Friday, September 12, 2014

"Large Families" Conference Releases Statement

The "Large Families: The Future of Humanity" conference in Moscow, a target of controversy and condemnation, has wrapped up. The conference concluded with the release of a statement calling on the world to preserve the "natural family". The statement was posted in Russian and English at the website for the Foundation of St. Andrew and the Centre of National Glory. (Hat tip to Right Wing Watch.)

In the statement, conference attendees denounced the "propaganda campaign" in certain countries that is allegedly contributing to "the ultimate destruction of the Natural Family." They dismissed any notion of family outside of a married heterosexual couple birthing biological children.
"We, the Participants of the Moscow International Forum “Large Family and Future of Humanity” (September 10-11, 2014), express our profound concern because certain countries are pursuing  tenacious policies and an unprecedented propaganda campaign, all of which is leading to the ultimate destruction of the Natural Family − an institution that in a civilized society is the foundation of order, state’s prosperity and social peace.

The preservation of mankind is based on a system of family and kindred ties that are formed through the bonds of marriage between a male and a female and the children born to them.  This and only this alone, is capable of ensuring the reproduction, stability and continuity of human civilization. All other kinds of sexual relationships or alliances intentionally that exclude the birth of children are meaningless for they are devoid of the notion set down in the very definition of the word “family.” And no political or economic interests can serve as a pretext for replacing the true and time-tested concept of “family” by any kind of surrogate."
The statement accused the "ruling elite" of unnamed countries of promoting societies that reject religious faith and revel in "selfish desires".
"We regretfully declare that the systemic policy pursued by the ruling elite in the developed countries of the world in order to implement the “theory of the post-modern society” – in essence, a “society of unrestrained consumerism,” a policy of creating a society of individuals who are absolutely unconcerned about the future and who are focused only on satisfying their selfish desires of the moment. Actually, such a society is ultimately aimed at destroying faith in God, as well as belief in good. These post-modern policies focused on the material wealth are destroying what is human in the human being (as created by God), at wrecking the spiritual dimension in Man – all of which are his distinguishing features in Living Nature."
The statement urged readers to take nine actions in the name of preserving the family, including rejection of abortion, rejection of surrogacy for same-sex couples, promotion of homophobic laws similar to Russia's anti-gay "propaganda" law, and promotion of research showing the supposed negative impact same-sex couples raising children (despite ample evidence to the contrary).
"We appeal to all people who acknowledge the significance and values of the Natural Family for preserving human civilization:
  • To unite before the threat of total dehumanization of society, to set up a barrier on the road of ideology-lined, state-supported interference in the private lives of people, in an attempt to foist specific sexual lifestyles and preferences of the minority upon the majority;
  • To strive to set forth legislative initiatives in the laws and constitutions of all countries that clearly define the naturally predetermined relationships in the Family as relationships between the male and female, their children and their relatives;
  • To advocate and support the Natural Family as the sole source of preserving the civilization, the life of Mankind;
  • To make use of all thematic international Days ( of children, the family, etc.) whose slogans and mottos refer to traditional values, for demonstrating their disagreement with and dissent for State-supported destructive tendencies in the sex and family life, especially of the young people, and consolidating the understanding of a Natural Family as the foundation of human life at the level of the individual, society, state and civilization;
  • To oppose  the cynical utilization of women as surrogate mothers in the interests of same-gender liaisons and alliances;
  • To uphold the interests of children and to work for the adoption of legislative bans on all types propaganda concerning homosexual relationships in the environment of children and juveniles;
  • To initiate and support scientific research to study the conditions  and prospects of developing a Natural Family, as well as studying the negative social and psychological effects of raising children in same-gender couples;
  • To support public efforts aimed at ensuring integrity of human life from the moment of conception to natural death, to protect children from influences taken against their individuality, and to uphold the child-rearing rights of parents – both father’s and mother’s;
  • To demand initiatives and directives from the governments and heads of state to ensure protection of the natural family, childhood, and motherhood in both, domestic and foreign policies."

I fail to see how discriminating against LGBTQ people, robbing women of reproductive freedom, promoting biased research, and idolizing one type of family structure will benefit families. Measures tackling poverty, domestic violence, child abuse, public health crises, and insufficient family planning resources would help families far more than these hateful campaigns. Sadly, the real-life challenges besetting families do not stir the same passion among the Religious Right as imagined boogeymen do.

Observers should be alarmed at the passage in the statement calling for "the adoption of legislative bans on all types propaganda concerning homosexual relationships in the environment of children and juveniles." In effect, the statement calls for the adoption of anti-gay legislation similar to the one signed into law in Russia in 2013. This blatant disregard for human rights and free speech is unacceptable. TWO Care called the statement "a declaration of war", painting a chilling picture of its implications.
"If you are an LGBT person, or there is an LGBT person in your family, they declare that your family does not matter, because it does not conform to their ideals. In fact, they say, you are both trying to destroy The Family, and destroy people’s faith. They are declaring war against gay and lesbian couples raising children. And by calling for bans on “propaganda,” they are calling for the criminalization of both coming out and telling the truth to kids. They are calling for kids who will grow up to be LGBT (whether the World Congress Of Families, NOM or C-FAM like it or not) to be ostracized and made silent. They are calling for the very criminalization of free speech."
Ultimately, this "family" conference was never really about families. It was about turning back the clock on a world in which notions of marriage, family, and sexuality are evolving. The "Large Families" conference seeks to restore the global Religious Right's power, relegate women to rigid roles, and reverse the progress that LGBTQ people have made worldwide.

These activists have the ears of global political and religious leaders. Take note, and stand up.

To read additional commentary, visit the following links.

TWO Care: Russian Non-WCF Conference Drafts Resolution Calling For Criminalization Of Coming Out, Free Speech

Right Wing Watch: Moscow Forum Attended By American Activists Ends With Call For More 'Gay Propaganda' Bans


  1. Though I was raised in a belief system that promoted many of the "values" promoted at the conference, it is still difficult for me to understand why they feel so threatened by the prospect of a world where all people are free and empowered to control their private lives and be true to themselves.

    1. Agi Tater -- Personal insecurities? Threats to their power? A desire to seize power on a society-wide level? We can speculate, but whatever their motivations, they're dangerous.


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