FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CHICAGO — Truth Wins Out today noted that Concerned Women For America’s decision to pull out of the upcoming World Congress of Families event, to be held in the Kremlin, highlights the un-American extremism of the WCF. CWA’s president and CEO, Penny Nance, stated that they “don’t want to appear to be giving aid and comfort to Vladimir Putin.” While CWA did not in any way signal that they have any intention of ceasing support for anti-gay policies in Russia and elsewhere, their choice to back away from the Putin regime in light of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine’s Crimea region is significant, as CWA’s Janice Shaw Crouse sits on the board of the Rockford, Illinois-based World Congress of Families.
“Penny Nance’s decision to pull CWA out of the World Congress Kremlin event sends a strong message, and highlights just how extremist and un-American the World Congress of Families is,” said Truth Wins Out’s Executive Director Wayne Besen. “When even a group as out of touch with American values as CWA sees a problem, it’s time for others to take note. It is deplorable how WCF has supported tyranny by cheerleading one of the world’s greatest enemies of freedom and abandoned the core American ideals of liberty, justice, and equality. All other American organizations involved in the WCF should affirm that they are still Americans first by following CWA’s lead.”
Don Feder, Communications Director for the World Congress of Families, wrote recently that Russia’s Putin “doesn’t threaten our national security, Obama does,” a striking statement that raises questions about where his and other anti-gay American organizations’ true allegiance lies.
“What could be more un-American than traveling overseas to deny individuals the right of free speech, freedom of expression, the right to raise their own children, and the right to assemble?” asked TWO’s Besen. “The World Congress of Families is a shameless organization that supports police state tyranny to advance its theocratic agenda. Their cozy relationship with Putin’s Russia is indicative of their totalitarian leanings.”
The World Congress of Families is linked to Russia’s controversial “propaganda of nontraditional sexual relations to minors” law, which criminalizes coming out and has given free rein to neo-Nazi hooligans to attack LGBT people. Other major organizations involved in planning September’s Kremlin World Congress include Focus On The Family, the National Organization for Marriage (NOM), Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), the Christian Broadcasting Network (CBN) and the Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute (C-FAM). Two of those organizations, ADF and C-FAM, are listed as hate groups by the Southern Poverty Law Center. Right Wing Watch provides more background on the upcoming WCF summit, and how deeply connected it is to the Russian government:
The planned summit is more than just a trip to Moscow. It’s being held at the Kremlin with funding from key Putin allies and will include a joint forum with Russia’s parliament. In addition, the World Congress of Families itself has been working to support Putin’s crackdown on LGBT rights in Russia, along with his push to keep Ukraine out of the European Union. Riling up hostility to gay rights, in particular, has become a powerful wedge issue for Russian-aligned, anti-EU activists in Ukraine.
“The World Congress Of Families is truly out of its league if they think that aiding and abetting Vladimir Putin’s dictatorial, militaristic regime is an appropriate action for an American organization that claims to fight for family values,” said Truth Wins Out Associate Director Evan Hurst. “If these groups are so blinded by their anti-gay hatred that they can’t see the threat that Putin poses to the free world, they’re more un-American than we ever imagined.”
Truth Wins Out (TWO) is a non-profit organization that works to demolish the very foundation of anti-gay prejudice. Our philosophy is simple: We attack the underpinnings of homophobia by debunking harmful lies, discrediting hateful myths, and countering anti-gay organizations. By chipping away at the underlying ignorance that fuels anti-LGBT attitudes, we can ultimately win our fight for fairness and achieve full equality for gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people worldwide.