Local and global homophobes gather in Cape Town to attack same-sex families

Brian Brown, President of IOF (Twitter)

Brian Brown, President of IOF (Twitter)

Anti-gay zealots from around the world have met in South Africa to issue a declaration opposing same-sex marriage and families.

The World Congress of Families Regional Conference took place last week at The Westin hotel in Cape Town; the city that’s often dubbed Africa’s gay capital.

The event was hosted by the recently formed International Organisation for the Family (IOF), an offshoot of the notoriously homophobic World Congress of Families; designated a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center in the US.

The conference saw the launch (appallingly, on International Human Rights Day) of the IOF’s “Cape Town Declaration“. The manifesto has been signed by hundreds who view same-sex marriage as an aberration that’s a threat to “traditional” families and humanity in general.

The document affirms “healthy marriages” as “the conjugal bond of man and woman” and commits the signatories to “firmly resisting every push to redefine marriage: to include same-sex or group bonds, or sexually open or temporary ones.”

The declaration, clearly seeking to find favour in countries in which homosexuality is seen as a foreign import, also rails against the “cultural imperialism of Western powers whose governments seek nothing less than the ideological colonisation of the family”.

Brian Brown, President of IOF, commented to right-wing site Breitbart News: “Forcing the agenda of same-sex ‘marriage’ on nations by manipulation of foreign aid or the like is a deplorable practice.”

His statement is a blatant distortion that continues to be perpetuated by anti-LGBT campaigners. There is no evidence of any country using the threat of withdrawing foreign aid to force acceptance of same-sex marriage rights on another country, anywhere in the world.

The declaration concludes with the statement: “Bowing to no earthly power, using every just measure, we shall not falter or flag until the truth about marriage is embraced in our laws and honoured in our lands.”

Among the international participants and organisers was South African’s very own Errol Naidoo, the Cape Town based crusader against LGBTI equality and leader of the Family Policy Institute.

Naidoo has long been a thorn in the LGBTI community’s side. He’s warned against “the gay agenda”, lobbied against same-sex marriage and the Pink Loerie Festival in Knysna and slammed Cape Town city authorities for supporting the annual MCQP queer party.

In 2012, Naidoo was widely slated for cynically linking the “death culture” he said was perpetuated by gays and lesbians with the massacre of 34 protesting miners in Marikana.

Another prominent South African who attended the event was the Reverend Kevin Meshoe, head of the African Christian Democratic Party (ACDP).

Nigeria's Ambassador Uche Ajulu-Okeke signs the declaration (Twitter)

Nigeria’s Ambassador Uche Ajulu-Okeke signs the declaration (Twitter)

The ACDP is known for its anti-gay views. The party previously blocked LGBT-affirming motions in Parliament and voted against the passage of the Civil Union Bill that legalised same-sex marriage in 2006.

Nigeria’s ambassador to South Africa, Uche Ajulu-Okeke, shamefully also took part in the conference; a sign of disrespect to South Africa’s laws and its Constitution. Speaking to Vanguard, she warned that, “Youths should be sensitised on the dangers of homosexuality”.

Ajulu-Okeke went on to claim: “Many Nigerian youths abroad are now becoming gay because of economic inducement, either to legalise their documents or to get jobs and they bring back diseases like HIV/AIDS back to the country.”

Hendrik Baird, Station Manager of GaySA Radio, told Mambaonline that he was appalled that The Westin hotel had hosted the conference.

“After so many South African businesses refused to host Pastor Anderson when he was about to visit South Africa earlier this year, it is really disappointing that a known hate group is being hosted by a respected hotel in Cape Town,” he said.

“This raises the questions of if LGBTI people should choose to stay at that hotel in future,” Baird added.

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