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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: May 5, 2015
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World Congress of Families Hires Notorious Anti-LGBT Activist As Director of Upcoming Salt Lake City Conference
Decision to hire Janice Shaw Crouse as executive director of WCF IX sends clear message about the direction the conference is heading
WASHINGTON – Today, the Human Rights Campaign, (HRC), the nation's largest lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) civil rights organization, condemned the World Congress of Families (WCF) for appointing Janice Shaw Crouse as the executive director of their upcoming WCF IX conference in Salt Lake City. Under the leadership of Crouse, thousands of anti-LGBT and anti-choice activists will descend on Salt Lake City in October 2015.
“Hiring a person who compares the fight for marriage equality to terrorism, and HRC to Hitler demonstrates WCF’s true nature,” said Ty Cobb, Director of HRC Global. “Hate is not an American value, it has no place in Salt Lake City, and we urge the people of Salt Lake City to fundamentally reject WCF and what it stands for.”
Crouse’s insidious record was highlighted in HRC’s reportExposed: The Export of Hate, where she received a dishonorable mention. Her record includes urging the Ugandan Government to take a “biblical and cultural stand against the radical homosexual agenda,” and travelling to Russia to promote its draconian anti-LGBT policies.
“Crouse’s actions from Kampala to the Kremlin have left a trail of discrimination and violence against LGBT people,” said Cobb. “WCF may hide behind happy family photos but by hiring Crouse to lead this conference, WCF’s duplicitous nature shines through.”
Prior to becoming WCF IX’s executive director, Crouse served as a senior fellow of Concerned Women for America’s (CWA) Beverly LaHaye Institute. However, CWA and Crouse had a disagreement over whether to attend the planned WCF conference in Russia during a low-point in Russia-US relations in September 2014. After CWA canceled its planned participation in the conference, WCF suspended their conference and instead convened a number of leading anti-LGBT and anti-choice activists in the Kremlin. Crouse chose to take part in these meetings, while publicly bemoaning her newfound lack of employment. It is unclear whether Crouse’s separation from CWA was voluntary. Lucky for Crouse, WCF had the perfect opportunity for her.
Active across five continents, WCF has organized large international so-called “pro-family” conventions that bring together a wide range of vehemently anti-LGBT activists. From conferences in Nigeria, to working to silence LGBT people in Russia, WCF has made life more dangerous for LGBT people around the word.
In August 2014, HRC publishedExposed: World Congress of Families, a new edition will be released in the coming weeks. In anticipation of WCF IX HRC will be working with civil society groups in Salt Lake City to ensure that messages of love and inclusion win out over the hate filled rhetoric of Crouse and WCF.
After a planning session for the conference, Crouse posed the question “How do we paint a positive picture of marriage that will appeal to the millennial generation?” Ending their support of the harassment, discrimination and degradation of people for who they love might be a good start.
The Human Rights Campaign is America’s largest civil rights organization working to achieve lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equality. HRC envisions a world where LGBT people are embraced as full members of society at home, at work and in every community.
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