- July 25, 2014
Post submitted by Rebecca Parks, former Associate Director, HRC Global
Fresh off the announcement that their next major conference will be held in Salt Lake City in 2015, the international conglomerate of anti-LGBT activists, the World Congress of Families, is preparing for a regional event in Melbourne, Australia on August 30.
At least two high-level Australian politicians are set to participate in the one-day conference. Victoria State Attorney-General Robert Clark is set to deliver a "welcome to Victoria" speech and Australia’s federal Social Services Minister Kevin Andrews will both open and close the conference. Andrews is a longtime ally of the WCF and has served as an “ambassador” for the organization in Australia.
Two Americans will also play a prominent role in the Melbourne gathering. WCF managing director Larry Jacobs is scheduled to appear. Jacobs is a long time backer of Russia’s law banning LGBT “propaganda.” Jacobs called the repressive law a "great idea" that was preventing LGBT Russians from “corrupting children,” and praised Russia as the "Christian saviors to the world.” Appearing alongside Jacobs is Dr. Angela Lanfranchi, a New Jersey physician who believes that birth control is a “Molotov cocktail” of toxins and carcinogens for a woman’s body.
The WCF has been working for years to block marriage equality in Australia and the group held a major summit in Sydney in May of 2013. Marriage equality legislation was defeated in the Australian parliament in 2010, and again in 2012. In 2013, the national government successfully challenged a marriage equality law passed in the Australian Capital Territory, invalidating the legal marriages of 27 same-sex couples in the process.
Australian LGBT activists have reacted with shock to their elected representatives appearing in support of the World Congress of Families’ extreme anti-LGBT and anti-woman positions. An online petition launched by advocate Ben Cooper urging the Victoria government to drop all ties to the WCF has already garnered more than 3,000 signatures.