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Stop government involvement with conference that endangers women and LGBTI people.

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The "World Congress of Families" are classified as an anti-gay group by the Southern Poverty Law Centre due to their direct support for Russian and Ugandan policies that have led to increasingly violent attacks on LGBTI people; and their support for the criminalisation of homosexuality. They work closely with Scott Lively, a revisionist who says that gay people are responsible for the Holocaust. 

They are running an international conference in Melbourne on August 30th, opened and closed by the Minister for Social Services Kevin Andrews, who is one of the group's "International Ambassadors". Their managing director Larry Jacobs will speak in favour of Russia's policies at the conference. 

Other speakers include pro-lifer Dr Angela Lanfranchi, who spreads discredited theories linking abortion and contraception to cancer; and Louise Kirk, who works against the "ghastliness of sex education" in schools. 

Senator Eric Abetz is hosting an official lunch for Jacobs, Lanfranchi and Kirk at Parliament House. 

Others represented at the conference include a group who harrass women outside abortion clinics in Melbourne - contributing to an environment in which a security guard was shot to death outside one of the clinics - and a political party who, during the last federal election, released an anti-gay propaganda video that suggested gay rights lead to disease and decay. And the hits just keep on coming. 

While conference participants have the right to voice their opinions, perceived or actual government support for these ideas is improper. Kevin Andrews has defended his proposed attendance by saying that it falls within his portfolio. This is an inadequate response - should, for example, the Minister for Immigration attend Klu Klux Klan rallies because they 'talk about immigration'? Andrews has also made the point that the choice of speakers is "up to the organisers". This is a dishonest response, as he knows full well the symbolism of his official position at the conference. 

Goverments should support their citizens against both the language of violence and against violence itself, rather than feting those who support attacks on its citizens. 

Government support for health misinformation about abortion, contraception, cancer, sexuality and sex education creates health risks for women, LGBTI people and children. 

* As government ministers, Kevin Andrews and Senator Eric Abetz need to withdraw from this August 30th conference in order to avoid perception of government support for these discredited and dangerous ideas. For the same reasons, Abetz should not host a function at Parliament House on August 28th for the organisers. 

* The presence and participation of Victorian Attorney General Robert Clark and MLC Bernie Finn also creates the impression of government support for health misinformation; criminalisation of Australian LGBTI citizens; and the harrassment of women. For these reasons, they should also withdraw from the conference. 

* Even though he is a relatively insignificant backbencher, Senator Cory 'Corgi' Bernardi's participation in the event for personal economic gain also increases the perception of government support for the discredited and dangerous ideas at the conference, and he should also withdraw. 

Info Links : 

- World Congress of Families (scroll down first link) :

http://bit.ly/1zfvoeD and http://bit.ly/UtJ06B

- The WCF's links to Scott Lively & international fascism : http://bit.ly/1nJSass

- Dr Angela Lanfranchi : http://bit.ly/1rF3Myq and http://bit.ly/1taOlP3

- The conference (note location has changed to Glen Iris) : http://bit.ly/1rmqdVw

- Harrassment of women at abortion clinics by conference participants : http://bit.ly/1uqXd4B

- ‘Australian Christians’ anti-gay videos http://bit.ly/1orF2Hx

- Please retweet : http://bit.ly/1roAfW7

 



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