Andrews and Clark cancel World Congress of Families appearances

Andrews and Clark cancel World Congress of Families appearances

LAST UPDATED // Friday, 29 August 2014 12:52 Written by // James Findlay

Kevin Andrews, Federal Minister for Social Services, and Victorian Attorney General, Robert Clark, have cancelled their appearances at the World Congress of Families.

Mr Andrews was planned to address the event, but has cancelled because the event is now apparently hosted by ultra right-wing group, Catch the Fire Ministries.

In a statement he said:

"Tolerance is a critical value in a western liberal democracy like Australia.

"It was for this reason that I intended to address the World Congress of Families meeting in Melbourne tomorrow.

"The calls for me not to attend demonstrate the intolerance of the Greens and the left — instead of arguing their case in the public arena they seek to shut down debate.

"Equally, I cannot support intolerance from other quarters. As I have been informed today that the event is now to be hosted by Catch the Fire, I have decided not to attend."

Victorian Attorney General, Robert Clark, has also pulled out of the event, stating the change of venue to be the reason.

The Congress has been regularly slammed over the past few weeks in regards to the line up of guests they have coming to Melbourne, one of which, Dr Angela Lanfranchi, links breast cancer to abortion, and are strong advocates against same sex marriage.

Groups attending the Congress also have been vocal for their support of the 'gay propoganda' laws in Russia.

The planned attendance of Liberal MPs including Senators Eric Abetz and Cory Bernardi has also caused upset in the community.

Babette Francis, a member of the organising committee of the World Congress of Families, has told MCV she has not heard from Mr Andrews' office in regards to his appearance, and would not comment on where the Congress will be held.

Yesterday, the Senate passed a motion condemming the World Congress of Families, which was moved by Greens Senator, Larissa Waters.

More to come...


James Findlay

James Findlay

James Findlay is a Melbourne-based journalist and broadcaster who has worked in community media for many years. He has won awards for his work on The Naughty Rude Show on SYN, and can be heard on JOY 94.9's breakfast program, Triple Threat, and Hide and Seek - exploring sex, sexuality and self. He is currently completing his Master of Public Health specialising in Sexual Health at Melbourne University, and a tutor in the School of Media and Communication at RMIT University.

Comments (4)

  • Bill

    29 August 2014 at 15:26 |
    Robert Clark and Kevin Andrews have given support to fundamentalist who seek to destroy the Prime Ministers sister, and have her locked up in jail. I see little difference between the Taliban and this extremist cult. Perhaps Tony Abbott can get all brotherly and sack Mr Andrews or he could take broader look at the incredible damage to the Party and sack a dud Minister not worthy of the Party.


  • Rex

    29 August 2014 at 12:33 |
    I have no time for groups who use "free speech" to shut down others who are equally using their right to "free speech". The hypocrisy is unbelievable. Telling someone they are not allowed to have or speak an opinion whilst at the same time ramming your own opinion down their throats shows these people up as morons and thugs.


  • nicholas

    29 August 2014 at 12:24 |
    He's not cancelling because they are 'ultra right wing', it's because he's a Catholic and they're fundamentalist-protestant. They all have the same far-right politics.


    • Rex

      29 August 2014 at 12:35 |
      You do realise that all sides of politics have far left, left, central, right and far right don't you? Or are you just cherry picking.


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