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Dueling Conferences on “Family” Come to Salt Lake City in October

Courtesy World Congress of Families
The World Congress of Families was invited by the Sutherland Institute to hold their first US conference in Salt Lake City.

The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) – a national gay and transgender rights group - is sponsoring an Inclusive Families Conference in Salt Lake City. Organizers say it's meant to counter a World Congress of Families event scheduled in October.

The World Congress of Families opposes same-sex marriage, pornography, and abortion, and supports a society built on the union of a man and a woman. It has held numerous conferences around the world, but Salt Lake City will be its first U.S. host. Human Rights Campaign spokesperson Kerry Brodie says the World Congress of Families is anti-LGBT and doesn’t represent Salt Lake City’s views. That’s why the HRC is partnering with Utah activists to put on an Inclusive Families Conference.

“We’re not trying to attack anybody’s right to express their opinions. We’re only trying to stop people from spreading malicious lies and creating rhetoric that does real harm,” Brodie says. “We stand for inclusion and dignity of all families.”

World Congress of Families event director Janice Crouse insists that pro-family does not mean anti-gay, and that the organization does not promote violence.

“Just because we differ from the people from the inclusive family conference, does not mean that we deal in hate,” Crouse says. “That could not be farther from the truth.”

Crouse told KUER that LGBT issues will not be the focus of the conference, but she hopes the timing of the events will provide an opportunity for the two sides to come together in a public forum to discuss different viewpoints. The Inclusive Families conference starts October 23rd. The World Congress of Families begins October 27th. Organizers from each event say all are welcome.

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