against homosexual propaganda among children. The first was approved in 2006 in Ryazanskaya oblast—long before the active involvement of WCF with any Russian organization. These 11 regional laws, which were enacted without any involvement of WCF, were superseded by the federal law—which prohibits propagandizing ‘non-traditional sexual relations’ to children.”
HRC Accusation: “In July 2013, Putin signed a law banning adoption by same-sex couples, as well as singles and unmarried couples from countries that recognize marriage equality. The Kremlin said the law would ‘guarantee children a harmonious upbringing and protect them from complexes, emotional suffering, and stress.’ As a result, a large number of Russian orphans are unable to find families.”
The Truth: The WCF believes that every child is entitled to a home with a mother and father whenever possible, and that deliberately denying children of either a father or a mother is not in a child’s best interest. Since Russian authorities never placed large numbers of orphans in homosexual households, this new claim that “a large number” of children cannot be adopted does not make sense. In Russia, the number of orphans placed in families in 2013 (64,300) didn’t decrease significantly from 2012 (65,400). About 1,500 children are placed annually in foreign families. The WCF has helped place Russian children for adoption and encourages organizations that are doing the same. WCF is helping to close poorly run Russian orphanages by placing children for adoption or in foster care.
HRC Accusation: “Anti-LGBT sentiment has risen sharply in Russia in recent years. According to the Associated Press, ‘the number of people who consider homosexuality either ‘licentiousness’ or ‘a sickness or result of some psychological trauma’ rose from 68 percent in 1998 to 78 percent in 2013, and a 2014 Pew study revealed that 72 percent of Russians feel that homosexuality is ‘morally unacceptable.’”
The Truth: As the homosexual activist movement in Russia became more visible and demanding, Russians became more aware that their most deeply held beliefs were under attack. The invasion of cathedrals by self-styled sexual radical groups like Pussy Riot have contributed to the public perception that homosexuality is “morally unacceptable.” A Pew Research survey shows that despite three decades of nonstop homosexual propaganda in the Western media, schools, and the corporate world that has moved public opinion in those nations toward acceptance or non-opposition to homosexuality, people in a large number of nations, including Russia, consider homosexuality immoral.
HRC Accusation: “As a result of the rising tide of homophobia and transphobia, immigration and asylum requests from Russian LGBT citizens seeking to leave the country have skyrocketed. LGBT Russians are increasingly being targeted and threatened with violence.”
The Truth: First, the WCF rejects and condemns violence against anyone, and any attempt to torture logic toward making a connection between the organization’s activities and violence toward anyone is deplorable. Second, according to Reuters, much of the violence perpetrated against homosexuals is at the hands of other homosexuals. The Child Protection Law Amendment of 2014 (“The Homosexual Propaganda Law”) that is blamed for a perceived increase in violence has long been the law in 11 regions of Russia where no corollary of increase in violence was ever reported. And finally—as mentioned earlier—WCF had nothing to do with the passage of that law in the first place!
HRC Accusation: “WCF has done much to fan the flames of this frightening increase in homophobia and transphobia. According to Mother Jones [magazine], ‘the rise of anti-gay laws in Russia has mirrored, almost perfectly, the rise of WCF’s work in the country.’ Indeed, WCF takes full credit for the rise of anti-choice and anti-LGBT sentiment and legislation in Russia.”
The Truth: Prodded by continued reporting in gay online publications, multiple media sources attempted to push WCF Managing Director Larry Jacobs to admit that WCF was involved in “anti-gay” legislation and responsible for the Russian anti-propaganda laws. In interview after interview, Jacobs explained that WCF had nothing to do with the legislation. At one point, however, in a telephone interview with the ultra-liberal publication, Mother Jones, Jacobs made the mistake of laughing at just one more attempt to get him to claim credit. He dismissed the question with sarcasm, which was taken out of context by the reporter and printed in the well-known Marxist publication with an animus toward anything it construes as conservative.
HRC Accusation: “Most disturbingly, WCF has cheered the passage of strict ‘anti-homosexuality’ legislation in Africa, where members of the LGBT community have been persecuted, arrested, and murdered. Their work in Africa began in 2005 when a WCF representative spoke at an anti-LGBT ‘Family Congress’ in Nairobi, Kenya. Attendees included anti-LGBT activists from Kenya, Nigeria, and Ethiopia as well as the United States.”
The Truth: Again, we want to emphasize that WCF stridently condemns any violence against homosexuals and would never support any legislation that would advocate such. As far as our work in Africa, the WCF’s only presence in that continent until this year was in Abuja, Nigeria in 2009, and Lagos in 2012. In May of 2015, the WCF participated in a conference to support marriage and the natural family with the Kenya Christian Professionals Association. All were regional events for pro-life and pro-natural family causes, focused on education to protect children, as well as strengthen families and communities. The WCF has never cheered legislation and never taken a position on the criminalization of homosexuality.
HRC Accusation: “WCF events have included some of the world’s most notorious anti-LGBT extremists. Scott Lively has been a featured speaker at major WCF summits, and he traveled to Russia as part of a core WCF team to plan their last large international gathering. Lively is infamous for his efforts abroad to promote dangerous anti-LGBT legislation and spread false and deceptive lies about LGBT people. Throughout his travels, he has proclaimed that LGBT people are responsible for the Holocaust, the Rwandan Genocide and the spread of HIV/AIDS.”
The Truth: Scott Lively is not now, and never has been a member of the WCF, nor has he ever spoken at a WCF congress. On one occasion, he was part of a large group of speakers at a regional pro-life and family event in Latvia at the invitation of local organizers. With this accusation, the HRC is trying to hold WCF accountable for the statements and activities of an individual who has nothing to do with the organization.
HRC Accusation: “[The WCF is] encouraging policies that have led to the harassment, legal punishment and even killing of LGBT people worldwide. Its role in the export of hate cannot be overstated.”
The Truth: This statement is nothing short of outrageous. The World Congress has always supported Human Rights at the United Nations as defined by the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights and stressed the inherent worth and dignity of every human life. WCF opposes all violence and hatred. In fact, WCF’s efforts to promote peace through the family were recognized by “100 Cities for Peace” who presented WCF with the prestigious Pax Urbis award for promoting peace throughout the world. Far from exporting anything, speakers at WCF events are often found making straightforward cases for their native values and cultures, resisting the unwelcome cultural imperialism of international sexual radicals like HRC.
HRC Accusation: “[The WCF] helped inspire harsh anti-LGBT laws in Nigeria and Uganda, and has worked for years to block marriage equality in Australia. Despite its small staff and budget, the influence of WCF can be felt nearly everywhere hate is being exported.”
The Truth: Again, the WCF does not condone violence against anyone, and the World Congress of Families has neither encouraged nor supported the Ugandan law that criminalizes homosexuality. WCF has never had a meeting in Uganda, and none of its officers has spoken there on any topic. In Nigeria and Australia, the WCF has, indeed, worked with pro-family groups and legislators to promote life and strengthen policies to protect mothers and children. Interestingly enough, the Southern Poverty Law Center defends its decision to place WCF on its list of “Hate Groups” due to the fact that WCF “lauded the government of Uganda’s efforts to pass its infamous ‘kill the gays’ bill, saying that the country’s ‘stand against homosexuality has been condemned by international groups seeking to advance the homosexual agenda’ but that Uganda ‘will not bow to foreign pressure.’” The SPLC cites as their evidence the April 2009 newsletter of the World Congress of Families.
Those who choose to look up the reference will find that the citation is actually a straight news item, included among several items in a section entitled, “Family News from Around the World,” and was published without opinion or editorializing of any kind.
The entire news item follows:
“According to Nsaba Buturo, minister of state for ethics and integrity, Uganda will continue to resist pressure from the United Nations and foreign governments to legalize homosexuality. ‘Uganda will not be forced to legalize practices that are illegal, unnatural and abnormal,’ Buturo told journalists recently. In a message to Uganda’s representative to the United Nations, the minister stated: ‘They (the UN and foreign governments) have no right to call us names, to call us extremists.’ Buturo said his government would communicate with nations that share its perspective on homosexual relations. Uganda is considering a comprehensive law which would make it a criminal offense to promote homosexuality, especially among youth. Uganda’s stand against homosexuality has been condemned by international groups seeking to advance the homosexual agenda.”
That’s it! No lauding. No editorializing. No supporting or condemning the measure. Just straight, objective news. Yet the SPLC refers to this as its rationale for including WCF on its notorious list.
HRC Accusation: “Despite its extremist positions, WCF is not a fringe group. Many mainstream American conservative organizations are dues-paying members and help fund its conferences.”
The Truth: Except for citing “extremist positions,” no argument here.
HRC Accusation: “The group listed 29 “partner organizations,” with a combined total annual budget of approximately $216 million, in a planning brochure for the now-canceled 2014 Moscow congress.”
The Truth: The large budget reflects the cumulative wherewithal of cited partner organizations and the size of WCF’s international network at the time of the planned conference in Moscow. Due to Russia’s activities in Ukraine, that conference was cancelled by WCF. Local organizers did proceed with their own meeting, which had nothing to do with WCF.
HRC Accusation: “WCF Communications Director Don Feder wrote a column entitled “Putin Doesn’t Threaten Our National Security, Obama Does.” ‘Putin is a strong man. Obama is a weak man (except when it comes to bullying our allies). Obama venerates multilateralism. Putin is willing to go it alone. Obama is committed to the entire LGBT agenda (including gay ‘marriage’). He’s also the only sitting president to address Planned Parenthood, such is his commitment to abortion without borders. Putin believes the foregoing is the road to national annihilation.”
The Truth: As mentioned earlier, Mr. Feder does not speak for WCF. In fact, he has not been Communications Director of the WCF for some time now, in part, because as a national columnist, opposition groups like HRC and SPLC dissect his columns that are completely unrelated to the WCF and its work. Even the example cited above was written by Mr. Feder as a columnist and not as a representative of WCF. As a professional writer for almost four decades, Feder has written literally thousands of articles on countless subjects.
HRC Accusation: “‘Everything the West asks you to do, please do the opposite,’—WCF Communications Director Don Feder, World Congress of Families: Dialogue of Civilizations, Nigeria, 2009.”
The Truth: “Absolutely, I said that,” Don Feder responds. “People in the audience kept referring to abortion and homosexuality as Western values. I told them that they were not Western values but were the values of Western elites. Western values are the same as your values, because they come from the same source—Judeo-Christian virtues.”
HRC Accusation: “WCF’s presence in Africa has corresponded with a disturbing rise of harsh penalties for LGBT Africans in countries like Kenya, Uganda, and Nigeria, where nearly 90 percent of citizens believe homosexuality is morally unacceptable.”
The Truth: The WCF never has and never will advocate for any policy that brings harm to innocent individuals. This accusation, like most within the HRC document, is repetitious and ad hominem, suggesting a dearth of rationale to substantiate the claims it is trying to make. A critical reader will immediately see a sophomoric repetition and disingenuous extrapolation of information, parsed and out of context. But again, the World Congress of Families has participated in a small handful of pro-life and natural family events in Nigeria and Kenya, but has never had a forum, engaged, or even spoken in Ghana or Uganda—African states mentioned by HRC.
HRC Accusation: “Several Nigerian states have imposed the death penalty for same-sex relationships. In Uganda, President Museveni signed a law imposing life sentences for same-sex relations and punishing simply being homosexual with 14 years in prison.…WCF has not backed away from these laws—indeed it has encouraged them. In May 2014, WCF gave its ‘2014 Natural Family Woman of the Year Award’ to Nigeria’s Theresa Okafor, who backed Nigeria’s ban on homosexuality and claimed that LGBT rights advocates were conspiring with the terrorist group Boko Haram. The fact is, time after time, WCF has cheered as their rhetoric is used to legitimize the terrorizing and murder of LGBT Africans.”
The Truth: To assert that the WCF has “cheered as their rhetoric is used to legitimize” terror and murder is absurd. In an otherwise heavily footnoted document, HRC offers no source for this slanderous allegation. Theresa’s Okafor’s work with Life League Nigeria and the Foundation for African Cultural Heritage Foundation has helped save the lives of thousands of mothers and children in Nigeria. She deserves an award for her work in upholding the sanctity of all human life (including LGBT Africans) from conception to natural death. The statement, “WCF has cheered as their rhetoric is used to legitimize the terrorizing and murder of LGBT Africans,” is outrageous and brings shame not only to the individual who wrote it, but to HRC for publishing it. We can only assume that the twisted reference comes from the SPLC’s report that WCF “lauded” Uganda’s law to criminalize homosexuality, but as has been documented earlier, the SPLC completely misrepresented facts in its attempt to make a case for placing WCF on its list of haters.
HRC Accusation: “In November of last year, WCF announced plans to hold a Capitol Hill symposium on what America can learn from family policy in Russia and other nations. Republican Sen. Mark Kirk of Illinois initially reserved space for the group in a Senate office building. After the Human Rights Campaign informed Kirk of WCF’s background and beliefs, he withdrew his support, saying that he ‘doesn’t affiliate with groups that discriminate.’ A WCF representative responded to the snub by calling the senator ‘shameful’ and a ‘coward.’ Ultimately, WCF was able to hold the event because, at the last minute, House Speaker John Boehner offered the group a space. At the briefing, panelists compared Kirk to Italian and German fascists in the 1920s and 30s, praised the Russian propaganda law, and while acknowledging recent anti-LGBT violence, said that the United States should cut Russia “a lot of slack.”
The Truth: World Congress of Families Managing Director Larry Jacobs said he was appalled that U.S. Senator Mark Kirk (R, Ill.) bowed to the demands of radical sexual extremists and cancelled the use of the Dirksen Senate Office Building for a pro-family symposium. Kirk’s office had reserved a room at Dirksen for a Family in America symposium titled “Family Policy Lessons from Other Lands: What Should America Learn?” The Senator succumbed to pressure from the Human Rights Campaign and withdrew his sponsorship of the room at Dirksen.
Thanks to the timely intervention of House Speaker John Boehner, who appears to have a better understanding of HRC and its agenda, a room was secured in the Longworth House Office Building and the symposium went ahead as planned on November 15th.
Speakers included Janice Shaw Crouse, Ph.D., Senior Fellow at the Beverly LaHaye Institute, and Austin Ruse, President of the Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute. The moderator was Dr. Allan C. Carlson, Ph.D., President of The Howard Center for Family, Religion and Society (which publishes The Family in America quarterly) and International Secretary of the World Congress of Families.
Jacobs commented: “HRC acted as if the forum was intended solely to support Russia’s widely misunderstood 2010 child protection law which bans heterosexual indecency and pornography and whose amendments to add non-traditional sexual relations were enacted overwhelmingly by the Duma in June. Actually, the presentations…covered a broad range of family policy initiatives from all over the world to help the natural family, including the promotion of marriage and large families, parent’s rights, the promotion of home-schooling, the encouragement of family-owned businesses, the benefits of religious faith, the protection of women and children from human trafficking, and the legal protection of life from conception to natural death.”
For detailed analysis and research of many family policy issues in America and around the world, read The Family in America: A Journal of Public Policy, online at www.familyinamerica.org.
Jacobs continued: “It is shocking that a United States Senator would bow to pressure from HRC and similar organizations and refuse to facilitate the discussion of vital issues affecting children, family, life, and the economy. Groups like HRC have set themselves up as arbiters of what may or may not be discussed at public forums. Instead of meeting us in the marketplace of ideas, they go to great lengths to shut down discourse through intimidation, seeking to foreclose the healthy debate that’s vital to a democracy.
“The Congress is part of the United States government, and—as such—should be open to all points of view. What other groups would HRC like to keep from exercising their First Amendment rights in this regard—pro-life academics? Social scientists? Demographers? The Catholic Church, the Southern Baptist Convention and most African-American churches? It seems that HRC might have a problem with all of these as they speak on behalf of children and families.”
Indeed, WCF would never attempt to violate protections guaranteed under the First Amendment to HRC or any other organization. When individuals and organizations work so desperately to stifle open discussion of critical issues, one need only ask, “Why?”[/xa_slide] [xa_slide title=”Spin, Spin, Spin…” icon=”angle-down”]
The 26-page Human Rights Campaign report (“The Export of Hate”) consists mainly of ad hominem attacks and red herring accusations on conservative, pro-family leaders, including WCF’s Larry Jacobs and Family Watch International President Sharon Slater, who has spoken at World Congress events. It appears to deliberately obscure relationships, affiliations, and organizations, taking quotes and dates out of context in what comes off as something of a radical and mean-spirited diatribe.
Utilizing menacing sketches or dark images resembling photo negatives on criminal most-wanted posters, the rap-sheet style report, which is being promoted on Twitter via #endthehate, functions as an international enemies list for homosexual activists. Here’s an introductory paragraph:
“While LGBT people around the world face systematic stigmatization, persecution, and violence, there exists a network of American extremists who are working tirelessly to undercut them at every turn. These individuals are spreading venomous rhetoric, outrageous theories and discredited science. Some claim that LGBT people are responsible for the Holocaust, the Rwandan genocide and the spread of HIV/AIDS.
Others argue that LGBT people are luring away children, and that acceptance of LGBT people will lead to the destruction of families around the world. Some even suggest that the death penalty may be an appropriate punishment for homosexuality.”
Not since a freshman creative writing class has anyone seen so many adjectives and adverbs—malicious modifiers to provoke emotion and fill copy with diatribe rather than facts. Having wielded its absurdly broad brush, the report continues with more purple prose, such as accusing pro-family activists of harboring a “vicious brand of bigotry,” and then highlighting each individual in the most unflattering manner imaginable.
HRC Accusations Against Larry Jacobs
WCF’s Managing Director gets an evil-looking negative as a portrait, and this introduction: “Larry Jacobs is the most visible public face of the World Congress of Families, an organization that advocates for anti-choice and anti-LGBT legislation around the world.”
The profile notes—yet again—that Mr. Jacobs “claims that he and the World Congress of Families played an important role in the passage of this and other ‘pro-family’ legislation in Russia. The WCF has also held events across Eastern Europe in an attempt to drum up support for more anti-LGBT laws and suppress events like pride marches. The World Congress of Families has also been active in Africa, holding events in Nigeria and Kenya and sponsoring an event keynoted by the first lady of Uganda in New York. Jacobs traveled to Nigeria in 2012 to address a WCF event where he spoke on ‘healthy sexuality’ and ‘children’s rights vs. children’s needs.’”
The Truth: Besides the lies and false accusations (for example, Larry Jacobs has never been to Africa!) the HRC report is filled with one red herring after another. The World Congress has always supported Human Rights at the United Nations as defined by the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights and stressed the inherent worth and dignity of every human life.WCF opposes all violence and hatred. In fact, as noted earlier, WCF’s efforts to promote peace through the family were recognized by “100 Cities for Peace” which presented WCF with the prestigious Pax Urbis award for promoting peace throughout the world.
The report also states, “Australia is another target country for the WCF’s export of homophobia. Officials from the WCF have been traveling to Australia since at least 2008 and Jacobs traveled to Australia in 2012, where he met with conservative leaders to begin planning a WCF event that drew hundreds of international anti-LGBT activists the next year.” It disparages Jacobs for thanking those leaders who signed an International Pro-Family Leadership Open Letter to the People of Australiain support of the August 30, 2014, “Life, Family and Freedom Conference” in Melbourne, though many U.S. and world leaders signed the same letter.
According to Jacobs, “We are thankful and humbled by the support of the 80 leaders from Romania, Italy, the Czech Republic, Spain, Venezuela, the Philippines, Canada, France, South Africa, the Republic of Georgia, the United Kingdom, Mexico, Russia, Poland, Colombia, Jamaica, Trinidad, the Netherlands, Chile, Serbia, and the United States for standing with us against attacks on the Melbourne Conference and the international pro-family movement.”
The letter notes that sexual radicals and extremists have launched a smear campaign alleging that to promote positive ideas regarding the natural family somehow shames others, including single-parent families, the divorced and homosexual couples.
“Nothing could be further from the truth,” Jacobs has claimed, “As a child raised in a loving home by divorced, single parents, I would never advocate for policies that would promote hate or shame mothers and fathers. The real truth is that the work we do on behalf of the natural family helps all parents and children by reducing poverty, improving education, maximizing mental and physical health, and saving lives. A wealth of social science data demonstrate conclusively and unequivocally that children do best in married families with a mother and a father in the home. To state that simple truth does not demonstrate a lack of compassion for those in different circumstances. Just as saying that marriage is a social good doesn’t ‘stigmatize’ or ‘shame’ the unmarried.”
The Petition/Open Letter notes: “The natural-family philosophy was set forth in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, adopted by the United Nations in 1948, which observes that ‘men and women of full age… have the right to marry and found a family’ and that the family is ‘the natural and fundamental group unit of society’ and, as such, is ‘entitled to protection by society and the state.’ This language is repeated in the constitutions of more than 100 nations.”
Moreover: “For the past 3,000 years, in every culture, this definition of the family (a man and woman united by faith and tradition, raising their children in a loving environment) has been considered beyond dispute. Only in the past few decades have competing ‘models’ of the family been offered as the new norm. The natural family is also affirmed by every major religion.”
On August 30, 2014, WCF held a conference in Melbourne, Australia, under the theme “Life, Family, and Freedom.” The event featured talks on “The Importance of Fathers,” “Sexuality: A Gift for Life,” and “God’s Creative Purpose for Planet Earth.”
Sexual radicals consider such themes to be “hateful” and “forbidden,” and they attempted but failed to show up in sufficient numbers to shut down the conference. Here is a video of their protest to block the conference in an attempt to shut it down. More than 50 riot police on horseback were forced to control the actions of the LGBT protestors.
HRC Accusations Against Sharon Slater
As with Mr. Jacobs, Sharon Slater, president of Family Watch International, is pictured in “The Export of Hate” with a photo negative to make her appear menacing and evil.
According to the HRC report: “Slater has been particularly active in Nigeria. In 2009, she addressed a World Congress of Families event in Abuja and she returned in 2011 to speak to the Nigerian Bar Association and to high-level government officials, including the wives of the vice president of Nigeria and deputy senate president, the minister of women’s affairs and the solicitor general. Slater urged the Nigerian government to resist efforts to decriminalize homosexuality, which she said would result in more AIDS cases. She held up Nigeria as ‘a strong role model for other governments in the region to follow on how to hold on to their family values despite intense international pressure.’
“Slater returned to Nigeria a third time to address another World Congress of Families
event in 2012. Slater’s lobbying bore fruit in January 2014, when Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan signed a harsh anti-homosexuality bill into law. The law mandates penalties of up to 14 years in prison for same-sex sexual activity and bans gay marriage and membership of gay rights groups. Within days of the law’s enactment, reports emerged from Nigeria of gay men being rounded up, arrested, and tortured.”
The Truth: Mrs. Slater does not represent the WCF, nor has she ever been an executive of the organization. This does not deter HRC from obscuring facts in an effort make its case. As a pro-family advocate working closely with the United Nations, Slater has appeared at WCF congresses and regional events as a partner to report on activities at the UN and advocate on behalf of adoption. Concerning the HRC’s accusations, Mrs. Slater’s organization, Family Watch International, offers the following response:
“Our president, Sharon Slater, was invited to speak in Nigeria on three occasions. All of these invitations were to share her expertise in UN policies; none was to advise on domestic Nigerian policies and those were not the focus of her speeches. On the one occasion she did comment on Nigerian government policy it was only to commend a speech the Nigerian UN representative gave on the UN floor in Geneva on behalf of the African voting bloc in support of the family and against the cultural imperialism of the Western countries seeking to force sexual rights on African nations in UN negotiations. Family Watch has been a vocal critic of Western cultural imperialism, especially in developing countries, and has produced a documentary exposing it. Family Watch has never been involved in the domestic Nigerian policy process in any way and had not even been tracking the efforts to pass their new law that was enacted in 2014. Our focus with respect to Africa has been in the international arena. It is increasingly clear that because homosexual activists and their allies are encountering ever greater difficulty in achieving their goals, they are now resorting to efforts to discredit organizations like Family Watch and the World Congress of Families by fabricating such stories that have no basis in fact.”
As for the quote HRC attributed to Mrs. Slater above, she has answered: “It was not from me but rather a quote from a news report in a Nigerian publication paraphrasing what they believe I said in my speech regarding Nigeria’s speech at the UN. They then falsely claimed my ‘quote’ was referring to Nigeria’s harsh new sodomy law even though that law didn’t even exist at the time I gave the said speech in Nigeria, and my speech was about international law and not Nigeria’s domestic policies. Finally, I would never have used the term ‘their family values’ if I was speaking directly to a Nigerian audience; rather that is how a reporter would describe what I said.”
Again, while Mrs. Slater is not an official of WCF, the attack on her has been included in this paper as it was part of the HRC’s original document, and the objective here is to answer the erroneous accusations as they were presented.[/xa_slide] [xa_slide title=”A Call for Engaging Civil Discourse” icon=”angle-down”]
There is no question that differences exist between the objectives of the World Congress of Families and the Human Rights Campaign and affiliated organizations like the Southern Poverty Law Center. The mission of WCF is to bring together the finest scholars, government and religious leaders, healthcare professionals, and advocates to research, present, discuss, and promote facts and practices that support life and the natural family. In its role, HRC is fighting for the rights of LGBT communities throughout the world, including the right to gay marriage and to abortion on demand, even when those activities run contrary to community standards and long-held traditions.
WCF recognizes the right to privacy for consenting adults in their relationships and practices, insofar as those practices do not threaten the welfare of life, children, and the natural family. WCF is working to strengthen families where the natural and unique complementarity of a mother and father provide essential contributions to the psychological, physical, intellectual, and spiritual development of children, as well as a cohesive and dependable fabric upon which communities and societies at large can thrive.
As an organization dedicated to authoritative research and dissemination of information promoting ideals and best practices for children and the future, the WCF invites all parties, including HRC, SPLC, and others to engage in thoughtful, constructive, and civil discussion on the seminal issues of our time. Understanding that while all participants and organizations will never agree on everything all the time, the WCF is hopeful that transparent engagement will be possible, continuing the long tradition in this nation that civil disagreement is healthy and that fair-minded citizens want and deserve to know the facts to make up their own minds.
Toward this end, we extend an open invitation to all people of goodwill to not only learn more about the work of the WCF but to participate with us in our congresses and regional meetings. Likewise, while we have tried to be as thorough as possible given the available time to answer the issues raised by HRC and SPLC, we invite those who may have questions arising from this paper to let us know directly, and we would be happy to provide further detail and to clear up the misinformation. Inquiries can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.[/xa_slide]
 The Madrid Declaration, May 27, 2012, World Congress of Families, at: http://worldcongress.org/pdf/Madrid%202012%20Declaration.pdf.
 National Review, “The New Cultural Imperialism,” at: http://www.nationalreview.com/article/417556/new-cultural-imperialism-josh-craddock.
 HRC Blog, November 4, 2013, HRCF Launches Program to Support LGBT Rights & Fight Homophobia & Transphobia Internationally,” at: http://www.hrc.org/blog/entry/hrc-foundation-launches-program-to-support-lgbt-rights-and-fight-homophobia,
 Washington Blade, “Controversy Over HRC’s International Push,” at: http://www.washingtonblade.com/2013/11/06/controversy-over-hrcs-international-push-paul-singer/
 New York Times, “The Tumbling Boundaries of Gay Rights,” at: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/11/03/opinion/sunday/bruni-the-tumbling-boundaries-of-gay-rights.html?_r=0.
 Buzzfeed, “Human Rights Campaign’s Move into International Work Puts Global LGBT Advocates on Edge,” at http://www.buzzfeed.com/lesterfeder/human-rights-campaigns-move-into-international-work-puts-glo#.eb8PBdk0m.
 “HRC LGBT Donors to Appear at Davos Economic Forum in First Move to Advance International Engagement,” at: http://tanyadomi.blogspot.com/2014/01/hrc-lgbt-donors-to-appear-at-davos.html
 Democratic political operative Kirsten Powers has written a book on this, The Silencing: How the Left is Killing Free Speech.
 Saul D. Alinsky, Rules for Radicals: A Pragmatic Primer for Realistic Radicals (New York: Vintage Books, 1989; orig. 1971), p. 130.
 Mackenzie Weinger, “IRS Pays $50K to Anti-gay Marriage Group,” June 24, 2014, at: http://www.politico.com/story/2014/06/irs-nom-lawsuit-108266.html.
 “Exposed: The World Congress of Families: An American Organization Exporting Hate,” Human Rights Campaign, at: http://www.hrc.org/resources/entry/exposed-the-world-congress-of-families.
 Ibid, p. 5.
 Exposed, p. 5.
 World Congress of Families Praises Russian Laws ‘Preventing’ Gays from ‘Corrupting Children, at: http://www.rightwingwatch.org/content/world-congress-families-praises-russian-laws-preventing-gays-corrupting-children.
 “9 States With Anti-Gay Laws That Aren’t That Different From Russia’s,” at: http://thinkprogress.org/lgbt/2014/02/03/3241421/9-state-gay-propaganda-laws/. “U.S. Hypocrisy Over Russia’s Anti-gay Laws, at: http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/us-hypocrisy-over-russias-anti-gay-laws/2014/01/31/3df0baf0-8548-11e3-9dd4-e7278db80d86_story.html)
 CDC Quote – “While anyone who has sex can get an STD, sexually active gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men (MSM) are at greater risk. In addition to having (300%) higher rates of syphilis, more than half (78%) of all new HIV infections in men occur among MSM.”—CDC Fact Sheet: What Gay, Bisexual and Other Men Who Have Sex with Men Need to Know About Sexually Transmitted Diseases, at: http://www.cdc.gov/std/life-stages-populations/STDFact-MSM.htm
 “Statement by worldwide organizations in support of the Russian Federal Law on Protection of Children from Information Harmful to their Health and Development,” at: http://www.europeandignitywatch.org/fileadmin/user_upload/PDF/Day_to_Day_diverse/2013_09_02_Statement_in_support_of_Russia_list_of_signign_entities.pdf.
 Exposed, p. 6.
 Petition in Support of Romania’s Defense of Marriage, World Congress of Families, at: http://worldcongress.org/WCF/wcf.petition.romania.htm.
 Exposed, p. 12.
 Exposed, p. 13.
 “Vast Majority of Russians Oppose Gay Marriage and Gay Pride Events,” RT.com, citing Levant poll, March 12, 2013, at: http://rt.com/politics/most-russians-oppose-gay-marriage-and-gay-pride-events-poll-140/.
 “Is Obama Using the Crimea Crisis to Punish a Prominent Pro-life and Pro-family Leader in Russia? at: https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/is-obama-using-the-crimea-crisis-to-punish-a-prominent-pro-life-and-pro-fam.
 Exposed, p. 13.
 Calvert Journal, “Out and About: Gay Nightlife in Moscow,” at: http://calvertjournal.com/comment/show/1136/gay-nightlife-moscow.
 Ibid, p. 14.
 Statistical data, Ministry of Education, Russia.
 Exposed, p. 14.
 Homosexuality, Global Views on Morality, Pew Global Research, 2013, at: http://www.pewglobal.org/2014/04/15/global-morality/table/homosexuality/.
 Exposed, p. 14.
 Susan Heavey, “Data Shows Domestic Violence, Rape an Issue for Gays,” Reuters, Jan. 25, 2013, at: http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/01/25/us-usa-gays-violence-idUSBRE90O11W20130125.
 Exposed, p. 15.
 Exposed, p. 6.
 Exposed, p. 6.
 Exposed, p. 6.
 Exposed, p. 7.
 “Criminalizing Sex: Six U.S. Anti-Gay Groups Abroad,” at: http://www.splcenter.org/get%20informed/publications/Dangerous%20Liaisons/Criminalizing%20Sex%3A%20Six%20U.S.%20Anti-Gay%20Groups%20Abroad
 Exposed, p. 8.
 Exposed, p. 10.
 Exposed, p. 15.
 Exposed, p. 18.
 Exposed, p. 18.
 Lagos, Nigeria International Law Conference on Women and Children (2011); Abuja, Nigeria Dialogue of Civilizations (2009).
 Exposed, pp. 18,19.
 Criminalizing Sex.
 Exposed, p. 19.
 “The Export of Hate,” Human Rights Campaign, at: http://hrc-assets.s3-website-us-east-1.amazonaws.com//files/assets/resources/HRC_Export-of-Hate-final.pdf.
 “Overview,“ Export of Hate, p. 2.
 Export of Hate, p. 19.
 International Pro-Family Leadership Open Letter to the People of Australia, World Congress of Families, at: http://worldcongress.org/files/9914/0873/5451/Melbourne_Pro-Family_Conference_Leadership_Petition_2014.pdf.
 Ibid, p. 1.
 Ibid, p. 2.
 World Congress of Families: Melbourne Regional Conference: Life, Family & Freedom, at: http://www.endeavourforum.org.au/newsletter/153/wcf-melbourne.html.
 “Protesters Heckle World Congress of Families Conference,” The Australian, Aug. 30, 2014, at: http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/protesters-heckle-world-congress-of-families-conference/story-e6frg6n6-1227042364625?nk=009a71cd4ec9ac4719c8393fffbd7856.
 Herald Sun Australia, “Protestors Target World Congress of Families Conference in Melbourne,” at: http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/victoria/protesters-target-world-congress-of-families-conference-in-melbourne/story-fni0fit3-1227042157115
 Export of Hate, p. 14.