WASHINGTON — The Human Rights Campaign on Monday released a new report examining what it calls one of the most influential groups in America promoting and coordinating the exportation of anti-LGBT bigotry, ideology, and legislation abroad: the Rockford, Ill.-based World Congress of Families.
Labeled a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center, and active in several nations across five continents, the World Congress of Families (WCF) has organized large international “pro-family” conventions that bring together the most fringe activists engaged in anti-LGBT extremism since 1997.
The group, together with its dozens of partner organizations, has been working to promote anti-LGBT rhetoric and legislation abroad, including in Russia and several African countries.
In July, WCF announced that its next annual international convention will take place in Salt Lake City, making it the first ever hosted on American soil.
“The World Congress of Families coordinates a dangerous group of activists spreading anti-LGBT rhetoric and promoting laws and policies that criminalize LGBT people and the speech of those who support them,” said Ty Cobb, HRC Foundation’s Director of Global Engagement.
“They praise Vladimir Putin as the standard-bearer for traditional ‘family values’ and honored a Nigerian activist who claims LGBT advocates conspire with the terrorist group Boko Haram with a “Woman of the Year” award. Their advocacy abroad harms LGBT people from Russia to Nigeria and beyond,” said Cobb.
Article continues belowThe report by the HRC Foundation, the educational arm of HRC, documents: WCF’s origins and founding members; a timeline of its major international events; affiliations with prominent American officials, political groups, and religious organizations; engagement and lobbying with leaders and lawmakers abroad; and the primary regions in which the group has been most active.
According to the report, the WCF and its affiliates are connected to anti-LGBT advocacy in Uganda, Russia, Nigeria, and many other countries.
“This organization and their affiliates’ global advocacy have corresponded with a dangerous rise in anti-LGBT laws, discrimination, and even violence around the world,” said Cobb.