Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute
|Area served||United States|
|Key people||Austin Ruse, President|
The Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute (C-FAM) is a United States-based research institute which is focused on international law and policy, specializing mainly in reporting on activities at the United Nations. It describes itself as "a non-partisan, non-profit research institute dedicated to reestablishing a proper understanding of international law, protecting national sovereignty and the dignity of the human person.". C-Fam was founded in 1997 and promotes the view that "the UN and other international institutions harm a true understanding of international law and in the process undermine the family and other institutions man requires for a just, free and happy life." In particular, it opposes abortion and the use of international structures such as U.N. committees "to advance a radical social agenda and undercut the rule of law". According to its website, C-FAM claims fidelity to the social teachings of the Roman Catholic Church, particularly the "protection of life in all its stages, from the first moment of conception until natural death" and "the protection of the right of parents to educate their children." C-FAM's Board of Patrons includes Lord Nicholas Windsor, Mary Ellen Bork, Robert P. George, Leonard Leo, and Hadley Arkes. The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) has characterized the group as "heavily focused on global anti-LGBT work."
Its current president is Austin Ruse, who writes a weekly column for Crisis Magazine and The Catholic Thing, an online publication launched by Robert Royal and Michael Novak. He is also a regular contributor to Breitbart.com. Prior to helping to found C-FAM, Ruse worked in magazine publishing at Forbes, Fortune, the Atlantic Monthly and Rolling Stone. Ruse is a Knight of Magistral Grace in the Sovereign Military Order of Malta and a Knight in the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre. He is also a recipient of the Defender of Life Award presented by Students for Life of America. Ruse is a recipient of the John Cardinal O'Connor Award from Legatus. In 2004, Ruse and his wife Cathy received the John Paul II Award for Advancing the Culture of Life from the Institute for the Psychological Sciences. Ruse holds undergraduate degrees in Journalism and Political Science from the University of Missouri, and an Honorary Doctorate from the Franciscan University of Steubenville.In July 2013, Ruse was identified as a key member of Groundswell, a coalition of conservative activists and journalists attempting to make political change behind the scenes.
While hosting a radio talk show in March, 2014, Ruse asserted that “the hard left, human-hating people that run modern universities” should “all be taken out and shot”. Ruse issued a formal apology for his comments, stating "the expression 'taken out and shot'... was not intended to be taken literally."
In February 2014, the SPLC designated the group as an anti-LGBT hate group. An SPLC report claimed C-FAM opposed United Nations efforts to protect LGBT rights and to study and prevent anti-LGBT violence. The SPLC report also claimed C-FAM praised the American pastor Scott Lively. In a statement posted on its website, C-FAM responded that SPLC's criteria is biased against "[its] conservative opponents"; that SPLC has been accused of inflating its list of hate groups; and that the charges were false.
In February, 2014, the 19-member NGO Committee of the United Nations Economic and Social Council unanimously approved C-FAM for Special Consultative Status. On April 23, 2014, the 54-Member Economic and Social Council approved C-FAM for Special Consultative Status without objection.
- List of organizations designated by the Southern Poverty Law Center as anti-gay hate groups
- List of organizations with consultative status to the United Nations Economic and Social Council
- "About Us". Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute. Retrieved 12 January 2012.
- "Programs". Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute. Retrieved 12 March 2014.
- "Mission Statement". Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute. Retrieved 13 March 2014.
- "Board of Patrons". Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute. Retrieved 12 March 2014.
- Beirich, Heidi (Fall 2013). "Dangerous Liasons". Intelligence Report (Southern Poverty Law Center) (151).
- "Austin Ruse". Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute. Retrieved 18 March 2014.
- "IPS Honors Pro-Life Couple". Arlington Catholic Herald. Retrieved 18 March 2014.
- Vicens, AJ (July 25, 2013). "Meet Groundswell's Major Players". Mother Jones. Retrieved 13 March 2014.
- "Meeting with the Catholic Family & Human Rights Institute (C-Fam)". Ministry for Foreign Affairs website. Government of Malta. December 22, 2008.
- "Catholic Family & Human Rights Institute". SourceWatch website. Center for Media and Democracy. Retrieved 14 March 2014.
- Shadee Ashtari,"Catholic Group Leader Calls For Liberal Academics To Be 'Taken Out And Shot'", Huffington Post, March 13, 2014, Retrieved 14 March 2014
- "Statement by Austin Ruse". Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute. Retrieved 16 March 2014.
- "C-FAM Response to Southern Poverty Law Center Regarding Classification as a Hate Group". Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute. Retrieved 11 March 2014.
- "United Nations Official Document". Un.org. Retrieved 2014-05-07.
- "Economic and Social Council, Opening Coordination, Management Meetings, Adopts Five Decisions, Holds Subsidiary Body Elections". Un.org. Retrieved 2014-05-07.