Contact: Don Feder, 508-405-1337, firstname.lastname@example.org; The Howard Center for Family, Religion & Society, 815-964-5819, email@example.com
ROCKFORD, Ill., April 30, 2013 /Christian Newswire/ -- World Congress of Families Managing Director Lawrence Jacobs said he was "astonished" by a call to censor World Congress of Families VII -- Sydney, Australia (May 15-18, Australian Technology Park) -- for standing up for marriage and the natural family. The theme for WCF VII is "Happy Families, Healthy Economy: A New Vision for National Prosperity and Social Progress."
"Leaders of a self-styled 'sexual minority' have expressed anger over some of our speakers," Jacobs noted. "Australian MP Alex Greenwich was so agitated by the expression of views which conflict with his own that he wrote the New South Wales Tourism Minister, demanding that the Congress be monitored for heretical thoughts and, if any are found, sanctions be applied under the state's 'anti-discrimination law.'"
Two of the speakers targeted by this witch hunt are Bob McCroskie, head of Family First New Zealand (who angered activists by his opposition to a "same-sex marriage" law), and psychiatrist Dr. Miriam Grossman (who has referred individuals for therapy with unwanted same-sex attraction).
"These are social and medical questions, not hate speech," Jacobs declared. "Some professionals believe in offering their patients' options such as the choice of reparative therapy -- and say they've seen the results -- others such as Mr. Greenwich prefer to legislate against patient choice and medical science and follow political correctness instead. How can you punish the expression of new ideas, scientific research and religious beliefs?"
Apparently, McCroskie is also being targeted for saying that the legal advent of so-called "gay marriage" in New Zealand has made marriage "meaningless." "Millions of Australians and New Zealanders, and billions worldwide -- including the majority of devout Christians, Jews and Muslims -- happen to agree with him," Jacobs observed.
Past Congresses have been held in Prague (1997), Geneva (1999), Mexico City (2004), Warsaw (2007), Amsterdam (2009) and Madrid (2012). Jacobs disclosed, "In all of that time, no elected official has ever been successful in censoring a Congress for our expression of support for the natural family and the presentation of research, ideas, and solutions to our modern-day economic and social problems. In Amsterdam on the third day of WCF V, left-wing newspapers which disagreed with us, actually defended our right to be in the city and present our research and ideas to help children and families," Jacobs said.
Among the speakers (including scholars, researchers, economists, medical doctors, sociologists and pro-family leaders), World Congress of Families VII will be addressed by George Cardinal Pell (8th Metropolitan Archbishop of Sydney), Paige Patterson (President of the Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, former president of the 16-million member Southern Baptist Convention), Rabbi Dr. Shimon Cowen (Director, Institute for Judaism and Civilization, Melbourne), John Anderson (former Deputy Prime Minister of Australia), Ian Harper (one of Australia's most respected economists) and Francisco Tatad (former Majority Leader of the Philippine Senate).
"Is MP Greenwich suggesting that a representative of the Ministry of Tourism stand on stage and stop the speech of any of these distinguished individuals which Greenwich believes violates anti-discrimination laws?" Jacobs asked. "Stalin and other dictators would be proud. Pro-family advocates have often expressed concern that these anti-discrimination measures and 'same-sex' marriage would be used to stifle dissent and religious freedom," Jacobs added. "MP Greenwich's creepy demands seem to confirm those fears."
Jacobs concluded, "Perhaps, it is Mr. Greenwich who should be monitored for possible human rights violations for imposing a radical, secular worldview that privileges a few adults at the expense of the natural family and the rights of children to be raised by a married mother and a father in their own home. The definition of the natural family derives from the United Nations and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) adopted in 1948 and binding on all United Nations member states of the world. The UDHR states (Article 16:3), "the family is the natural and fundamental group unit of society and is entitled to protection by society and the state." This is the human rights basis and inspiration for our use of the term "natural family" and the WCF mission to provide sound scholarship and effective strategies to affirm and defend the natural family, thus renewing a stable and free society.
World Congress of Families VII sessions will include: The Causes And Cost of Family Breakdown -- What Families Are Best for the Economy? -- Will the Human Family Survive: Can We Prosper with Small Families? -- Philosophical Roots of the Cultural Revolution -- Secular Humanism and Family Values -- Demographic Winter -- Masculinity and Femininity -- The Impact on Children of Legalizing "Same-Sex Marriage" -- Economic and Social Costs of Abortion -- Healing Post-Abortion Trauma -- Work of the Home: A True Profession -- AIDS Prevention through Strengthening Families -- Marriage as An Instrument of Human Development -- Promoting Families In the Mainstream and Online Media -- Consumerism and The Soul -- Defending Faith In An Age of Christophobia -- The Pornography Industry -- and Reaching the Next Generation with a Pro-Family Message.
To register or for more information about World Congress of Families VII Sydney 2103, click here: wcfsydney2013.org.au.
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 will be held in Sydney, Australia, May 15-18, 2013, www.wcfsydney2013.org.au.