FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
American Extremist Group Must Stop Aiding and Abetting Putin’s Russia
CHICAGO – Truth Wins Out today called on the World Congress of Families to cancel its upcoming Moscow conference, following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine’s Crimea region. Based in Rockford, Illinois, the WCF – which the Southern Poverty Law Center has labeled a hate group — has served as Vladimir Putin’s chief apologist and played a key role in Russia’s unconscionable anti-gay crackdown. Organizers expect the three-day event, which is scheduled to begin on September 10, to attract an estimated 5000 religious extremists.
“The World Congress of Families should cancel its Kremlin conference and stop cheerleading one of the world’s greatest enemies of freedom,” said Truth Wins Out’s Executive Director Wayne Besen. “It is deplorable how WCF has supported tyranny and abandoned core American ideals of liberty, justice, and equality.”
The World Congress of Families is linked to Russia’s controversial “propaganda of nontraditional sexual relations to minors” law, which criminalizes coming out and has given free rein to neo-Nazi hooligans to attack LGBT people. Mother Jones magazine reporter Hannah Levintova wrote about the influence this American organization has in Russia and other nations:
WCF has lent its support to anti-gay politics elsewhere in Eastern Europe—Serbia, Lithuania, Romania—but it has had its biggest and most notable successes in Russia. Indeed, the rise of anti-gay laws in Russia has mirrored, almost perfectly, the rise of WCF’s work in the country, with 13 new anti-gay laws passed since [WCF’s Managing Director Larry] Jacobs (pictured) first traveled there. When I ask Jacobs if WCF’s work has contributed to this pattern, he laughs and says, “Yes, I think that is accurate.”
But the fight is not just about what happens in Moscow. With same-sex marriage now legal in 16 American states and counting, elements of the US religious right have come to see Russia as a redoubt in a global battle against homosexuality. “The Russians,” Jacobs has said, “might be the Christian saviors of the world.”
A bill to separate gay parents from their children, shelved as the Olympics drew closer, is widely expected to be reintroduced after the world’s gaze moves on.
“What could be more un-American than traveling overseas to deny individuals the right of free speech, freedom of expression, the right to raise their own children, and the right to assemble?” asked TWO’s Besen. “The World Congress of Families is a shameless organization that supports police state tyranny to advance its theocratic agenda. Their cozy relationship with Putin’s Russia is indicative of their totalitarian leanings.”
Truth Wins Out (TWO) is a non-profit organization that works to demolish the very foundation of anti-gay prejudice. Our philosophy is simple: We attack the underpinnings of homophobia by debunking harmful lies, discrediting hateful myths, and countering anti-gay organizations. By chipping away at the underlying ignorance that fuels anti-LGBT attitudes, we can ultimately win our fight for fairness and achieve full equality for gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people worldwide.
Meet the fascists (via Mother Jones) trying to destroy our lives: