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Posts for September, 2014

Brian Brown, Sharon Slater Are Also At Moscow’s Totally-Not-The-World-Congress-Of-Families

Jim Burroway

September 11th, 2014
Photo from the Charity Foundation of St. Basil's Facebook page.

Photo from the Charity Foundation of St. Basil’s Facebook page. (via Right Wing Watch)

Brian Brown is on the left. According to this online program, (Google translate here), he is spoke at a plenary panel this morning on “The Family, its Present and Future” at the Cathedral of Christ the Savior’s main hall. Patrick Buckley, an anti-abortion activist from Ireland, Thomas Ward of Britain’s National Association of Catholic Families, and John Weston of Canada’s Lifesite News were also on the panel. Just to give you an idea of the kind of company they’re keeping, other panel members include Abdolreza Azizi of Iran’s Islamic Consultative Council.

The program indicates that Austin Ruse is speaking today on “the status of life and family issues at the United Nations,”  ex-gay promoter and anti-abortion activist Miriam Grossman will present on whether “reproductive freedom frees procreation,” CBN’s Stephen Weber will speak on “restoration of paternity transformation of culture” (Google Translate may have mangled this),  Janice Shaw Crouse will speak on “successful communications strategy,” and Family Watch International’s Sharon Slater will speak on the “protection of children and families in the United Nations.”

Sharon Slater is a particularly ugly piece of work. Her organization, Family Watch International, which has managed to obtain consultative status with the United Nations, proudly features Ugandan Pentecostal pastor and “kill-the-gays” bill supporter Martin Ssempa as an African Coordinator for FWI. She has also spoken out in favor of Uganda’s horrific Anti-Homosexuality Bill, as well as similarly draconian laws in Nigeria and elsewhere. She has also worked closely with ambassadors from Syria and Iran to push her anti-gay agenda in the United Nations.

At least a couple dozen other Americans, Canadians and Europeans are speaking at the Totally-Not-The-World-Congress-Of-Families despite American and European sanctions against several of the conference’s Russian sponsors over the illegal annexation of Crimea and the Russian military’s incursions into Eastern Ukraine. Two of the American organizers of the Totally-Not-The-World-Congress-of-Families, World Congress of Families’ managing director Larry Jacob and communications director Don Feder, have prime speaking slots — although, ostensibly, they aren’t representing the World Congress of Families while speaking at the Totally-Not-The-World-Congress-of-Families conference. They are speaking on behalf of  Jacobs Consulting and Don Feder Associates, respectively, which I think are similar in nature to Burroway Consulting and Timothy Kincaid Associates.

The Totally-Not-The-World-Congress-Of-Families is taking place in several venues in the Kremlin and at the Cathedral of Christ the Savior, in the very same venues as the previously cancelled World Congress of Families, on the same dates, under the same theme, and with many of the same line-up of speakers. But remember: it’s not the World Congress of Families. Which is fitting, when you think about it. The Totally-Not-The-World-Congress-Of-Families is taking place in the land of the Totally-Not-Invading-Eastern-Ukraine. Authoritarian demagogues with totally-unbelievable propaganda machines seem to have a way of finding each other.

The Eleven New Additions to the SPLC’s Anti-Gay Hate Groups List

Jim Burroway

March 8th, 2012

The revision came out this morning, but at the time I didn’t know who was new and who wasn’t among the now 26 hate anti-gay hate groups. Based on this cache from archive.org, these are the additions:

  • United Families International, Gilbert, AZ. (Carol Soelberg)
  • Save California, Sacramento, CA. (Randy Thomasson)
  • SonsOfThundr / Faith Baptist Church, Primrose, GA (Billy and Sandra Ball)
  • You Can Run, But You Cannot Hide, Annandale, MN (Bradlee Dean)
  • Parents Action League, Champlin, MN (Note, this is the group that fought anti-bullying programs at the Anoka-Hennepin Independent School District)
  • Jewish Political Action Committee, Brooklyn, NY.
  • Windsor Hills Baptist Church, Oklahoma City (Tom Vinyard)
  • Misson: America, Columbus, OH (Linda Harvey)
  • True Light Pentecost Church, Spartanburg, SC (H. Walker)
  • Tom Brown Ministries, El Paso, TX.
  • Public Advocate of the United States, Falls Church, VA (Eugene Delgaudio)

The San Diego-based Biblical Family Associates is no longer on the list this year. It appears to be inactive. Sandy, Utah-based America Forever has also been dropped after reportedly disbanding in 2010.

SPLC: Number of Hate Groups Rise in 2011

Jim Burroway

March 8th, 2012

[NOTE: In the post below, I mistakenly identified Sharon Slater with being affiliated with United Families International. I’ve been informed that she was “booted out” in 2006 and is no longer with the group. She is currently with Family Watch International, which is a UN accredited organization, as is UFI. While Sharon Slater does support countries which seek to impose the death penalty for LGBT people, I am not aware that UFI has such a position. My apologies for the misidentification.]

The Southern Poverty Law Center issued an update to their listing of hate groups being tracked across the U.S. According to their report:

The growth was fueled by superheated fears generated by economic dislocation, a proliferation of demonizing conspiracy theories, the changing racial makeup of America, and the prospect of four more years under a black president who many on the far right view as an enemy to their country.

The number of hate groups counted by the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) last year reached a total of 1,018, up slightly from the year before but continuing a trend of significant growth that is now more than a decade old. The truly stunning growth came in the antigovernment “Patriot” movement — conspiracy-minded groups that see the federal government as their primary enemy.

The number of anti-gay hate groups has also risen from 17 to 27 26 in the last year. The SPLC doesn’t say which new ones were added, but as I look through the list, I’m seeing names that I don’t recall seeing before. For example, Arizona-based United Families International, headed by Sharon Slater, has made the cut. UFI, which is an accredited lobbying group for the United Nations, is on record as opposing the removal of the death penalty for homosexuality, a position that I have heard Slater defend in person as well as in her book. Another one is Bradlee Dean’s You Can Run But You Cannot Hide. You will recall that Dean, who has had close ties to Rep. Michele Bachman (R-MN), spoke favorably of Muslims because Muslims call for the execution of gay people. Also making the list is Brooklyn-based Jewish Political Action Committee, which posted signs claiming that cases of child molestation “surged” immediately following New York’s enactment of marriage equality.

In 2010, the Family Research Council, American Family Association, and Peter LaBarbera were among those who were added to the SPLC’s list of anti-gay hate groups.

It takes a particular set of behaviors to land on the SPLC’s list of anti-gay hate groups. As the SPLC explained:

Generally, the SPLC’s listings of these groups is based on their propagation of known falsehoods – claims about LGBT people that have been thoroughly discredited by scientific authorities – and repeated, groundless name-calling. Viewing homosexuality as unbiblical does not qualify organizations for listing as hate groups.