Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute

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Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute
C-FAM logo1.jpg
Founded 1997
Type Non-governmental organization
Focus International Law
Family Law
Social Policy
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, founded in 1997, in order to monitor and affect the policy debate at the United Nations and other international institutions.[1] It describes its mission as "protection of life in all its stages, recognition and promotion of the natural structure of the family, and the protection of the right of parents to educate their children".[2] The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) has characterized the group as "heavily focused on global anti-LGBT work."[3]


C-FAM's Board of Patrons includes Lord Nicholas Windsor, Mary Ellen Bork, Robert P. George, Leonard Leo, and Hadley Arkes.[4] In July 2013, Austin Ruse, its current president, was identified as a key member of Groundswell, a coalition of conservative activists and journalists attempting to make political change behind the scenes.[5]


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".[6] Ruse issued a formal apology for his comments, stating "the expression 'taken out and shot'... was not intended to be taken literally."[7]

In February 2014, the SPLC designated the group as an anti-LGBT hate group because of C-FAM's opposition to United Nations efforts to protect LGBT rights and to study and prevent anti-LGBT violence, and its praise, SPLC said, of the American anti-gay activist Scott Lively.[3] 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.[8]

UN Recognition[edit]

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.[9][10]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "About Us". Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute. Retrieved 12 January 2012. 
  2. ^ "Mission Statement". Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute. Retrieved 27 November 2014. 
  3. ^ a b Beirich, Heidi (Fall 2013). "Dangerous Liaisons". Intelligence Report (Southern Poverty Law Center) (151). 
  4. ^ "Board of Patrons". Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute. Retrieved 12 March 2014. 
  5. ^ Vicens, AJ (July 25, 2013). "Meet Groundswell's Major Players". Mother Jones. Retrieved 13 March 2014. 
  6. ^ Shadee Ashtari,"Catholic Group Leader Calls For Liberal Academics To Be 'Taken Out And Shot'", Huffington Post, March 13, 2014, Retrieved 14 March 2014
  7. ^ "Statement by Austin Ruse". Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute. Retrieved 16 March 2014. 
  8. ^ "C-FAM Response to Southern Poverty Law Center Regarding Classification as a Hate Group". Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute. Retrieved 11 March 2014. 
  9. ^ "United Nations Official Document". Retrieved 2014-05-07. 
  10. ^ "Economic and Social Council, Opening Coordination, Management Meetings, Adopts Five Decisions, Holds Subsidiary Body Elections". Retrieved 2014-05-07. 

External links[edit]