Croatian and Serbian conservative activists are taking part in a global gathering in Hungary of groups opposed to abortion, same-sex marriage and gender ideology.
Conservative groups from Croatia and Serbia will take part in the 11th annual meeting of the World Congress of Family, WCF, in Budapest between Thursday and Sunday where a number of people from right-wing groups will gather.
Croatia’s conservative NGO “In the Name of the Family” and Serbia’s right-wing, anti-EU party Dveri both confirmed that their leaders will attend the event.
Based in Rockford in the US State of Illinois, WCF was founded in 1997 by a conservative Christian scholar Allan Carlson, gathering NGOs, parties and groups who advocate traditional families and oppose birth control, abortion, same-sex marriage, gay adoption, gender ideology, feminism and secularism.
In the last 20 years, the WCF organised 11 summits all across the world, while this year’s event, organised under the auspices of the Hungarian government, the Budapest authorities and the local Catholic Church, is named: “Building Family-Friendly Nations: Making Families Strong Again.”
Some of the speakers are controversial. Don Feder, one of WCF’s coordinators, who will be speaking at the summit, is known for opposing an initiative to put the African-American abolitionist Harriet Tubman on a 20-dollar bill in 2016, stating that “American history was made by white males who were overwhelmingly Christian”.
A partner organisation present in Budapest is the US-based Alliance Defending Freedom International, ADF, whose leadership welcomed the re-criminalisation of homosexual intercourse in India in 2013.
Austin Ruse, president of the US-based Center for Family and Human Rights, who will also speak at the conference, is known for saying that leftists in universities should be shot.
He said that he wished to keep his daughter far away from “the hard-left, human-hating people that run modern universities who should all be taken out and shot.”
“In the Name of the Family” told BIRN that they had been invited by the Hungarian government and looked forward to creating a “more favourable family-supported environment, a community of men and women who have the right to a support from the society and the state in raising their children”.
The NGO concluded that “only those who oppose the strengthening of the family in modern society, as well as the emphasis on the important role of the father and mother in educating children” can see this summit against them, adding that it hoped this “is not the case with LGBT activists”.
The NGO successfully triggered a referendum on gay marriage in Croatia in 2013, which ended with the constitutional redefinition of marriage as a strictly heterosexual union.
Dveri president Bosko Obradovic told BIRN that the party will participate the summit with ten of its members.
“I am invited and will participate in the Global forum for political leaders on May 26, which will be organized behind closed doors … with around 50 pro-family political leaders from the world,” he said.
NGO’s head Zeljka Markic and her associate Kresimir Planinic will speak on panels on Friday, while Dveri’s president Bosko Obradovic and the party’s national coordinator, Nemanja Zaric, will speak on Saturday.
By Sven Milekic
(Balkan Insight, 25.05.2017)
Photo credits: Jutarnji List