The United Nations will serve as the venue for anti-LGBTQ hate groups when it hosts the “It Takes a Family” event Wednesday.
International Organization for the Family (parent of World Congress of Families), Family Research Council, Family Watch International, United Families International and the Center for Family and Human Rights (C-Fam) are all listed by SPLC as hate groups, and they are among the 17 event sponsors.
Those five organizations are seeking to push their definition of a traditional family. These groups believe a family can be composed only of a cisgender heterosexual man, a cisgender heterosexual woman and their biological children, thereby excluding anyone else.
“Traditional family” and “natural family” have been used as right-wing talking points to further anti-LGBTQ and anti-choice policies and agendas on state, federal and international levels, and the U.N. is no exception. Anti-LGBTQ and anti-choice groups have been active at the U.N. for decades, often forming coalitions to try to develop U.N. statements on policy that marginalize LGBTQ people and limit access to reproductive healthcare.
The annual U.N. event is being held in conjunction with the 25th observance of the International Day of Families and the 25th Commemoration of the International Year of the Family in the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) chamber of the U.N. headquarters in New York City.
The hate groups have powerful allies internationally and in the White House. Belarus, Egypt, and Qatar launched the Group of Friends of the Family (GoFF) in 2015. GoFF is also a co-sponsor of the event. The group stresses that the “traditional family” is the foundation of human civilization and should be the focus of governments, the U.N. and its agencies. The group has 25 member states, including Russia, Iran and Pakistan.
The Trump administration has ties with C-Fam, one of the event’s sponsors. The administration named C-Fam executive vice president Lisa Correnti to the 2017 U.S. delegation to the U.N.’s Commission on the Status of Women annual session. Austin Ruse, who in 2014 called for leftist university officials to be “taken out and shot,” is C-Fam’s president. Ruse’s wife, Cathy Ruse, who serves as senior fellow for legal studies at the Family Research Council, will chair the “It Takes a Family” event.
The hate groups sponsoring “It Takes a Family” are seeking to strengthen those White House ties. The groups want Valerie Huber, senior policy adviser for the Office of Global Affairs in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and a strong supporter of abstinence only, to address the conference. As of press time, there’s no word as to whether she has accepted.
Despite these efforts to spread hate, the definition of “family” continues to shift. In America, approximately 16 percent of the 700,000 cohabitating same-sex couples are raising children, according to a study by the Williams Institute at the UCLA School of Law. New research by a group of European economists, as reported in The Washington Post, shows that children raised by same-sex couples do better in school. And studies indicate that having transgender parents has no impact on a child’s sexual identity, the Williams Institute reported.
Photo illustration by SPLC