The Illinois-based World Congress of Families, which works to promote anti-gay and anti-choice legislation abroad, issued a press release today touting its participation in a worldwide network of conservative groups working to bolster Russia’s recent “gay propaganda” ban. The group has joined five other American organizations in signing on to a joint statement [PDF] supporting the law and condemning the related international outrage. Also signing the statement were the Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute, whose president Austin Ruse has spoken out in support of the Russian law; Mission: America, the group led by conservative radio personality Linda Harvey; GrasstopsUSA, a group linked to World Congress of Families spokesman Don Feder; the anti-choice Population Research Institute; and a Christian group called His Servants that sells such books as "An Ounce of Prevention -- Preventing the Homosexual Condition in Today's Youth."
Interestingly, Feder and Harvey seem to have put aside their anti-Islam activism for the purpose of the statement, which was also signed by a handful of UK-based Islamic groups.
Here’s the text of the statement:
Statement by worldwide organizations in support of the Russian Federal Law On Protection of Children from Information Harmful to their Health and Development
The signing entities below are highly concerned about the heavy attacks that the Russian Federation is facing due to its recent Federal Law of June 29, 2013 No. 135-FZ “On Amendments to Article 5 of the Federal Law On Protection of Children from Information Harmful to their Health and Development …” that protects innocence and moral formation of children by prohibiting propaganda of "non-traditional sexual relationships" among them.
We affirm that the natural family created through the marriage of a man and a woman is the foundation of any human society and is entitled to protection by society and the State as stated in the international Human Rights norms, including Universal Declaration of Human Rights (Art. 16 (3)). Any harmful initiative for the natural family is destructive for the society as a whole. We also affirm that the children need special protection due to their innocence and immaturity.
We acknowledge that the Russian law protects the innocence of children and the basic rights of their parents recognized in the international legislation and treaties. With its new law Russia is protecting genuine and universally recognized human rights against artificial and fabricated "values" aggressively imposed in many modern societies. We also note that the concepts of “sexual orientation” and “gender identity” are not outlined in the existing binding international treaties and agreements.
We thus call for respect of the sovereignty of the Russian people and we invite all organizations and people who feel responsible for the protection of the innocence of children and their rights, the natural family and parental rights to stand up for Russia, as well as for Ukraine and Moldova suffering the same pressure due to similar laws.