This coming Saturday, August 30, the World Congress of Families, an international "super team" of anti-LGBT and conservative activists, is working with an Australian organization called the Endeavour Forum to host a "Life, Family, and Freedom Conference" in the city of Melbourne. This event has been in the news over the past week because of local protests that have forced WCF and Endeavour to change the venue three different times (as of this writing). The event has also been formally condemned by the Australian senate. The reason for the protests is [a] the host organization's radical global agenda, which the Human Rights Campaign just detailed in a new report, and [b] the fact that the conference has managed to book actual figures from Australian government (e.g. federal social services minister Kevin Andrews, Victorian attorney-general Robert Clark) to attend the event.
But the protests have inconvenienced the people who actually did the things that led to the protests, and since those people have made self-victimization their primary focus for this season of their political life, a group of involved and supportive parties have teamed up with a joint letter that "explains" why their critics (who are on a "smear campaign," because of course they are) are somehow wrong about this group and its agenda. Here's the letter:
NOM president Brian Brown? Former governor and current Fox News host Mike Huckabee? Former US House Majority Leader Tom Delay? Not to mention anti-LGBT activists from around the world? Wow, they sure are bringing out some big guns here. Only problem? None of these eighty individuals seem to know the truth about the organizations they just signed on to defend.
Let's start with the lesser known sponsoring organization, Endeavour Forum. This organization advocates for scientifically discredited "ex-gay" therapy, calling it "hope for homosexuals." This is how they justify this push:
[Same-sex attraction] is not about sex, but rather about sexual identity confusion. Identity is established within the family context. When a young boy has a distant father and an overly protective mother, he will not be able to mirror his father's masculinity and will grow up insecure about his own sexual identity. When a little girl is unable to establish an emotional connection with her mother, and has a father that is not supportive, she will be more likely to develop sexual identity confusion.
The failure to understand the causes of SSA has impacted on the way our society views and deals with this issue. ["Ex-gay" backer] Catarina's advice for parents, counsellors and educators is to inform themselves and to study the origins, causes and treatment of SSA.
FULL: HELP FOR HOMOSEXUALS WHO WANT TO CHANGE [Endeavour Forum]
In another piece on Endeavour Forum's website, writer Richard Grant describes marriage equality opponents like so:
Being "anti-marriage equality" (your terminology) really means that a person is anti the subversion of the true and time honoured meaning of marriage through acceptance of the preposterous notion that the barren act of sodomy between two men should be regarded as a normal part of marriage. [Endeavour Forum]
The group also runs pieces that claim marriage equality is bad because it "validates the homosexual lifestyle" and "offends god" (to name two of the listed reasons; there are ten):
It offends God: ... Whenever one violates the natural moral order established by God, one sins and offends God. Same-sex "marriage" does just this. Accordingly, anyone who professes to love God must be opposed to it.
FULL:Ten Reasons why homosexual "marriage" is harmful and should be opposed [Endeavour Forum]
This organization has even been known to run the most notorious claims from the most famously discredited "researcher" in America:
SOURCE: MORE DANGEROUS THAN SMOKING [Endeavour Forum]
Just to give you an idea of who we are dealing with here.
But then there's the World Congress of Families itself. In addition to its well documented global efforts against LGBT rights in countries like Uganda and Russia, this organization routinely plays host to obvious animus designed to "change" gay people. For instance, at the organization's big international conference in the year 2012, they hosted a seminar featuring fringe "ex-gay" activist Richard Cohen. The chilling title they gave to the seminar? Well, see for yourself:
"Solutions"? That sounds kind of, well—final. Scary.
But ending homosexuality really does seem to be WCF's goal. After all, the organization's senior spokesman, Don Feder (who refers to President Obama as a "human WMD"), has admitted he he sees homosexuality as "self-destructive urges" and same-sex marriage as a "death march":
"Gay marriage” itself is merely a milepost on the sexual-equality death march, which ends with the demise of Judeo-Christian morality.
Civilization depends on taming self-destructive sexual urges, which do great damage to the social fabric. The continuation of the species, and the proper upbringing of the next generation, is based on men marrying women, who will remain true to each other and raise their children with loving discipline.
And the WCF is infatuated with attempts to "change" us. At the end of 2013, when the organization rounded up what it saw as the best and worst developments of the year, WCF chose New Jersey's ban on scientifically-repudiated "ex-gay" therapy as one of the worst (and many anti-gay developments, including Russia's draconian anti-gay laws, as the best):
The organization also regularly promotes radical anti-LGBT activists like Peter LaBarbera, who they invite to speak at their conferences:
And there's so much more. When speaking of same-sex marriage, this organization denounces "the absurdity of equating sodomy to marriage." A WCF speaker once referred to the repeal of sodomy laws as one of the "pernicious and ominous developments." And at one of the organization's annual conferences in Mexico City, Peter Sprigg, the Family Research Council Senior Fellow who has explicitly called for both the "exporting" and criminalization of gay people, summed up what is clearly the consensus view of the WCF's assembled masses:
Now, you may ask, if we are for something so simple and profound as family, and against so many things that threaten it, why is it that one of these threats—homosexuality—gets so much attention? It’s not because homosexuality is a greater sin than any other. It’s not because we want to deprive homosexuals of their fundamental human rights. It’s not because we are afraid to be near homosexuals, and it’s not because we hate homosexuals. On the contrary, I desire the very best for them. And desiring the best for someone, and acting to bring that about, is the essence of love. However, I do not believe that engaging in behavior that is unnatural, immoral, and dangerous both to public health and to their own health is the best thing for people with same-sex attractions.
And so, as one part of our broad-based efforts to support the traditional family, we oppose what is sometimes called “the gay agenda.” It is an agenda that demands the full acceptance of the practice of homosexuality—morally, socially, legally, religiously, politically, and financially. Indeed, it calls for not only acceptance, but affirmation and celebration of this behavior as normal, and even desirable for those who desire it. This is “the gay agenda”—and we are against it.
PFAW's Right Wing Watch has an exhaustive roundup of even more of WCF's aggressive anti-LGBT advocacy, for those who need more proof.
The truth is that both of these organizations, World Congress of Families and Endeavour Forum, are against LGBT people. It's not just policy. It's not just about their right to hold and express personal faith. The agenda is designed to stop LGBT people's worldwide progress or even peace of mind. On this point there is no debate.
So when these discriminatory organizations team up, plan a conference, and earn credence from government officials, do their opponents stand up and push back? You better believe it! The Mike Huckabees and Brian Browns of the world can refer to that pushabck as a "smear campaign" all they want. It only takes a quick look at the evidence to see who is really smearing who here.