As part of its larger effort to call out WCF and its allies for their nefarious activities, 14,000 HRC members signed their names to a two-page advertisement in Sunday’s Salt Lake Tribune. HRC also sponsored the Inclusive Families Conference in Salt Lake City over the weekend, which gathered local leaders, citizens, and advocates and promoted a positive vision of LGBT people and their families.
Yesterday, HRC gathered local advocates and international witnesses of the exportation of anti-LGBT venom abroad in a press conference inside the Utah State Capitol. Later this evening, HRC will host a screening of Hunted: Gay and Afraid, a brand-new documentary that shows in vivid detail both the efforts and impact of WCF’s advocacy abroad.
“Hate is not an American value, nor is it a Utah value,” said Ty Cobb, Director of HRC Global. “While the World Congress of Families will bring in some of the most notorious anti-LGBT activists from around the world, their message of hate will not go unchecked. Despite the misguided efforts of extremists convening at WCF IX this week, we believe the voices of love and equality will win out.”
Active across five continents, WCF has organised large international “pro-family” conventions that bring together a wide range of vehemently anti-LGBT activists. They work closely with this dangerous group to spread anti-LGBT rhetoric and promote laws and policies that criminalise LGBT people and the speech of those who support them. Earlier this year, HRC released a comprehensive report on the group, Exposed: The World Congress of Families, that makes crystal clear the organisation and its network are laser-focused on promoting policies and spewing rhetoric that put LGBT people and their families at risk.
“Try as they might to mask their views, WCF’s positions and support for policies that target and marginalise LGBT people around the world are undeniable,” said Cobb. “Their advocacy abroad harms LGBT people from Russia to Nigeria and beyond. They praised Vladimir Putin as the standard-bearer for ‘morality.’ They honoured a Nigerian activist who claims LGBT advocates conspire with terrorists with a “Woman of the Year” award.”
Earlier this month, HRC strongly criticised Utah Governor Gary Herbert for agreeing to speak to the conference. Governor Herbert will join speakers who compare LGBT activists to Nazis, like Robert Knight and Jennifer Roback Morse. In addition to, Brian Brown, the president and co-founder of the National Organisation for Marriage (NOM), a once-prominent anti-LGBT equality group. In 2011, Brown said, “When you knock over a core pillar of society like marriage, and then try to redefine biblical views of marriage as bigotry, there will be consequences. Will one of the consequences be a serious push to normalise pedophilia?”
“It’s astonishing that the Governor of Utah would allow himself to be mentioned in the same sentence as the World Congress of Families–let alone be in the same room with them,” said Cobb. “To be clear: this is a hate group that’s literally convening thousands of extremists from around the globe to strategies and share information about their nefarious activism. Hate is not an American value, and we call on Governor Herbert to cancel his appearance.”
Earlier this year, HRC strongly condemned WCF for hiring notorious anti-LGBT activist Janice Shaw Crouse as the executive director for their Salt Lake City conference. Crouse’s deplorable record was highlighted in HRC’s report in which she received a dishonourable mention. In the past, Crouse urged the Ugandan government to take a “biblical and cultural stand against the radical homosexual agenda” and traveled to Russia in support of the regime’s deeply anti-LGBT “propaganda” law.
WCF affiliate Scott Lively, who may also be in attendance for the conference, traveled repeatedly to Uganda claiming that LGBT people are responsible for the Holocaust, the Rwandan genocide and the spread of HIV/AIDS. Some Ugandan officials credit Lively with the idea of introducing new legislation to further criminalise homosexuality in the country, and prominent Ugandan LGBT activists say that the bill “is essentially his creation.”