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World Congress of Families Provides a Pro-Family Perspective on Russian Bill Prohibiting Homosexual Propaganda to Minors

Contact: Don Feder, 508-405-1337, don@worldcongress.org; The Howard Center for Family, Religion & Society, 815-964-5819, media@worldcongress.org

ROCKFORD, Ill., June 12, 2013 /Christian Newswire/ -- Today, the Russian Duma gave final approval to a bill prohibiting propaganda on "non-traditional sexual relationships" aimed at the young. The bill awaits action by the upper Chamber of the Russian Parliament (the Council of Federation) and signature by the President, but these are considered formalities.

The European Union pressured the Russian government not to approve the bill, which would prohibit homosexual propaganda that encourages promiscuous sexual behavior among minors.

In January, the Duma, initially approved the bill by a vote of 388-to-1 with one abstention. A survey by The Russian Center for the Study of Public Opinion showed 86% of the Russian people support the measure.

Still, Eurocrats and the European anti-family left are making threatening noises.  Germany's self-identified, gay foreign minister, Guido Westerwelle, has warned that approval of the law would "complicate the relationship between Russia and Europe."  EU Foreign Policy Chief Catherine Ashton, a socialist, is also warning Moscow not to enact the measure.

The bill was proposed by the Novosibirsk Oblast regional legislature.  Dmitry Sablin of the United Russia Party, a strong supporter of the law, offers an historical perspective: "Russia is a country thousands of years old, founded on its own traditional values, the protection of which is even dearer to me than oil and gas."

World Congress of Families Managing Director Larry Jacobs wondered why the West can enact laws promoting homosexuality and special rights for LGBT groups while penalizing dissent, but Russia can't prohibit homosexual propaganda targeted at vulnerable youth who should be protected from adult pressure to engage in unhealthy sexual behaviors?

Jacobs noted, "In Washington State, a florist is being sued by the attorney general for refusing to provide flowers for a 'same-sex marriage' ceremony.  So-called hate crime laws are being used to punish dissent. Allowing homosexuals to serve openly in our armed forces was pushed through a lame-duck Congress.  Now the Pentagon is saying that silence isn't an option -- that service members will be forced to affirm homosexual behavior."

"A number of states have passed laws prohibiting minors who want to avoid homosexual behaviors from seeking reparative therapy," Jacobs added.  In her speech at World Congress of Families VII in Sydney, Australia, May 15-18, 2013, Dr. Miriam Grossman discussed bans against reparative therapy as another example of the "political correct" speech that promotes harmful sexual behavior and activities to our youth.

Jacobs asked, "Why is the Russian law protecting youth from unhealthy and unwanted adult influences called a civil rights violation by some, but not a law that bans the voluntary counseling that youth are seeking to make healthier life choices?"

The WCF Managing Director also noted the increased health risks from encouraging promiscuous homosexual behavior among susceptible youth.  According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, men who have sex with men (MSM) represent 2% of the U.S. population, but accounted for 61% of new AIDS cases in 2009.  According to the CDC, other sexually-transmitted diseases are also prevalent among practicing homosexuals, as is depression, and suicide.

A measure similar to the Russian bill is pending in the Ukraine. On May 6, Pavel Parfentiev, WCF Ambassador to European Institutions, participated in a roundtable discussion in the Ukrainian Parliament. The forum adopted a resolution which declared: "Attacks on the family, including propaganda aimed at diminishing family or marriage between a man and a woman and traditional family values should be regarded as a threat to society." 

The roundtable also endorsed the Memorandum for the Venice Commission, drafted by Russian and Ukrainian NGOs (including the Family and Demography Foundation), showing that the proposed laws prohibiting homosexual propaganda aimed at youth are fully compatible with international human rights norms.

Partners and pro-family groups in more than 80 countries work with the World Congress of Families in its vital work, defending the natural family and the sanctity of human life.  WCF Partners in Russia include the Family and Demography Foundation, the Sanctity of Motherhood Program, and St. Basil the Great Foundation.

World Congress of Families VIII will be held in Moscow, the Kremlin, September 10-12, 2014.   Click on: www.worldcongress.ru for more information.

This week, the World Congress of Families is holding a WCF Caribbean regional conference – "Building A Culture of Life and A Civilization of Love" in Trinidad, June 14-15.   Click here for more information on Building A Culture of Life and A Civilization of Love, June 14-15 in Trinidad, wcfcaribbean2013.org.

For more information on World Congress of Families, please visit www.worldcongress.org. To schedule an interview with Larry Jacobs, contact Don Feder at 508-405-1337.

The Howard Center for Family, Religion and Society (www.profam.org) is located in Rockford, Illinois and is an independent, non-profit research and education center that provides sound scholarship and effective strategies to affirm and defend the natural family, thus renewing a stable and free society.  The Howard Center is the publisher of the journal, "The Family In America" and is also the organizer of the World Congress of Families (WCF) project which is an international network of pro-family organizations, scholars, leaders and inter-faith people of goodwill from more than 80 countries that seek to restore the natural family as the fundamental social unit and the 'seedbed' of civil society (as found in the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights, 1948).  The WCF was founded in 1997 by Dr. Allan Carlson, President of The Howard Center.  To date, there have been five World Congresses of Families – Prague (1997), Geneva (1999), Mexico City (2004), Warsaw, Poland (2007) and Amsterdam, The Netherlands (2009).  World Congress of Families VI was held in Madrid, Spain in May 25-27, 2012.  World Congress of Families VII was held in Sydney, Australia, May 15-18, 2013, www.wcfsydney2013.org.au.  WCF VIII Moscow 2014 will be held September 10-12 in the Kremlin.  Go to www.worldcongress.ru for more information.