Current Affairs

Law Society bans anti-equality conference organised by World Congress of Families

Edmund Broch May 12, 2012
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The Law Society, which represents solicitors in England and Wales, has banned a conference organised by the World Congress of Families, an organisation that considers only a heterosexual marriage as the centre of a “natural family.”

The conference was titled: “One Man. One Woman. Making the case for marriage, for the good of society,” and supposedly had 120 people on its guest list. However, in an e-mail on Thursday, Adam Tallis, general manager of Amper&and, which organises events at the Law Society, informed the organisers that the booking was being cancelled and the deposit refunded.

According to the Telegraph, which broke the story, the e-mail said: “We regret the need to take this step… I can assure you that it is not something we do lightly.

“However, where an event does not fit within this company’s diversity policy, it is a step we must take.

“The nature of your event has recently been drawn to our attention, and it is contrary to our diversity policy, espousing as it does an ethos which is opposed to same sex marriage.”

The article in the Telegraph takes a line distinctly with the organisers of the conference, and describes the Congress itself as “a US-based non-religious group which promotes traditional family values.” 

However, the Congress’s own website suggests this is not the case. It affirms that “the natural human family is established by the Creator and essential to good society.”

The website further puts homosexuality on par with incest and child abuse: “Sexuality is ordered for the procreation of children and the expression of love between husband and wife in the covenant of marriage. Marriage between a man and a woman forms the sole moral context for natural sexual union. Whether through pornography, promiscuity, incest or homosexuality, deviations from these created sexual norms cannot truly satisfy the human spirit. They lead to obsession, remorse, alienation, and disease. Child molesters harm children and no valid legal, psychological or moral justification can be offered for the odious crime of pedophilia. Culture and society should encourage standards of sexual morality that support and enhance family life.”

Andrea Williams, director of Christian Concern said Law Society’s move was a “fundamental misreading of the Equality Act,” and that it attempted to stifle open debate. “This statement is highly political, highly charged and wholly inappropriate… A lot of lawyers will be very alarmed by this and ashamed of their regulatory body,” she added.

However, Desmond Hudson, chief executive of the Law Society, said: “We are proud of our role in promoting diversity in the solicitors’ profession and felt that the content of this conference sat uncomfortably with our stance.” approached the World Congress for their response, but they declined to take up the opportunity to comment on this issue.

More: Christian Concern, law society, paul coleridge

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