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World Congress of Families Answers Attacks in New Report

Courtesy World Congress of Families

The World Congress of Families is responding to attacks after the announcement of the group’s conference in Salt Lake City this October. The group which promotes fundamental Christian values like traditional marriage released a 28-page report Tuesday countering accusations by gay rights groups.

Last month, Human Rights Campaign President Chad Griffin was in Salt Lake City, when he called the World Congress of Families a “nefarious and hateful group of American extremists”.  The Southern Poverty Law Center has also called the WCF a “hate group”. Janice Crouse is event director for the upcoming Salt Lake City Congress. She says it’s time to stop the name-calling and set the record straight.

“We have never and will never advocate violence toward anyone,” Crouse says. “Our basic principles are established on the idea of the dignity and worth of every single individual. That includes our LGBT friends.”

The World Congress of Families’ report refutes accusations made mostly by the Human Rights Campaign that the group encourages policies that have led to the harassment, legal punishment and even killing of LGBT people worldwide. HRC officials declined an interview request but a spokesperson said that they stand by their accusations. Troy Williams, Executive Director of Equality Utah says The World Congress of Families is trying to have it both ways.

“The World Congress, they’re saying we’re opposed to violence, but then in the next breath, they turn around and express their support for the Putin’s regime’s harsh crack-downs on gay individuals,” Williams says.

According to the report, the WCF is not a lobbying organization and has never taken a position on the criminalization of homosexuality, but when Russia passed a law to prevent homosexual propaganda and exploitation of children, the WCF "positively acknowledged the initiative." The World Congress of Families comes to Salt Lake City on October 27th.

Andrea Smardon is new at KUER, but she has worked in public broadcasting for more than a decade. Most recently, she worked as a reporter and news announcer for WGBH radio. While in Boston, she produced stories for Morning Edition, Marketplace Money, and The World. Her print work was published in The Boston Globe and Prior to that, she worked at Seattleââ
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