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 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.".[1] 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."[1] 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".[2] 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."[3] It also opposes "all efforts to make sexual orientation and gender identity new categories in international law".[4] C-FAM's Board of Patrons includes Lord Nicholas Windsor, Mary Ellen Bork, Robert P. George, Leonard Leo, and Hadley Arkes.[5] The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) has characterized the group as "heavily focused on global anti-LGBT work."[6]

Its current president is Austin Ruse, who writes a weekly column for Crisis Magazine and The Catholic Thing. He is also a regular contributor to Prior to helping to found C-FAM, Ruse worked in magazine publishing at Forbes, Fortune, the Atlantic Monthly and Rolling Stone.[7]


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".[8] Ruse issued a formal apology for his comments, stating "the expression 'taken out and shot'... was not intended to be taken literally."[9]

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.[6] 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.[10]

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.[11][12]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "About Us". Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute. Retrieved 12 January 2012. 
  2. ^ "Programs". Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute. Retrieved 12 March 2014. 
  3. ^ "Mission Statement". Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute. Retrieved 13 March 2014. 
  4. ^
  5. ^ "Board of Patrons". Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute. Retrieved 12 March 2014. 
  6. ^ a b Beirich, Heidi (Fall 2013). "Dangerous Liaisons". Intelligence Report (Southern Poverty Law Center) (151). 
  7. ^ "Austin Ruse". Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute. Retrieved 18 March 2014. 
  8. ^ Shadee Ashtari,"Catholic Group Leader Calls For Liberal Academics To Be 'Taken Out And Shot'", Huffington Post, March 13, 2014, Retrieved 14 March 2014
  9. ^ "Statement by Austin Ruse". Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute. Retrieved 16 March 2014. 
  10. ^ "C-FAM Response to Southern Poverty Law Center Regarding Classification as a Hate Group". Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute. Retrieved 11 March 2014. 
  11. ^ "United Nations Official Document". Retrieved 2014-05-07. 
  12. ^ "Economic and Social Council, Opening Coordination, Management Meetings, Adopts Five Decisions, Holds Subsidiary Body Elections". Retrieved 2014-05-07. 

External links[edit]