Minister for Social Services Kevin Andrews and Victorian attorney-general Robert Clark have pulled out of the World Congress of Families conference.
The Australian reports Mr Andrews said the decision followed news the event will now be hosted by right-wing group Catch the Fire — although his move follows Mamamia’s sustained campaign for politicians to boycott the anti-gay, anti-choice conference, and a petition that has attracted 5000 signatures.
Mr Andrews said in a statement reported by The Australian: “Tolerance is a critical value in a western liberal democracy like Australia.”
“It was for this reason that I intended to address the World Congress of Families meeting in Melbourne tomorrow,” Mr Andrews is quoted as saying in the statement.
“The calls for me not to attend demonstrate the intolerance of the Greens and the left — instead of arguing their case in the public arena they seek to shut down debate.
“Equally, I cannot support intolerance from other quarters. As I have been informed today that the event is now to be hosted by Catch the Fire, I have decided not to attend.”
Victorian attorney general Robert Clark pulled out of the conference on Friday afternoon. The Guardian reports that a spokesman said in a statement:
“In view of the fact that the World Congress of Families conference is now being hosted by Catch the Fire, the attorney general will not be attending the conference.”
“The attorney general had previously been scheduled to attend the conference on behalf of the government to provide a welcome to Victoria to international and interstate attendees.
“It is regrettable that some in the community have sought to prevent the conference proceeding at its original venue. In a democracy such as Victoria, all people are entitled to express their views within the law, and those who disagree should respond with argument and debate rather than by trying to prevent others from gathering to express their views.”
To support the call for other the other attending Australian politicians to pull out of this offensive conference, sign Mamamia’s petition calling for Australian politicians not to attend the conference here.
Previously, Mamamia wrote…
Organisers of the World Congress of Families conference — also known as the world festival of bigotry — due to be held in Melbourne this Saturday are in a panic.