lifestyle

We have 23 days to stop politicians attending the World Congress of Families. Help us.

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By MAMAMIA TEAM

Put 30th August in your diary.

That’s the day a “pro-family” group promoting bigotry and intolerance will touch down in Melbourne for a conference.

Senior members of state and federal government will be taking part as guest speakers and delegates.

Does that worry you? It should.

When you participate in a conference as a politician, you are giving that conference (and its organisers) credibility and tacit approval. You are endorsing their values and their views.

Here are just of the World Congress of Families’ ideas:

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1. Women who take the pill lose interest in sex and are more likely to be the victim of violent assault and murder.

WCF2. Women who take the pill are more likely to engage in incest.

3. Social policies should not promote single-parenting which contributes to the decay of society’s moral values.

4. Abortion, divorce, single parents and LGBT people are responsible for promiscuity, sexually transmitted diseases, poverty, human trafficking, violence against women and child abuse.

5. The pill and other contraception can and has killed women all over the world. The pill also kills babies.

6. There’s a link between abortion and breast cancer.

7. The sole purpose of sex is for procreation and an expression of love between husband and wife in the covenant of marriage. All other sexual activity cannot satisfy the human spirit and leads to remorse, alienation and disease.

8. Vladimir Putin’s draconian homosexual vilification laws that send LGBT Russians to prison are a ‘great idea’ that the rest of the world should follow. Russia is the Christian saviour to the world and Putin is heroically preventing Russian LGBT people from corrupting children.

9. All forms of non-heterosexual sex is a sin and gay people should be converted to heterosexuality via Christian therapy.

Kevin Andrews
Kevin Andrews
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All of these statements are abhorrent.

They defy science as well as basic human decency. In particular, the claims about abortion and the pill being linked to such things as incest, murder and breast cancer are complete fabrications. Outrageously invented. Complete bullshit.

Feeling troubled yet?

On August 30 at St Patrick’s Church in Melbourne’s Mentone, this homophobic, biased rhetoric will be publicly shared and celebrated. 

Families! A World Congress! Sounds harmless enough!

Sure it does. Except that the way the World Congress of Families likes to promote “families” is via the most offensive means.  It tries to scare women away from using contraception or having abortions with lies about non-existent links to breast cancer, incest and even murder.

The World Congress Of Families also demonise all forms of non-nuclear family including single parents, LGBT individuals and couples. It encourages homophobic discrimination (just like Russia!) and holds all of these groups responsible for spreading disease, causing divorce and child abuse.  Oh, and it promotes the conversion of everyone to heterosexuality via Christian therapy.

This is all preposterous. What makes this even more disturbing is that there will be so many Australian politicians attending. Our elected representatives will be standing on stage and welcoming these speakers and in some cases giving speeches of their own right alongside them.

Robert Clark.
Robert Clark.

Would you be happy if your elected leaders were welcoming a conference of anti-vaxxers? How about the Klu Klux Klan? Holocaust deniers?

So why is this kind of conference built on bigotry and homophobia OK?

Chief cheerleader among these politicians is our Federal Minister For Social Services Kevin Andrews. Astonishingly, he is an International Ambassador for this repugnant organisation. An organisation that appears to exist solely to promote lies about abortion and contraception as well as intolerance and bigotry towards gay people.

Here’s what you need to know about our public representatives:

  • Victoria’s attorney- general, Robert Clark (a Liberal MP) will deliver the opening address at the 2014 World Congress of Families.
  • Federal social services minister, Kevin Andrews will address the conference.
  • Federal Liberal senators Eric Abetz and Cory Bernardi are listed as supporters of the event and will be attending. Senator Abetz appeared on The Project on 7 August and made national headlines when he appeared to assert his belief that there is a link between abortion and breast cancer, a claim challenged on the show by Mamamia publisher Mia Freedman.
  •  The Victorian Liberal senator and anti-abortion campaigner Bernie Finn, who controversially claimed abortion was being used by “many rapists and particularly paedophiles … as a way to destroy the evidence”, will also address the conference.

There are many groups who oppose this conference even being held in Australia –  breast cancer organisations, GLBT organisations, women’s groups, feminists – let alone our elected representatives participating in it and legitimising it by attending.

But really, anyone who believes in science, in tolerance, in a woman’s right to control her own fertility, single parents…. all of those people, all of us, should be opposed to this conference.

If you agree, sign Mamamia’s petition calling for Australian politicians not to attend the conference here.

You may also want to make your feelings known (respectfully please) via social media using the hashtag #StopWCF:

Here’s what Kevin Andrews – and some of the groups affected by the policies and views promoted by the conference – have said about the views peddled at the conference:

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