US: Anti-gay group to hold Utah conference

Alice Milliken July 2, 2014
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An anti-gay group has announced it will hold its next conference in Salt Lake City, Utah.

The Rockford, Illinois-based World Congress of Families (WCF), focuses on the preservation and promotion of the “natural family,” defined as a man and woman raising children with love and discipline.

The WCF is partnered with about 40 other organizations including the Focus on the Family and Concerned Women for America.

Larry Jacobs, the WCF’s managing director, said they chose Salt Lake City, Utah over other cities like St. Louis and Atlanta because Salt Lake is an international city with experience hosting large crowds. The conference is expected to draw about 3,000 people.

Since the US Supreme Court struck down DOMA last summer, gay rights activists have won 18 cases in federal and state courts across the country.

To say the WCF chose North America because of the momentum of the gay marriage movement would be oversimplified, Jacobs said. He did recognize that the “natural family” is under attack in the states.

“Same-sex marriage is just the most recent issue that’s come out of the sexual revolution and the radical sexual left, which would like to focus on individual sexual pleasure as the ultimate human goal,” Jacobs said.

In addition to same-sex marriage the WCF opposes homosexuality and abortion. Due to its anti-LGBT views, the organization has been put on the Southern Poverty Law Centre’s list of hate groups.

The Human Rights Campaign, is openly critical of the WCF.

Ty Cobb, the campaign’s director of global engagement, said the WCF is a network of extremist groups that has been working to promote anti-LGBT rhetoric and legislation abroad, including Russia and in African countries.

WCF’s communications director Don Feder said the Salt Lake event’s theme will likely be religious liberty.

He said: “We’ve always believed faith is one of the underpinnings of the natural family.”

The group was in March forced to postpone its planned conference in Russia, following tensions over Crimea.

Related topics: 2015, Anti-gay, meetings, US, Utah

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