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World Congress of Families Director Appalled by 'New York Times' Smear of Pro-Family Leader

World Congress of Families Managing Director Larry Jacobs condemned The New York Times smear of a pro-family leader.

Contact: Don Feder, Communications Director, 508-405-1337, dfeder@rcn.com; or The Howard Center, 815-964-5819

MEDIA ADVISORY, Jan. 7 /Christian Newswire/ -- In a January 5 editorial ("Hate Begets Hate"), the paper claimed that three U.S. evangelical Christians were somehow responsible for legislation pending in Uganda, which would impose the death penalty for homosexual acts.

Don Schmierer and two other evangelicals from the United States spoke in Uganda last March.  In the course of their remarks, they discussed the ability of individuals to mend broken family relationships, change destructive behaviors, and to leave the homosexual lifestyle.  Claiming their pro-family advocacy provoked anger, which led to the introduction of the Ugandan legislation, The Times charged, "You can't preach hate and not accept responsibility for the way that hate is manifested."

Jacobs responded: "Don Schmierer is a gentle counselor and an inspired teacher with more than four decades of experience in helping people overcome addictions, rebuild their lives, repair their relationships and restore their families.  Don provides wise counsel and advice for parents, with special insights on the relationships of fathers and their sons.  Because he believes in a Biblical worldview and thinks homosexuality is not genetic, The Times insists that he's responsible for the Ugandan legislation, (a proposed law categorically denounced by every pro-family leader I'm aware of and Don himself)."

"Anyone that spends time listening to Schmierer or reading his materials, can easily see that his entire ministry is built on loving and helping homosexuals (and heterosexuals), not hating them.  As Don says himself, some of the nicest people he's met around the world have been homosexuals.  After each of Don's presentations, many homosexuals offer their thanks for his wise counsel and testimonies on how his guidance helped them."

Jacobs continued: "The Times ugly attack on Schmierer is typical of the growing movement to intimidate and ultimately silence any who dissent from the gay agenda, including the activists working to preserve marriage.  Instead of discussing the nature and consequences of homosexuality, The New York Times says the debate is closed, and any who object, hate homosexuals and want to harm them." 

Jacobs further stated: "World Congress is proud of its association with Don Schmierer, who spoke at World Congress of Families II (Geneva), III (Mexico City), IV (Warsaw) and V (Amsterdam), in 1999, 2004, 2007 and 2009." Jacobs also noted that Schmierer's organization, His Servants (www.hisservants.net), is one of a growing number of World Congress Partners.

Last year in Amsterdam (August 10-12), World Congress of Families V affirmed the United Nations 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which (in Article 16) states that "the family is the natural and fundamental group unit of society and is entitled to protection by society and the State."  Article 16 also notes that "men and women of full age ... have the right to marry and found a family."  Click here to read or watch the Amsterdam Declaration: www.worldcongress.org/WCF5/wcf5.dec.htm.

Also in 2009, the U.N. Human Rights Commission passed a resolution affirming "traditional values" as the foundation for human rights.  Jacobs wondered, "Does that mean the U.N. is also guilty of homophobia and somehow responsible for the introduction of the Ugandan legislation?"

To learn more about World Congress of Families, go to www.worldcongress.org. To schedule an interview with Larry Jacobs, contact Don Feder at 508-405-1337 or dfeder@rcn.comClick here to read Don Schmierer's remarks to World Congress of Families II ("The Family as the Protector of Children" -  www.worldcongress.org/wcf2_spkrs/wcf2_schmierer.htm ).

The World Congress of Families (WCF) is an international network of pro-family organizations, scholars, leaders and people of goodwill from more than 60  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 Allan Carlson and is a project of The Howard Center for Family, Religion & Society in Rockford, Illinois (www.profam.org).  To date, there have been five World Congresses of Families -- Prague (1997), Geneva (1999), Mexico City (2004) and Warsaw, Poland (2007).  The fifth World Congress of Families was held in Amsterdam, Netherlands, August 10-12, 2009 (www.worldcongress.nl and www.worldcongress.org).