Attorney General and social services minister to speak at anti gay pro life event
LAST UPDATED // Wednesday, 16 July 2014 10:38 Written by // Cec Busby
Victoria's State Attorney-General Robert Clark and Social Services minister Kevin Andrews will both be speaking at the Endeavour Forum's World Congress of Families event in August.
Other speakers at the conference include US doctor Larry Jacobs, a vocal supporter of Putin’s anti-gay homosexual propaganda law and, Angela Lanfranchi, founder of the New Jersey-based Breast Cancer Prevention Institute; an institute that champions a debunked theory that there is a link between abortion, the pill, and breast cancer.
According to reports in the Sydney Morning Herald, the health minister defended his decision to appear at the event saying it was related to his portfolio responsibilities. But on program notes on the Endeavour Forum website Andrews is listed as an International Ambassador for WCF.
A spokesman for the minister said: "The Minister accepted an invitation to open this conference because it relates to his portfolio. The choice of speakers is a matter for conference organisers."
As for the Victorian Attorney General, Clark is slated to deliver a "Welcome to Victoria' speech at the event. A spokesman for Clark said the Attorney-General was "welcoming an international conference to Melbourne on behalf of the government".
"Delivering a welcome address does not necessarily imply support for particular speakers or their topics," he said.
Senator Bernie Finn will also be speaking at the event. He will discuss his ‘Marching for Babies’ annual walk against abortion. This is the same Bernie Finn that suggested there is never a case for abortion - and all abortions should be banned even for victims of rape.
Whilst not appearing at the confernce it should be noted other Australian politicians are also supporters of the group.
Coalition leader of the Senate, Eric Abetz and Liberal party member Cory Bernardi are also noted friends of WCF.
Shadow health minister Catherine King called on Prime Minister Tony Abbott to decide whether it was appropriate for Andrews to attend the conference.
"It is disappointing but not surprising that one of Tony Abbott's closest confidantes and a member of his senior leadership group is associated with such views," she said.
"I think it's a question for Tony Abbott about whether he thinks it's appropriate for a senior cabinet minister to be attending this event. Tony Abbott may be threatened by science but should not be letting these backward views cloud good, evidence-based policy."
A quick perusal of the World Congress of Families website reveals the following titbits:
The World Congress of families opposes decriminalisation of homosexuality,
They suggest homosexuality can lead to obsession remorse, alienation and disease.
In 2009 they opposed a UN resolution calling for decriminalisation of homosexuality and downplayed the harshness of the Uganda anti homosexuality bill in a newsletter.
Managing director, Larry Jacobs, said he was 'dismayed' when Obama signed the UN statement suggesting worldwide decriminalisation of homosexuality.
- TOPICS: anti gay, Bernie Finn, Catherine King, homophobia, Kevin Andrews, Robert Clark, World Congress of Families
- CATEGORIES: National, News + Politics