FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Truth Wins Out Calls Upon World Congress Of Families To Fully Cancel Summit, Stop Aiding And Abetting Enemies Of Free World
CHICAGO — The World Congress Of Families has announced that they have suspended planning for their upcoming Moscow summit, planned for September of 2014, citing the situations in Ukraine and Crimea and resulting sanctions enacted by the United States and Europe. As Right Wing Watch reported, two of the Russian officials who have been subject to economic sanctions by the United States, Yelena Mizulina and Vladimir Yakunin, have close ties with the World Congress of Families and have been intimately involved in planning the September events. Both figures are part of Vladimir Putin’s inner circle and, as TWO’s Wayne Besen pointed out recently, Yakunin is “one of Russia’s most outspoken America-bashers.”
“Instead of ‘suspending plans,’ the World Congress of Families needs to cancel its Kremlin conference outright and stop cheerleading one of the world’s greatest enemies of freedom,” said Truth Wins Out’s Executive Director Wayne Besen. “Putin’s Russia isn’t suddenly going to become a friend to free nations, and it is deplorable that the World Congress of Families has supported tyranny and abandoned the core American ideals of liberty, justice, and equality up to this point.”
Yelena Mizulina was the primary driver of the anti-gay “propaganda” bill that passed Russia’s Duma unanimously, which criminalizes coming out and has given free rein to neo-Nazi thugs to harass and attack LGBT people in Russia. As TWO’s Besen explained recently in the Huffington Post, Yakunin is a billionaire with grand plans to turn Russia into an anti-Western theocracy. He also explained that Yakunin and his wife Natalia are primary financial underwriters of WCF ventures in Russia.
Based in Rockford, Illinois, the World Congress of Families – which the Southern Poverty Law Center has labeled a hate group – has served as a chief apologist for Vladimir Putin and has played a key role in Russia’s unconscionable anti-gay crackdown. Indeed, in their press release announcing this “suspension” of plans, they emphasized that they still fully support the anti-gay pogrom being waged in Russia, though they couched it in fundamentalist euphemisms:
The foregoing is not meant to reflect negatively on the Russian people, churches or individuals who have taken a leadership role in the fight to preserve life, marriage, and the natural family at home and as part of the international pro-family movement. [...] We are proud of the accomplishments of our Russian Partners, and applaud the moves of the Russian people, through their elected representatives, to protect life, the family and the innocence of children. At a time when Western governments are moving backward to a pagan worldview, Russia has taken a leadership role to advance the natural family.
The World Congress of Families takes no position on foreign affairs, except as they affect the natural family.
“What could be more un-American or anti-family 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.”
Indeed, if WCF’s spokesperson Don Feder is to be believed, the Illinois-based organization views Russia under Putin more favorably than they do America under President Obama, stating that Obama is a greater threat to our national security than Putin is. This extremism may not sit well with all of WCF’s American partners, as one of their sponsoring organizations, Concerned Women For America, recently announced that they would be pulling out of September’s Kremlin event, as they did not want to be seen as giving aid and comfort to Putin. Truth Wins Out strongly encourages other American religious organizations involved in the World Congress of Families to follow CWA’s lead.
“These anti-gay organizations are trying to have their cake and eat it too, and nobody’s buying it,” said Truth Wins Out Associate Director Evan Hurst. “The Russian state under Vladimir Putin shows every sign of becoming an enemy of the entire free world. The idea that these American groups would give aid and comfort to the figures at the top of the Russian government at a time when that nation is egregiously abusing the human rights of its citizens and its neighbors, just because they all agree that they can’t stand gay people, is unconscionable and the very antithesis of patriotism.”
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.