Post submitted by HRC Global Senior Manager Taylor N. T. Brown
This week, the World Congress of Families will hold a regional conference in Accra, Ghana, where U.S. anti-LGBTQ activists will advance their dangerous vision of the so-called “natural family.” As a part of these efforts, the World Congress of Families plans to advocate for adoption of public policies supporting so-called “conversion therapy” and an understanding of LGBTQ people as “deviant,” while attacking sex education and women’s rights in Ghana. Through this work, the World Congress of Families continues its campaign to export hate and thwart the work of local advocates to end violence and discrimation against LGBTQ people across West Africa.
The World Congress of Families is an anti-LGBTQ organization based in the U.S. with strong ties to the religious right. The organization, designated by the Southern Poverty Law Center as a hate group, promotes a disturbing and radically distorted depiction of LGBTQ people. It has a long history of exporting its anti-LGBTQ narrative to many parts of Africa, often by framing LGBTQ people and the protection of their human rights as somehow foreign and un-African, a fundamentally inaccurate characterization.
In 2015, HRC published a report exposing the World Congress of Families past anti-LGBTQ efforts over the years. In Russia, the World Congress of Families pushed adoption of the so called “Gay Propaganda” Law and promoted similar laws in Lithuania and other countries. Across Africa, the World Congress of Families enabled and promoted legislation to further criminalize LGBTQ people, including in Nigeria and Uganda.
At this week’s conference in Ghana, some of the World Congress of Families’ most prominent U.S. figures will take the stage, including:
- Sharon Slater, President of Family Watch International: Slater has spread the horrific depiction of LGBTQ people as pre-disposed to committing crimes against children. In 2012, she called on activists in Nigeria to oppose efforts by international institutions to support the decriminalization of LGBTQ people. In 2019, Slater characterized sex education as an attack on family values.
- Brian Brown, President of the World Congress of Families: Brown has long organized against LGBTQ communities, promoted harmful laws and emboldened other hate groups and extremists. Recently, Brown boasted about his close relationship with autocratic Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán and met with activists in Tbilisi, Georgia, to praise their confrontations with LGBTQ people.
HRC condemns efforts by the World Congress of Families to further endanger LGBTQ people, women and others in Ghana and throughout the world. We urge allies to help us shine a spotlight on the group’s hateful agenda and hold the World Congress of Families accountable by sharing news on social media about the group’s harmful messages and amplifying the positive work of local LGBTQ communities and their allies.
For more information about HRC’s work around the world, visit hrc.org/Global.