Open Letter - World Congress of Families

International Pro-Family Leadership Open Letter to the People of Australia
In the name of fairness, and in response to unremitting and grossly misleading attacks
on an August 30 conference in Melbourne, the undersigned pro-family leaders
worldwide wish to bring the following to your attention:
 The Life, Family and Freedom Conference is sponsored by Endeavour Forum, an
Australian organization supporting life and the natural family, and has been
designated a World Congress of Families Regional Event.
 Since 1997, World Congress of Families has held seven Congresses, in Prague,
Geneva, Mexico City, Warsaw, Amsterdam, Madrid and our last in Sydney in
2013. These Congresses are gatherings of distinguished scholars, elected officials,
prominent religious figures and leaders and activists concerned with the health of
the natural family.
 Sexual radicals have launched a smear campaign to discredit the Melbourne
conference, which misrepresents the international pro-family movement and the
positions of the World Congress of Families.
 Specifically, it is alleged that advocacy of the natural (or normative) family is
somehow unfair to other families and that we “shame” single-parent families,
homosexual “couples” and the divorced.
 Yet social science data shows clearly and unequivocally that children do best in
families with a mother and father.
 It’s equally true that divorce harms children and society. This is not to say that we
shouldn’t have compassion for divorcees or children growing up in single-parent
 Similarly, the observation that marriage is a social good is not meant to stigmatize
or shame unmarried adults.
Page 2
 The natural-family philosophy was set forth in the Universal Declaration of
Human Rights, adopted by the United Nations in 1948, which observes that “men
and women of full age… have the right to marry and found a family” and that the
family is “the natural and fundamental group unit of society” and, as such, is
“entitled to protection by society and the state.” This language is repeated in the
constitutions of more than 100 nations.
 Despite the repeated attempts of certain misguided governments, the definition of
“family” contained in the UDHR has never been changed.
 For the past 3,000 years, in every culture, this definition of the family (a man and
women united by faith and tradition, raising their children in a loving
environment) has been considered beyond dispute. Only in the past few decades
have competing “models” of the family been offered as the new norm. The
natural family is also affirmed by every major religion.
 Attacks on the Melbourne conference and the international pro-family movement
generally are an attempt at intimidation – a weapon used to stigmatize family
advocates, stifle dissent and foreclose a debate.
 The goal of sexual radicals is to deconstruct marriage and marginalize the family,
and thus to transform society into something unrecognizable to generations past.
Like all social experiments that attempt to create a “new man,” these are doomed
to failure.
 Rather than accepting the charges against us at face value, we hope you’ll take the
time to learn about the international pro-family movement at, or on the websites of any of the signers.
1. Luca Volonte – Novae Terrae Foundation and Human Dignity Institute
2. Michael Semin – Director, St. Joseph Institute (Czech Republic)
3. Lola Velarde – Director of UN Affairs, Institute for Family Policy
Page 3
4. Peter Costea – Alliance of Romania’s Families
5. Matt Barber – Founder, Barbwire
6. Bogdan Stanciu – board member, Nat’l Federation of Pro-life
Organizations in Romania
7. William J. Murray – Chairman, Religious Freedom Coalition
8. Leonor Tamayo – Profesionales Por La Etica (Professionals for Ethics)
9. Pavel Parfentiev – Chairman, For Family Rights (Russia)
10. Christine de Marcellus Vollmer – President, Latin American Alliance for
the Family (Venezuela), Member of the Pontifical Council for the Family
11. Bob Lalonde – International Outreach Director, Priests for Life
12. Rabbi Daniel Lapin – American Alliance of Jews and Christians
13. James M. Kushiner – Executive Director, Fellowship of St. James
14. Carlos Polo – Red Hispanoamerica
15. Francisco (Kit) Tatad – Former Majority Leader, Philippine Senate
16. Fenny Tatad – Executive Director, Bishops Legislators Caucus,
Philippine Bishop’s Conference
17. Patrick Trueman – President and CEO, Morality In Media
18. Patrick F. Fagan – Director of The Marriage and Religion Research
Page 4
19. C. Gwendolyn Landolt – National Vice President, REAL Women of
20. Nicholeen Peck – President, The Worldwide Organization for Women
21. Rabbi Dr. Shimon Cowen – Director, Institute for Judaism and
Civilization (Melbourne,Australia)
22. Rev. Justin T. Murff – Christian Broadcasting Network
23. Jean Goyard -- Directeur de la Communication de la Société Française
pour la défense de la Tradition, Famille et Propriété-French Society for
Tradition, Family and Property
24. Chris Carmouche – Executive Director, GrassTopsUSA
25. Silvio della Valle – Associazione per la Difesa Del Valori Chritiani (Luci
sull’Est) Association for the Defense of Christian Values (Italy)
26. Rev. Dr Mark Durie -- Vicar St Mary's Anglican Church, Caulfield,
27. Levan Vasadz – Chairman, Prometheus Partners (Republic of Georgia)
28. Ignacio Arsuaga – (Spain)
29. Alvaro Zulueta – CitizenGo (international)
30. Zdenka Rybova – The Czech Pro-Life Movement
31. John Smeaton – Chief Executive, The Society for the Protection of
Unborn Children (United Kingdom)
32. Mike Huckabee – former Arkansas Governor, FOX news talk show host
Page 5
33. Mat Staver – Founder and Chairman, Liberty Counsel
34. Martha Olavarieta de Gomez Serrano – Red Familia (the Family
Network) Mexico
35. Don Schmierer – His Servants
36. Fabrice Sorlin – WCF Representative in France
37. Rev. Rick Scarborough – President, Vision America Action
38. Natalia Yakunina – Sanctity of Motherhood Foundation (Russia)
39. Ewa Kowalewska – Human Life International, Poland
40. Lech Kowalewski -- Friends of Human Life Club Foundation (Poland)
41. Benjamin W. Bull, Esq. – Chief Counsel, Executive Director of the
Global Alliance Defending Freedom
42. Steve Mosher – President, Population Research Institute
43. Jesus Magana – Unidos por la vida (United for Life), Colombia
44. Shirley Richards – Jamaica Coalition for a Healthy Society
45. C. Preston Noell – American Society for Tradition, Family and Property
46. Paul von Olderburg – Director, Federation Pro-Europa Christiani (based
in Brussels)
Page 6
47. Alexey Komov – FamilyPolicy.RU, WCF Representative in Russia and
the CIS.
48. Andrea Williams – Founder and CEO, Christian Concern (United
49. Dr. Thomas Ward – Founder and Vice President, National Association of
Catholic Families (UK), Corresponding Member of the Pontifical
Academy for Life
50. Tim Matthews – Editor, CF News, National Association of Catholic
Families (UK)
51. Janice Shaw Crouse, Ph.D. -- Author, Columnist and Commentator
52. Rebekah ali-Gouveia – Elpis Centre (Trinidad), WCF Caribbean
53. Brian Brown – President ,National Organization for Marriage
54. Colin Hanna – Let Freedom Ring
55. Ted Baehr – President, Christian Film and Television Commission
56. Sharon Slater – President, Family Watch International
57. Georges Martin -- Droit de Naître (Right to Life) France
58. Hon. Tom Delay – former Republican Majority Leader, U.S. House of
59. Laura Bunker – President, United Families International
60. Michael van der Mast -- Schreeuw om Leven (Cry for Life,)Netherlands
61. Errol Naidoo -- Director, Family Policy Institute Cape Town, South
Page 7
62. Edmund Adamus -- Director for Marriage and Family Life of the
Westminster Diocese, UK
63. Margaret H. Hartshorn, Ph.D., -- President, Heartbeat International, Inc.
64. Steven E. Smoot -- President Family First Foundation
65. Guillermo Ramirez – Fundacion Jamie Guzman (Chile)
66. Susan Roylance – Howard Center for Family, Religion & Society,
International Policy and Social Development Coordinator
67. Srdjan Nogo – Dveri (Serbia)
68. Allan C. Carlson – International Secretary, World Congress of Families
69. Larry Jacobs – Managing Director, World Congress of Families
70. Don Feder – Communications Director, World Congress of Families
71. Miriam Grossman, MD -- child psychiatrist and author, USA
72. Sławomir Olejniczak -- President, Instytut Ks. Piotra Skargi
(Father Peter Skarga Institute) Poland
73. E. Douglas Clark – Director of UN Affairs, World Congress of Families
74. Marco Respinti – Columbia Institute, Milan (Italy)
75. Fr. Shenan J. Boquet – President, Human Life International
Page 8
76. Nikolas T. Nikas, -- President & General Counsel, Bioethics Defense
77. Dorinda C. Bordlee -- VP Senior Counsel, Bioethics Defense Fund
78. Paul Diamond – barrister (UK)
79. Warwick March – Dads4Kids Fatherhood Foundation (Australia)
80. Rabi Aryeh Spero – Caucus for America