World Congress of Families

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World Congress of Families
Founded 1997
Key people International Secretary, Dr Allan C. Carlson
Motto To stand up for traditional families

The World Congress of Families (WCF) gives as its purpose to "stand up for the position of the traditional family, in a time of eroding family life and declining appreciation for families in general". The organization defines "the natural family" as the "union of a man and a woman in a lifelong covenant of marriage" [1]

The World Congress of Families is noted for their opposition to civil rights protections on the basis of sexual orientation,[2][3] opposition to same sex marriage [4] and support for anti-gay policies in Russia,[5][6] Uganda [7] and other countries.


Dr. Allan Carlson, President of the Howard Center for Family, Religion and Society (USA), initiated the congress[8] on the basis of article 16c of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, saying: "The family is the natural and fundamental group unit of society and is entitled to protection by society and the state".

The World Congress of Families is considered an anti-gay group by the Southern Poverty Law Center,[9] and because of their position on same-sex marriage, meetings of the World Congress of Families are often met with controversy.


Since 1997 the WCF has been held seven times starting in Prague (1997) with 700 visitors,[10] followed by Geneva (1999)[11] with 1600 visitors,[12] Mexico City (2004) with 3300 visitors,[13] Warsaw (2007)[14] with 3900 visitors,[15] Amsterdam (2009),[16] Madrid (2012),[17] and Sydney (2013).[18]

The meeting in Warsaw in May 2007 was to be addressed by Ellen Sauerbrey, at the time head of the United States Department of State's Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration, which provoked a letter from 19 Members of the European Parliament demanding that she should not go.[19] Ambassador Sauerbrey addressed the opening session of the Warsaw congress which was said to be the largest-ever gathering of international pro-family forces.[20]

The 2009 conference in Amsterdam met with some controversy when the government minister, André Rouvoet addressed the congress despite requests from other Dutch Parliamentarians that he should not do so.[21]

In London in 2012 after the WCF were refused permission to hire out the facilities of the Law Society for an event entitled One man. One woman. Making the case for marriage for the good of society,[22] an alternative venue was used.[23]

WCF Madrid 2012

Prior to the 2013 WCF conference, Sydney politician Alex Greenwich sought that the conference comply with anti-discrimination legislation.[24] One of the reports presented to the conference said that children raised in two-parent families do best at school.[25]

The 2014 Conference is scheduled to be held in September in Russia.[26] However planning for the conference is currently suspended due to the situation in the Ukraine and Crimea.[27]


  1. ^ World Congress of Families: The Natural Family
  3. ^ Warren Thockmorton (August 21, 2011). "American Anti-Gay Campaign in Africa Opposes "Fictitious Sexual Rights"". Religion Dispatches. 
  4. ^ Attack On Traditional Marriage
  5. ^ Peter Montgomery (2013-08-21). "NOM’s Brian Brown Brags About Supporting Anti-Gay Work Abroad". 
  6. ^ Founders of FamilyPolicy.Ru
  7. ^ "Uganda Holding Firm to Biblical Values". Internet Archive. 
  8. ^ Fineman, Martha; Worthington, Karen (2009). What Is Right for Children?: The Competing Paradigms of Religion and Human Rights. Ashgate. pp. 26–28. ISBN 9780754674191. 
  9. ^ "Criminalizing Sex: Six U.S. Anti-Gay Groups Abroad". Dangerous Liaisons. Southern Poverty Law Center. August 2013. 
  10. ^ Prague 1997: Convening Organizations - World Congress of Families
  11. ^ Urquhart, Gordon (12 November 1999). "That's not faith, that's provocation". The Guardian. Retrieved 13 October 2012. 
  12. ^ Geneva 1999: Convening Organizations - World Congress of Families
  13. ^ Mexico 2004: Convening Organizations - World Congress of Families
  14. ^ Goldberg, Michelle (30 May 2007). "Jerry Falwell lives ... in Poland". The Guardian. Retrieved 13 October 2012. 
  15. ^ Warsaw 2007 - World Congress of Families
  16. ^ "World Congress of Families V to be in Amsterdam". Christian Telegraph. 8 July 2008. Retrieved 17 May 2013. 
  17. ^ Baklinski, Thaddeus (23 May 2012). "Sixth World Congress of Families Conference takes place in Madrid May 25-27". LifeSiteNews. Retrieved 17 May 2013. 
  18. ^ "World Congress of Families Starts in Sydney: Why Society Needs Strong Families". Mormon News Room. 15 May 2013. Retrieved 17 May 2013. 
  19. ^ European leftists attack World Congress of Families - Catholic World News
  20. ^ "Largest-Ever Gathering of International Pro-Family Forces Opens in Warsaw Poland". LifeSiteNews. 11 May 2007. Retrieved 18 May 2013. 
  21. ^ Commentary: Exporting "Traditional Values", Political Research Associates
  22. ^ Heterosexual marriage? I’m sorry, you can’t discuss that, Christina Odone, The Telegraph
  23. ^ "Law Society prevents free speech". Evangelical Times Newspaper. July 2012. Retrieved 18 May 2013. 
  24. ^ Piotrowski, Daniel (24 April 2013). "Family fury: Controversial conference speakers anger gay community". News Limited. Retrieved 17 May 2013. 
  25. ^ "Two parents give an educational edge". Ninemsn. 16 May 2013. Retrieved 17 May 2013. 
  26. ^
  27. ^ "Planning for World Congress of Families VIII Suspended". Christian News Wire. 25 March 2014. Retrieved 5 April 2014.