By The Company They Keep

andrews

Kevin Andrews

The Victorian Attorney General and our Federal Minister for Social Services will shortly be cosying up to – and in Kevin Andrews case even representing – an organisation backed by a Russian oligarch, French fascists and virulently anti-gay US fundamentalists.You can tell a lot about people by the company they keep.

The World Congress of Families is coming to Melbourne for a regional conference entitled Life, Family & Freedom, 9.00 am to 5.30 pm, Saturday 30th August 2014, St. Cecilia’s Hall, cnr Van Ness Ave. & Hillside Pde, Glen Iris, Vic. 3146

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Robert Clark

 

They’ll be welcomed by Victorian State Attorney General Robert Clark.

The opening address will be given by one of their local leading lights, a WCF International Ambassador, no less, federal Social Services Minister Kevin Andrews.

Gay activists are rightly up in arms. As we should all have learned by now, any religious group with “Family” in the name is usually a front for some pretty extreme political views, usually derived from a heavily religious agenda. Pentecostal fundamentalists, right-wing Catholics, Dominionists: people who believe that the world ought to be run along strictly Christian lines – with them in charge, of course. Which is always bad news for us.

But, as Conference convenor Babbette Francis simpered sweetly at Online Opinion, her little conference has nothing to do with gays. Why, they aren’t even mentioned, she cooed. Why are we concerned? Because behind the cosy baby-loving facade, the World Council of Families is one of the most virulently anti-gay organisations on the planet, deeply involved in exporting American homophobia around the world.

WCF is closely associated with Pastor Scott Lively. This man has travelled the world, successfully whipping up anti-gay sentiment in Uganda, Nigeria, Ethiopia and Russia. Do we want an organisation with such a record extending it’s tentacles here?

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It’s no surprise to find Lively is involved in planning WFC conferences. The Southern Poverty Law Centre describes him thus:

Lively is one of the most virulent anti-gay activists on the scene today. He authored the infamous revisionist history The Pink Swastika, which claims that homosexuality was at the root of the Nazi Party and Holocaust.  He makes similar claims about the Rwandan genocide. 

As for the World Council of Families, the SPLC reports that:

WCF . . has a history of working closely with anti-LGBT organizations around the world. The WCF . . .bills itself as “an international network of pro-family organizations, scholars, leaders and people of goodwill” that seeks to “restore the natural family as the fundamental social unit and the ‘seedbed’ of civil society.” The WCF holds meetings roughly annually in major cities around the world, where American anti-LGBT groups interact with like-minded organizations overseas.

[Managing Director] Larry Jacobs applauded the passage of Russia’s anti-gay propaganda law, and the WCF more recently took credit for stopping an LGBT pride parade in Belgrade. The group also arranged for Brian Brown, president of the anti-gay National Organization for Marriage, to address a committee of the Russian parliament in June in support of barring same-sex couples from adopting children.

That address to the Russian Parliament was facilitated by wealthy Russian oligarch and major WCF funder Konstantin Malofeev. Malofeev recently hosted an international gathering in Vienna to discuss ways to remove the ‘satanic gay lobby’ from Europe. Right Wing Watch reports:

According to a talk WCF’s managing director gave in February, Malofeev’s St. Basil the Great Foundation was to be a major sponsor of WCF’s since-postponed conference in Moscow this year and Malofeev was a member of the conference’s planning committee.

Malofeev – and hence WCF – is also strongly linked to French fascists.

The Swiss paper Tages Anzeiger notes that Aymeric Chauprade, a newly elected member of the European Parliament from France’s far-right National Front party . . . .  and foreign policy advisor to National Front leader Marie Le Pen, also participated in the meeting last year with Brown and Malofeev.

This is not an organisation which we want or need in Australia. This is most unsavoury company for a state attorney-general and a federal minister. They should take a good hard look at the sort of people they are associating with, and disown this event. Or resign.

AFTERWORD

 For Life Family & Freedom, read anti-abortion, anti-contraception, anti-divorce, anti-women, and anti-gay. . Anti-abortion campaigner and Victorian upper house MP Bernie Finn, close supporter of disgraced Frankston MP Geoff Shaw and a key figure in the destabilisation of Ted Baillieu’s leadership, will chair a discussion.

Dr. Angela Lanfranchi, President, Breast Cancer Prevention Institute will be a special treat: she teaches that abortion causes breast cancer and women on the contraceptive pill cause domestic violence.

The Fatherhood Foundation, Family Council of Victoria, Family Voice Australia, Family Life International and the Catholic Church are also prominent participants.

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About the author

Veteran gay writer and speaker, Doug was one of the founders of the UKs pioneering GLBTI newspaper Gay News (1972) , and of the second, Gay Week, and is a former Features Editor of Him International. He presented news and current affairs on JOY 94.9 FM Melbourne for more than ten years. "Doug is revered, feared and reviled in equal quantities, at times dividing people with his journalistic wrath. Yet there is no doubt this grandpa-esque bear keeps everyone abreast of anything and everything LGBT across the globe." (Daniel Witthaus, "Beyond Priscilla", Clouds of Magellan, Melbourne, 2014)