Gays ‘Conspire with Boko Haram’ : WCF’s the claim of one of the World Congress of Families leaders. The people who just made our very own Social Services Minister, Kevin Andrews, their International Ambassador and Natural Family Man of The Year, so presumably he shares their values. Can we glean any clues as to what they might be from the identities other honours go to? He’s in very select company.

Michelle Minichiello Williams of Christian Concern, leader of a British social conservative group who has campaigned against gay rights in Jamaica and Russia, Christine Vollmer, a Venezuelan activist close to the Vatican who has warned that expanding gay rights in Latin America will lead to “people dying of AIDS like flies.”

And then there’s the WCF Natural Family Woman, Theresa Okafor of Nigeria, WCFs Africa Director and head of the Foundation for African Cultural Heritage (FACH) and Life League Nigeria. In a startlingly paranoid speech in 2012 she speculated that Western gay rights groups and extreme Muslim group Boko Haram were conspiring together against African Christians.

“Okafor speculated that Western countries advocating for gay rights in Africa were involved in “a conspiracy to silence Christians” with the terrorist group Boko Haram. “Unfortuntately, in Nigeria where I come from, we have these fundamentalists, the Boko Haram – I’m sure you’ve heard about them in the news – bombing churches. They seem to be helping some people in Western countries who are out to silence Christians. The Boko Haram are targeting Christians in Nigeria, so you wonder if there’s a conspiracy between the two worlds,” she said.. . . . she defended moves toward harsh anti-gay laws in Nigeria and Uganda and speculated that efforts to defend LGBT rights in Africa are “another ploy to depopulate Africa.”

And this is the woman WCF honour as the female equivalent of Kevin Andrews. Well, they may be right. Obviously they know him a hell of a lot better than we do!

Fortunately the US Human Rights Campaign has come to our rescue. It’s just published a detailed report: EXPOSED:THE WORLD CONGRESS OF FAMILIES – AN AMERICAN ORGANIZATION EXPORTING HATE

The report details how the WCF started in Russia, under the aegis of one of Putin’s pet oligarchs, Konstantin Malofeev. It has been very busy all over Eastern Europe, promoting anti-gay demonstrations, movements and legislation in Ukraine, Poland, Romania, Albania and Serbia, in collaboration with both the Orthodox and Roman Catholic churches.

WCF also works closely with one of the world’s most energetic and flamboyant US homophobes, ‘Pastor’ Scott Lively, who tells people that the Nazi SS were gay, as only gays were sufficiently brutal to carry out atrocities. Working on behalf of the WCF, he has been the driving force behind most if not all of the virulently anti-gay legislation across Africa.

“WCF affiliate Scott Lively 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 criminalize homosexuality in the country, and prominent Ugandan LGBT activists say the “bill is essentially his creation.”  WCF also forcefully advocated for the draconian anti-LGBT Russian law, met with the law’s author in the Russian Duma, and released a public letter in support of the measure. WCF has also repeatedly hosted events in Nigeria with “pro-family” activists from Nigeria and elsewhere in Africa.”

In addition to their raving homophobia, WCF are also anti-euthanasia, anti-abortion and anti-contraception. They recently made news with their utterly discredited beliefs that ‘voluntary abortion’ causes breast cancer, and that the contraceptive pill makes women want to commit incest. They are currently demanding the Abbott government send ‘health advisers’ along to the congress to hear their ‘evidence’.

America’s most senior Cardinal is scheduled to attend the Melbourne Congress. In addition to following the most right wing Catholic teachings on abortion and contraceptions, he believes that people should be allowed to die naturally “no matter what suffering the person is undergoing . . . it’s never right to snuff out a life because it’s in some way under heavy burden.”

Escalating horror at their presence on our shores has left the organisation scrambling to find a venue at the last minute. Four Melbourne venues have either refused the business, or were unable to guarantee the safety and security of the participants. Its been reported that the organisers, Endeavour Forum, do not have public liability insurance.

The issue has now reached parliament. Senator Larissa Waters is expected to introduce a motion on Thursday morning, calling for all Australian politicians, especially Congress supporters Eric Abetz, Corey Bernardi and Kevin Andrew, to boycott the event. There will be a protest outside, which will present Senator Waters with a Family Album of all the diverse types of families the WCF actively opposes.

A raft of protests are planned in and around the Congress on Saturday, August 30th, if it goes ahead. Several groups have launched Facebook pages to publicise their involvement, just take your pick and click on your favourite: Equal Love Campaign, Radical Women, or Progressive Atheists for more details.

Organiser Babette Francis claims the job is being made more difficult as she is being followed everywhere and has had her email account hacked by ‘pro-aborts’, so protest organisers should know as soon as a new venue is secured.

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)