Leading Australian Government figures are endorsing a far-right anti-gay international conference of ‘family vales’ groups being held in Melbourne next month.
The 8th World Congress of Families had originally been scheduled to be held in Moscow but US and European sanctions against Russia over the crisis in the Ukraine forced organizers to hastily reschedule the event for Melbourne.
Conference organizers had praised the Russian government over its treatment of LGBTI people and ban on so-called gay propaganda to minors.
‘We are proud of the accomplishments of our Russian Partners, and applaud the moves of the Russian people, through their elected representatives, to protect life, the family and the innocence of children,’ the conference’s organizers said in March.
‘At a time when Western governments are moving backward to a pagan worldview, Russia has taken a leadership role to advance the natural family.’
However despite this the Melbourne conference had drawn the support of senior Australian Government figures.
Social Services Minister Kevin Andrews has volunteered to open and close the conference and it has been endorsed by the Government’s leader in the Senate, Eric Abetz.
The conference is also being endorsed by government Senator Cory Bernardi who had to resign from a shadow parliamentary secretary position while in Opposition for comparing gay marriage to bestiality.
A spokesperson for Kevin Andrews told The Age newspaper he was attending the conference because he had been invited to and because it related to his portfolio, saying ‘The Minister accepted an invitation to open this conference because it relates to his portfolio. The choice of speakers is a matter for conference organizers.’
Andrews also attended the 7th World Congress of Families in Sydney in Opposition in 2013.
Speakers at the conference include Vatican Cardinal Raymond Leo Burke, who will present a talk entitled ‘Natural Law and Conscience: Key to Freedom and to the Integrity of Marriage and the Family.’
Closing the conference, Dr Larry Jacobs will praise Vladimir Putin’s ‘pro-life and pro-family policies,’ following Melbourne Bishop Peter Elliott’s presentation, ‘Euthanasia – Killing People, Killing Families.’