Australian Family Association
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The Australian Family Association (AFA) is a conservative political organisation with the stated aim of "supporting and strengthening traditional family values". It was founded in 1980 by the National Civic Council's then president, B. A. Santamaria, to "promote the family as the natural and fundamental unit of society".
According to its stated objectives, the AFA aims "to cultivate within society an appreciation that the integrity and wellbeing of the family is essential to the stability, morale, security and prosperity of the Australian nation". It defines a family as being "composed of father, mother and children". It also lobbies on issues related to its central purpose, such as the definition of marriage, abortion, media standards and classification, cloning, pornography and illicit drug use.
The objectives for which the Australian Family Association is established are:
- to cultivate within society an appreciation that the integrity and well being of the family is essential to the stability, morale, security and prosperity of the Australian nation.
- to analyze laws and policies for their effect on the family and to formulate and promote corrective measures as necessary.
- by means of conferences, seminars and the active involvement of individuals and groups, to create public awareness of the fundamental importance of the family unit.
- to facilitate research and act as a resource centre for the effective pursuit of the Association's objectives.
- to promote and encourage the development of services to assist families in difficulties.
- to do all such things as are incidental or conducive to the attainment of the above objectives.
Founder and patrons
The AFA was founded by B. A. Santamaria. Current and former patrons of the organisation include Kim Beazley, sr., Rupert Goodman, Major-General W. B. "Digger" James, Major-General Michael Jeffery, Sir Peter Lawler, Dame Elisabeth Murdoch and Jerzy Zubrzycki.
Controversy and criticism
Ross Fitzgerald criticised the AFA in 2008 for protesting against a film they had not even viewed, and also criticised the Australian Classification Review Board for letting the protest influence them.
At an anti same-sex marriage rally the AFA co-organised in 2011, guest speakers stated gay marriage should be "laughed at and ridiculed" and incorrectly associated gay marriage with paedophilia. Mental health psychologist Paul Martin said such comments would be psychologically damaging to young gay people, stating "the last thing they need to hear are these kinds of offensive comments from people who purport to represent 'family values'."
- Fitzgerald, Ross (7 January 2008). "Howard's moral cleansers past their use-by date". The Australian. p. 6. Archived from the original on 9 December 2016. Retrieved 9 December 2016.
- "Gay marriage ridicule 'damages youths'". The Sydney Morning Herald. 16 August 2011. Archived from the original on 9 December 2016. Retrieved 9 December 2016.