Post submitted by Rebecca Parks, former Associate Director, HRC Global
Under mounting pressure from all sides of the political spectrum and growing unrest in Ukraine, the World Congress of Families today announced that it has suspended planning for an international anti-LGBT conference at the Kremlin in Moscow.
As we reported last week, one of the primary sponsors for the World Congress, Concerned Women for America, canceled its involvement because of concerns that continuing with the conference would give the appearance of “giving aid and comfort to Vladimir Putin.” Just days later, the U.S. government announced severe sanctions against two of the WCF’s biggest Russian allies, Vladimir Yakunin and Yelena Mizulina, for their role in the invasion and annexation of Crimea.
As Vice President Joe Biden said at a recent HRC event, “A country that does not respect the rights of its citizens will not respect the rights of its neighbors,” and as we have seen in recent months, this is certainly true of Russia. Although the World Congress of Families bowed to pressure by suspending planning for their Kremlin-backed conference, they still support Putin’s oppressive anti-LGBT laws that have led to violent attacks and a pervasive climate of fear of LGBT Russians and their allies.