May 17, 2007
World Congress of Families IV in Warsaw
Dear Family Advocate,
Our Family Watch International delegation just returned from
the World Congress of Families IV (WCF) in Warsaw, Poland, and we could
not have had a better experience there! Over 3,300 people from
every continent of the world came together in Warsaw to affirm the family
as the fundamental unit of society and to discuss how to protect and
preserve life, marriage, religious freedom and parental rights, all
of which are increasingly under assault throughout the world.
Social scientists, academicians, renowned government, religious, civic
and community leaders addressed the assembly of international delegates
on a variety of topics including the dramatic decline in fertility rates
in virtually all of the developed nations, the advance of same-sex marriage,
and the assault on life in wombs and legislatures across the world.
Family Watch International distributed two new Family Policy
Briefs, one on parental rights and the Convention
on the Rights of the Child and one analyzing the Yogyakarta
Principles, a dangerous document gaining international
recognition and support that promotes radical sexual rights as “human
rights” that cannot be violated.
At the conference we also formally launched FWI’s “I
Stand for the Family” International Petition. Our FWI booth
was very popular, with hundreds and hundreds of delegates stopping by
and signing the petition. All those who signed received a bright yellow
button showing their support for the family and delegates wore our buttons
proudly throughout the conference. As a result of our presence in Warsaw,
FWI now has members from 34 countries across the world.
A number of delegates and representatives of the press approached
our booth specifically because they had heard that FWI is the “get it
done” organization. They commented that a lot of “preaching
to the choir” goes on at the WCF and that it was good to see an organization
that was working to organize people across the world to do something
with the valuable information being presented to stop the tide of family
disintegration. A number of these press representatives interviewed
us and we got some great press around the world.
Several experiences especially stand out.
A delegate from Thailand who will be representing her government at
the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women meetings was
especially happy to learn about FWI. It was important to her that
there was at least one pro-family organization represented that was
not taking a religious approach to these family issues. She was a
Buddhist herself, and she and her delegation enthusiastically signed
our petition as they were strongly in favor of protecting the family.
- The youngest Member of Parliament in Poland
who is a member of a conservative pro-family political party that
is part of the ruling coalition asked us to set up a special strategy
meeting with some of his aids and our FWI delegation. We had a great
discussion on strategies and tactics for better organizing the pro-family
movement in Poland.
- A five-member delegation from Lithuania
also requested a strategy session to help them confront the homosexual
movement beginning in their country. They took careful notes as we
outlined the homosexual agenda and gave them ideas to counteract the
homosexual campaign in their country and how to organize a grassroots,
pro-family movement in Lithuania.
We made lasting friendships with key contacts in a variety
of countries who are now members of FWI, and we look forward to working
closely with them in the months and years ahead.
Overall, our delegation left the conference
extremely pleased with our success and with a renewed commitment to
better equip all of our contacts and members across the world to promote
and defend the family as the fundamental unit of society.
The World Congress of Families experience reaffirmed to all of us that
despite religious, geographic, language and cultural differences, the
one thing that unites all of humanity is the family. All of us, regardless
of creed or culture, have a vested interest in protecting the traditional
family which is the foundation of any healthy society.
As a result of our attendance at the Warsaw conference, we
are better able to help in that effort.
We want to urge any readers in the U.S. who have not yet expressed
their opposition to U.S. ratification of the CEDAW treaty to do so.
Feminist groups are putting major grassroots pressure to ratify it
on the Senate this week in a “Mother’s Day” related campaign they
are running. Through our Action
Center, you can quickly and easily send an email to President
Bush urging him to “unsign” CEDAW and at the same time you can also
sign a petition opposing it that we will be delivering to the Senate.
Also, if you have not yet signed our “I
Stand for the Family” International Petition or have
not urged others on your list to also sign it, we hope you will do
that now as well. Click
here to easily and quickly do both.
News Items of Interest
Poland Education Minister Calls for Ban on “Propagation of
Homosexuality” in Schools
Bravely denouncing the “propagation of homosexuality” in schools,
Poland Education Minister Roman Giertych proposed amendments to Polish
law which would ban “homosexuality, pornography or other phenomena
violating moral norms.” Giertych said the proposal would “protect
youth from the propagation of views that threaten marriage, threaten
family, and threaten the duties of school, which are to prepare one
to fulfill family duties and the duties of a citizen.” Predictably,
Giertych and other Polish officials have been accused of “discrimination
and hatred.” Article here.
Funding Cut for Abstinence Education in the U.S.
House Democratic leaders in the U.S. have said they will let a $50
million grant program for abstinence education expire on June 30.
Rep. John Dingell, chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee
said that with a budget deficit and a war, the decision to eliminate
funding was not a difficult one. Ignoring numerous social science
studies to the contrary and polls that indicate that parents want
abstinence programs for their teenagers, Dingell said, “Abstinence-only
seems to be a colossal failure.” Article here.
ACLU Attacks Abstinence Again
Alleging “medical inaccuracy,” the American Civil Liberties Union
(ACLU) is urging the federal government to scrutinize abstinence curricula
in eleven states. The ACLU’s charges have been refuted repeatedly
by abstinence educators. Abstinence programs typically portray the
effectiveness of condoms as they are actually used by teenagers rather
than using theoretical percentages as in comprehensive sex education
programs, which also incorrectly suggest that oral and anal sex are
both “abstinent” and “safe.” Article here.
Massachusetts Judge Rules 170 New Yorkers’ Gay Marriages Valid
Suffolk Superior Court Judge Thomas Connolly ruled that the same-sex
marriages of 170 New York couples who were wed in Massachusetts are
legal. The New York Court of Appeals did not explicitly ban same-sex
marriage until July 6, 2006, so the marriages that were performed
prior to the ban are considered legally valid by the state of Massachusetts,
he ruled. Article here.
Lithuania Mayor Backs Bus Drivers in Strike Against Homosexual
Trolley bus drivers in Vilnius, the capital of Lithuania, refused
to work until pro-homosexual advertisements were removed from their
lines. Juozas Imbrasas, the mayor of Vilnius came out in support of
the bus drivers and stressed Lithuania’s commitment to traditional
family values. Lithuania, a member of the European Union, is being
targeted by homosexual activists for the spread of a pro-homosexual,
anti-family agenda. Article here.
Australian High Court Judge: Religion is Hindering UN Fight
According to Australian High Court judge Michael Kirby, the United
Nations is “substantially disempowered” to spread the necessary messages
essential to stopping the spread of AIDS because of “religious impediments.”
According to Kirby, those necessary messages include the use of condoms,
the role of safer sex, reducing the risks of intravenous drug use,
the availability of clean needles, the decriminalization of prostitution
and the decriminalization of homosexual acts. Obviously Judge Kirby
hasn’t spoken with the physician from Nigeria who told us at the UN
HIV/AIDS conference last year, “Condoms are killing my people.” Article
Please forward this on