Today, the World Congress of Families is one of the major driving forces behind the U.S. Religious Right’s global export of homophobia and sexism.
The Political Research Association first reported on the World Congress of Families (WCF) in 2000, noting its role within the coalition of Christian Right groups that was beginning to emerge as a well-organized and influential force at the United Nations. Writing for The Public Eye, Jennifer Butler observed that the Christian Right had “discovered the power of organizing in the international arena,” and was working to “delay and where possible derail progressive change that might be obtained through UN conferences and treaties.”
In the years following the 1994 International Conference on Population and Development in Cairo and the 1995 World Conference on Women in Beijing—the outcomes of which were hailed by progressive feminists as major victories for gender equality and sexual and reproductive health and rights—Butler reported that “Conservative Catholics, Mormons, Conservative Evangelicals and to a much smaller degree, Muslims and Jews, are developing institutional structures, political rhetoric and mobilized networks to bring their ‘family values’ message to the UN and the world.” She credited WCF with playing a key role in solidifying the group’s platform and collaboration.
Today, WCF is one of the major driving forces behind the U.S. Religious Right’s global export of homophobia and sexism. From its headquarters in Rockford, Illinois, WCF pursues an international anti-choice, anti-LGBTQ agenda, seeking to promote conservative ideologies that dictate who has rights as “family,” and who doesn’t. Through WCF’s advocacy and strategic support, these ideologies are increasingly being codified into regressive laws and policies all around the world, from the United Nations to the Kremlin.
In the lead up to WCF’s 2015 gathering in Salt Lake City, Utah, PRA co-produced an overview of the group and its key affiliates, along with a glossary of key terms used by the organization’s network of Religious Right accomplices to further thwart pro-LGBTQ and women’s rights initiatives