Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute

Catholic Leader Resigns From Austin Ruse's Group Following Remarks About Shooting Professors

Not only did Austin Ruse lose his gig guest hosting at American Family Radio after calling for left-leaning professors to be shot, but he has now lost one of the board members of his lobbying organization, the Catholic Family & Human Rights Institute (C-FAM).

Yesterday, Faithful America launched a petition asking Monsignor Anthony Frontiero of the St. Joseph Cathedral in Manchester, New Hampshire, to resign from C-FAM’s board of directors. Today, Frontiero informed Faithful America in an email that he has resigned.

Besides Ruse, there are now just two members left of C-FAM’s board of directors: John O’Sullivan, a conservative columnist and former aide to Margaret Thatcher, and Robert Royal of the Faith and Reason Institute, a Catholic think tank.

Ruse apologized for his remarks on Friday, but only after going on a diatribe about how he had nothing to be sorry for and was being unfairly smeared by the left.

You can listen to Ruse’s original comments, in which he blamed women’s studies professors for a Duke University student’s decision to go public about her work in the pornography industry, here:

Before Talking About Shooting College Professors, Austin Ruse Wanted To 'Take Out' Hillary Clinton

Perhaps we shouldn’t have been surprised that Catholic Family & Human Rights Institute head Austin Ruse wanted to have liberal and women’s studies professors “taken out and shot,” as he once called for the murder of Hillary Clinton.

Back in 2001, Catholics for Choice released a report [PDF] on Ruse and his lobbying efforts at the United Nations, especially his campaign against the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women and the Beijing Platform for Action, which he dubbed the work of “radical feminists.”

The report notes that in a 2000 address to the Cardinal Mindszenty Foundation, Ruse told a story about talking to a Catholic priest about killing Clinton: “Hillary [Clinton] is the ‘conquering queen’ at the United Nations…I was standing on the floor of the UN a couple of months ago, when she was thinking about running, and I was talking to a priest from the Holy See delegation and — I shouldn’t tell you this but he offered me guaranteed absolution if I just took her out — and not on a date.”

Catholics for Choice adds that Ruse sees his conflict with “radical feminists” in “terms of war and attacks and battles”:

Its values and the way in which it promotes them have a negative impact on international policy discourse, especially the efforts of NGOs and governments to work more closely for the development and implementation of public policies on social issues. Perhaps most disturbing is the warlike mindset that permeates [Catholic Family & Human Rights Institute’s] thinking and actions. It is of course very shocking that such a mindset should exist within the Holy See delegation, where, according to Ruse, a priest member of the delegation suggested to him that he should “take out” Hillary Rodham Clinton. It is hard to believe that a member of the Catholic clergy would even joke about such things, but why would Austin Ruse lie about such things?



Suggestions of this kind emerge when groups or individuals see value conflicts in absolutist terms; when they believe God is on their side. The values and ideas of the “other”—who is demonized—need to be crushed. Note how frequently and passionately Austin Ruse talks about this conflict in terms of war and attacks and battles:

My friends, we are in a war….this war is being fought exclusively in quiet and carpeted room at international fora in Rome, Istanbul, Cairo, Beijing, and Rio. I believe one day these place names should be recognized as battlefields just like Bunker Hill, Normandy and Khe San for they are the sites of major battles in this war…

…In the summer of 361 B.C., a Theban general gathered an army of 60,000 freemen, yeoman farmers, a democratic army of citizens…Their victory came almost all at once and their victory rocked the ancient world.

Long under attack by her enemies, the family seems now to be disintegrating all around us….I will focus on one institution with which I am most familiar, the United Nations, an institution that is increasingly at the forefront of the attack on the family.

It was a windowless office where UN negotiators held something called informals...It is the room where the battles are won and lost.

American Family Association Cuts Ties With Austin Ruse After He Called For Professors To Be Shot

UPDATE: Even though Austin Ruse spent yesterday’s broadcast insisting that wouldn’t back down from his comments that left-wing professors should be “taken out and shot” because he wasn’t serious and his critics are all “dumb” “pajama boys,” today he told Talking Points Memo that he is now sorry: “I deeply regret and apologize for using the expression 'taken out and shot' on the Sandy Rios Show this week. It was not intended to be taken literally. I have dedicated my life and career to ending violence. I regret that these poorly chosen words are being used to attack my friends at American Family Radio and American Family Association.”

Austin Ruse, who regularly filled in as a guest host for American Family Radio’s Sandy Rios, has lost his gig after we reported Wednesday on his call for liberal professors to be “taken out and shot.” Ruse is a leading Religious Right activist who heads the Catholic Family & Human Rights Institute (C-Fam) and is a writer for conservative outlets such as Breitbart News and The Daily Caller.

The day after we posted the audio, Ruse lashed out at Right Wing Watch and defended his comments, which you can listen to here:

Yesterday, Ruse deactivated his Twitter account “due to leftist swarm” and the American Family Association, which runs American Family Radio, removed audio episodes of the Wednesday and Thursday broadcasts from its website. On today’s edition of Sandy Rios In The Morning, AFR host Dan Celia filled in.

On its Facebook page today, AFR said that Ruse “is no longer on the air with us and will not be filling in on AFR in the future.”

The group also said, “AFR condemns such comments, no matter who makes them.”

The American Family Association’s decision to break with Ruse is unusual since it claims that its radio show hosts – including Bryan Fischer, who is the group’s own spokesman and hosts AFR’s flagship talk showdo not speak on behalf of the group.

AFA insists that Fischer’s commentary, including racist remarks and a defense of Native American genocide that the group tried to expunge from its website, do not reflect the AFA’s views.

While the AFA cut loose Ruse, who was only a guest host, it appears to have no problem allowing Fischer to continue to serve as the public face of the organization while insisting that his bigoted views should in no way reflect upon the AFA.

UPDATE II: AFR also said his comments were “un-Christian.”

Austin Ruse: Right Wing Watch Is Trying To Shut Me Up By Quoting Me Verbatim

Austin Ruse is upset that we reported on comments he made yesterday on Sandy Rios In The Morning, the American Family Association radio program he is guest hosting, where he said that “the hard left, human-hating people that run modern universities,” especially the women’s studies departments, “should all be taken out and shot.” Ruse, who heads the Catholic Family & Human Rights Institute (C-Fam), spent yesterday and today lashing out at critics on Twitter, saying liberals are “dumb,” “stupid” and “idiots.”

Ruse started today’s show by explaining that his remarks yesterday weren’t serious and that liberals should “turn to Wikipedia or the Internet, I don’t know if they know how to use the Internet.”

“The pajama boys over at Right Wing Watch have their panties all in a twist about what I said, and I sometimes think that the left is really dumb, these are the low-information voters that make all of these mistakes when they get into the ballot box and all of these mistakes as they go through their lives and one of the reasons is because they are so dumb,” he said.

After calling liberals “dumb” and “pajama boys,” he then criticized them as “smear merchants” who “call [people] names” and want to shut him up.

“These people, these dumb leftists, are really smear merchants, they’re out to hurt, to harm, to isolate,” Ruse said. “They don’t like me, they don’t like you, they don’t like your children, they don’t like anything about you and they want you to basically shut up and go away…. It’s quite astounding what these folks are able to get away with and it’s also astounding how dumb they are.”

Austin Ruse Says Left-Wing University Professors 'Should All Be Taken Out And Shot'

While filling in today for American Family Radio host Sandy Rios, Austin Ruse commented on the media frenzy surrounding a Duke University freshman who announced that she is a porn actress.

Ruse, who leads the ultraconservative Catholic Family & Human Rights Institute (C-Fam), promptly blamed the college’s women’s studies department and said that “the hard left, human-hating people that run modern universities” should “all be taken out and shot.”

That is the nonsense that they teach in women’s studies at Duke University, this is where she learned this. The toxic stew of the modern university is gender studies, it’s “Sex Week,” they all have “Sex Week” and teaching people how to be sex-positive and overcome the patriarchy. My daughters go to a little private religious school and we pay an arm and a leg for it precisely to keep them away from all of this kind of nonsense. I do hope that they go to a Christian college or university and to keep them so far away from the hard left, human-hating people that run modern universities, who should all be taken out and shot.

Pussy Riot's American Detractors

Two members of the feminist punk band Pussy Riot, who in 2012 were sentenced to two years in a penal colony for staging a protest in a cathedral, were detained again in Sochi, Russia, today. The two were released after a few hours, during which they say that they were beaten by police .

While people across the world have held up the Pussy Riot prosecution as an example of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s human rights abuses, the group has had some strong detractors in the American right. Just as with Russia’s recent crackdown on LGBT people, the ordeal of Pussy Riot has divided the American conservative movement. While Texas senator Ted Cruz, a Tea Party hero, last month criticized the prosecution of the band (whose name he nevertheless wouldn’t say), some of his allies on the Religious Right have cheered Putin on.

Shortly after the sentencing of Pussy Riot’s members, Janice Shaw Crouse of Concerned Women for America – also a board member of the Rockford, Illinois-based World Congress of Families – wrote a column arguing that the band was guilty of “religious bigotry” and should “accept responsibility for [their] actions.” At a World Congress of Families event earlier this month, Crouse repeated that she had “no problem whatsoever” with the Pussy Riot prosecution.

The Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute (C-FAM), a close ally of the World Congress of Families that works to oppose gay rights and reproductive rights advances at the United Nations, has repeatedly defended the Pussy Riot prosecution on its blog, calling them a "small group of female hooligans" and comparing them to 1960s political "terrorists."

Conservative columnist Pat Buchanan also defended Putin’s actions against Pussy Riot, praising the Russian president for “trying to re-establish the Orthodox Church as the moral compass of the nation it had been for 1,000 years before Russia fell captive to the atheistic and pagan ideology of Marxism.”

The American Family Association’s Bryan Fischer praised Putin’s supposed protection of “Christian values,” calling him a “lion of Christianity.”

As we discuss in our “Globalizing Homophobia” report, the anti-gay part of Putin’s agenda has caught the imagination of American social conservatives, who have rallied to support the Russian president’s defense of “Christian values.”

Putin’s targeting of Pussy Riot is closely linked to this crackdown on gay rights that has been enthusiastically embraced by American conservatives. Both are part of a broader campaign to stir up popular sentiment against minority rights: On the very same day that the Russian parliament passed its infamous “homosexual propaganda” ban, it also responded to the Pussy Riot controversy by imposing an anti-blasphemy law that imposes a three-year prison sentence for “offending religious sensibilities.”

Anti-Choice Columnist Calls Out Fellow Religious Right Activists For Israel Hypocrisy

Religious Right activists often claim that they will never be silent about “Nazi” abortion rights …that is, unless those rights exist in Israel. We noted last week that Israel’s decision to expand public funding for abortion coverage was met with crickets from many American anti-choice groups that also embrace Christian Zionism and accuse President Obama of being unfriendly to Israel.

These organizations, of course, would have erupted with rage if the Obama administration had even contemplated implementing a similar policy.

In a column today, a writer at the conservative Catholic website Aleteia calls out U.S abortion rights opponents for responding to Israel’s new policy “with little comment or condemnation,” wondering if they either “missed the story” or think “abortion in Israel just doesn’t matter.”

Aleteia’s Mark Gordon writes that in order to be consistent, the same anti-choice movement that demands a ban on government funds for abortion coverage and groups like Planned Parenthood in the U.S. should also call for the end of U.S. aid to Israel: “American taxpayers should not be put in the position of underwriting the culture of death. But if that’s true of Obamacare – and it is – then shouldn’t it be true for American foreign aid?”

American pro-life and pro-family groups responded to the December announcement with little comment or condemnation. Lifesitenews.com chose to run an anodyne report on the policy change, but not editorialize. The Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute (C-FAM), whose mission is to “defend life and family at international institutions and to publicize the debate,” had nothing to say. The same was true for National Right to Life, Priests for Life, the American Life League and most others.

Dr. Charmaine Yoest, head of Americans United for Life, did note in a statement that “Unborn lives are rich with possibilities and worth saving and government should never be used to harm life and harm women.” The Family Research Council’s Arina Grossu agreed, saying, “No government should invest its money into killing its own citizens.” She also predicted that Israeli government funding would only result in more abortions in that country.” On the other hand, Liberty Counsel, “an international nonprofit litigation, education, and policy organization dedicated to advancing religious freedom, the sanctity of life, and the family,” told its members on January 9, “there has never been a more critical time for you to show your support to Israel and its Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu!” Either someone at Liberty Counsel missed the story or abortion in Israel just doesn’t matter.

Representative Chris Smith (R-NJ), chair of the Congressional Pro-Life Caucus, declined to comment, but perhaps that’s understandable. In addition to his pro-life work, Smith is a charter member of the Israel Allies Foundation (IAF). Formed in 2006, IAF is a kind of institutional link between the US Congress and the Israeli Knesset. Smith, a Catholic, is also the House sponsor of a wonderful bill titled “The Abortion Insurance Full Disclosure Act of 2013.” The measure is intended introduce much-needed transparency to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare. If passed, Smith’s bill would force insurers to notify their insured whether abortion is or isn’t covered, and whether any surcharges or other fees are used to pay for abortions. In presenting his bill, Smith wrote, “Obamacare’s abortion mandate violates federal law and makes taxpayers complicit in the culture of death.”

Smith is right, of course. American taxpayers should not be put in the position of underwriting the culture of death. But if that’s true of Obamacare – and it is – then shouldn’t it be true for American foreign aid? Israel receives about $3 billion each year from American taxpayers. About 74% of that is returned to the United States in the form of contracts with American weapons manufacturers. But given the fungible nature of money, and since Israel would buy weapons with money from its own treasury in the absence of aid, the current arrangement amounts to American funding of Israeli abortions.

US Conservative Groups Supported Nigerian Anti-Gay Law That Led to Wave of Arrests

The Associated Press is reporting that “dozens of gay men” have been arrested in northern Nigeria as a result of a new law strengthening the country’s prohibition on homosexuality, in what public health groups fear will be a setback to efforts to fight AIDS.

LAGOS, Nigeria (AP) — Police, working off a list of 168 suspects purportedly obtained through torture, are arresting dozens of gay men in Nigeria's northern Bauchi state, human rights activists said Tuesday.

A new law in Nigeria, dubbed the "Jail the Gays" bill, is encouraging the persecution of gays and will endanger programs fighting HIV-AIDS in the gay community, said Dorothy Aken'Ova, executive director of Nigeria's International Center for Reproductive Health and Sexual Rights.

On Monday, President Goodluck Jonathan's office confirmed that the Nigerian leader signed the Same Sex Marriage Prohibition Act that criminalizes gay marriage, gay organizations and anyone working with or promoting them.

CBS notes that “sodomy has been illegal in Nigeria for many years...in some parts of Nigeria’s Muslim-majority north where strict Sharia law is upheld, gays and lesbians risk being stoned to death if they are caught.”

This seems like a good time, then, to look back at the American religious right’s support for Nigeria’s harsh penalties for its LGBT residents and opposition to Obama administration efforts to protect LGBT rights abroad.

In 2011, when then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton announced that the Obama administration would work to protect LGBT rights abroad – including in places like Nigeria that criminalize homosexuality -- the religious right exploded in anger. Pat Robertson called the policy “appalling” and warned of God’s wrath in response. Radio host Janet Mefferd cited Nigeria’s anti-gay laws in a rant against the Obama administration’s policy, saying “I don’t see that this is something that the United States has to jump in on because it’s such a huge global tragedy. It’s crazy.” The Catholic Family & Human Rights Institute also cited Nigeria’s move to tighten criminal sanctions on homosexuality in its opposition to the Obama administration policy.

Liberty Counsel’s Matt Barber, the anti-gay group MassResistance, and Family Watch International’s Sharon Slater have also supported Nigeria’s anti-gay laws at various stages.

We wonder if any of these groups will comment about this wave of arrests.

Austin Ruse Uncovers 'The Real Lives Of Gay Men'

C-FAM president and Putin admirer Austin Ruse knows all about what it means to be gay. Just kidding, we meant to write that Ruse knows nothing about it but will happily quote from an article by a self-described “refugee from the homosexual insane asylum” to scare straight readers about the supposed perils of homosexuality.

In a story in Crisis Magazine entitled “The Real Lives of Gay Men,” Ruse uncovers some shocking details. For example, he learns that anal intercourse has a higher preponderance among same-sex couples than opposite-sex couples.

Ruse, of course, writes out of love for gay men because “not caring about what happens to gay men is like not caring about prison rape.”

Not caring about what happens to gay men is like not caring about prison rape. Prisoners are our brothers, too, and so are gay men. We must care deeply about the abuse of our brothers in prison and we must care deeply about the lives led by our gay brothers.

Prison rape seems a world away from us, a subject we try not to think about, yet it is rampant, dehumanizing and deadly dangerous. In the same way, we avert our gaze from the lives led by gay men. Certainly ignoring the lives of gay men is what the paladins of the gay movement want us to do. If others peek behind the curtain of the white-picket-fence-homosexuality they have built up for public consumption, support for the movement would wither and probably die.

I do not equate sex between gay men and prison rape. I draw the parallel simply to compare how we look away from certain things and act as if the subjects of those acts are not part of us, part of society, part of the human family. The active gay man and the prisoner are our brothers and we have to be concerned with both. But we quite deliberately look away from the reality of both.



Recently I was reading an excellent manuscript of an upcoming book by long-time Crisis Magazine contributor Robert Reilly on how the gay movement has moved through our institutions and our culture. He references a 2006 essay by a man named Ronald G. Lee who described himself as “a refugee from the homosexual insane asylum.” Lee lived as an out and active gay man for going on three decades and what he describes is not only insane but also deeply heartbreaking. Lee was lied to before he came out of the closet. He was lied to the whole time he lived the gay way of life. He was lied to each and every day. What was the lie? That gay men are interested in sexually monogamous relationships.



The ugly reality Lee discovered his whole gay life was that this way of life is almost wholly about sex and plenty of it. Even supposedly stable relationships, the ones we read about in the New York Times, are largely facades. A gay man once told me he was in a long-time relationship but they never had sex anymore, just masturbated in front of porn with lots of action outside the relationship. He said this was typical. Lee says so, too, and so does the research.



Reilly quotes psychiatrist Dr. Jeffrey Santinover in Homosexuality and the Politics of Truth that “The typical homosexual (needless to say there are exceptions) is a man who has frequent episodes of anal intercourse with other men, often with many different men. These episodes are 13 times more frequent than heterosexuals’ acts of anal intercourse, with 12 times as many different partners as heterosexuals.”



Such relationships are not spousal in any way, shape or form and this is what Ronald Lee found in his decades long search for real love, for a relationship that would fit into any notion of Christian sexual ethics.



Some have said gays act out promiscuously because they have internalized homophobia, that they were “forced to look for love in dimly lit bars, bathhouses, and public parks for fear of harassment at the hands of the homophobic mainstream.” Lee answers, “But 35 years have passed since the infamous Stonewall riots of 1969 in New York…. During that time, homosexuals have carved out for themselves public spaces in every major American city, and many of the minor ones as well. They have had the chance to create whatever they wanted in those spaces, and what have they created? New spaces for locating sexual partners.”

Religious Right Leaders Defend Russia's Anti-Gay Law

As Miranda reported earlier, House Speaker John Boehner’s office stepped in to provide space to the anti-gay Howard Center for Family, Religion & Society for its symposium on what Americans should learn from other countries when it comes to “family policy.” Sen. Mark Kirk, who had originally sponsored the group for a room, withdrew his support last night saying he doesn’t affiliate with groups that discriminate.

The Howard Center’s Allan Carlson, who described himself as a historian by training, saw fascism at work: “The parallel I see here is what happened in Italy, Germany, other lands in the 1920s and 1930s as fascism began to impose its fear-driven grip on debate, on conversation, and on policy-making.”

[UPDATE: Concerned Women of America has posted videos of the event]

Janice Crouse of Concerned Women for America boasted about having been a speaker at all but one of the World Congress of Families summits – annual events organized by the Howard Center and attended by conservative religious activists from around the world. Crouse acknowledged that “things don’t look so good” to activists watching the advance of same-sex marriage in Europe and the U.S., and public opinion in many countries shifting to “quote LGBT rights.”  But, she said that’s not the whole story, and praised countries that have outlawed gay marriage and other groups of citizens who are “with the help of God” changing the world.

Crouse is particularly excited about what is happening among opponents of marriage equality in France, which she portrays as a “David v. Goliath” battle of plucky pro-family activists fighting the French government and media. She mentioned activists in Spain, Trinidad & Tobago, and Nigeria. She encouraged the small number of attendees to “take heart” and count on the power of truth and faithfulness.

Austin Ruse, the enthusiastically anti-gay head of the Catholic Family & Human Rights Institute, devoted much of his remarks to supporting Russia’s new anti-free-speech and anti-gay propaganda law.  He read from a statement of support from “pro-family groups” defending Russia’s new law. The letter claims that “the Russian law protects the innocence of children and the basic rights of their parents recognized in the international legislation and treaties.”  More from the letter:

With its new law Russia is protecting genuine and universally recognized human rights against artificial and fabricated “values” aggressively imposed in many modern societies….We thus call for respect of the sovereignty of the Russian people and we invite all organizations and people who feel responsible for the protection of the innocence of children and their rights, the natural family and parental rights to stand up for Russia, as well as for Ukraine and Moldova suffering the same pressure due to similar laws.

Ruse, who has been spending time in Russia to prepare for the World Congress of Families 2014 summit, being held in Moscow, said western LGBT rights advocates were guilty of overheated rhetoric and “propaganda” about the status of gays in Russia. He saw gays everywhere in Moscow! They can enjoy themselves “hassle-free” at clubs.  Russians, he said, accept that homosexuality exists, but they believe the political movement to celebrate and regularize it is harmful to children.

Speakers actually seemed envious of Russia in some ways.  Ruse said that with the resurgence of the Russian Orthodox Church, “Christians over there are truly dominant.” In the U.S., though, there is “an increasingly hostile atmosphere toward people with traditional values” and a “vicious totalitarianism that is loose in the land.” And “there’s more trouble coming” with the Employment Non Discrimination Act.  Crouse said American gay-rights activists are “turning into thugs who are destroying freedom of speech, destroying religious liberty.” It’s very “refreshing,” she said, to see that’s not the case in other countries.

Ruse acknowledged that anti-gay violence and thuggery is a problem in Russia. He denounced such violence and said he has urged Russian officials to do more to stop it. But when he was asked whether the conversation about the anti-gay propaganda law and protecting children from gay people might encourage such violence, he said anti-gay violence in Russia has been going on for a long time and didn’t think the new law was to blame. And he said blaming religious conservatives for creating a climate of hate is a tactic of gay-rights groups, a “maneuver to silence people.” 

Carlson said he cuts Russia a lot of slack because the country is “trying to put decent moral society back together” after both Communism and some of the “bad things” – like a “libertine approach to sexuality” – that poured into Russia from the west after the fall of Communism.

Anti-Gay Groups Shunned By Mark Kirk Get Last-Minute Help From Speaker Boehner

A Capitol Hill event featuring groups that push anti-gay laws abroad, which was scheduled to take place in a Senate office building today, developed a layer of unexpected intrigue last night when the event’s organizers sent out an email announcing that the meeting would be moved to a House building after the unnamed “senator who was sponsoring our room” canceled the room “due to media pressure.”

It turned out that the senator in question was Illinois’ Mark Kirk (home-state senator of the event’s organizer the World Congress of Families), and that the “media pressure” was Buzzfeed’s Lester Feder simply calling up his office to ask about it. Kirk’s office immediately dropped the event and announce that “Sen. Kirk doesn’t affiliate with groups that discriminate.”

WCF responded by announcing that “obviously Senator Kirk doesn’t care about families and children and freedom and has chosen to side with the policies of decline, death and disease promoted by the Sexual Radicals.”

To the rescue came none other than Speaker Boehner, whom World Congress of Families president Allan Carlson thanked for providing the group with its new Capitol Hill digs. Boehner’s spokesman nevertheless distanced his boss from the group in a statement to Feder: “This administrative task obviously does not imply endorsement of any particular point of view.”

All of this drama then became a central focus of the event, which was billed as a discussion on what the U.S. can learn from “family policy lessons from other lands.”

Carlson kicked off the event by announcing, “A great fear seems to be descending on what was once called the world’s greatest deliberative body” and saying that Kirk’s pulling the plug on the event’s room reminded him of the early days of fascism in Europe.

[UPDATE: Concerned Women of America has posted videos of the event]

Another speaker, Concerned Women for America’s Janice Shaw Crouse, who is also on WCF’s board of directors, blamed the change of plans on “a group of radicals” – an odd accusation since there had been no organized effort to prevent the event from taking place.

Finally, Catholic Family & Human Rights Institute’s Austin Ruse declared that Sen. Kirk’s action made him less friendly to free speech than Russia – whose law criminalizing pro-gay-rights speech has the vocal support of C-FAM and WCF .

UPDATE: Peter has a post on the summit speakers' defense of Russia's anti-gay laws.

C-FAM: UN 'Sexual Radicals' Are 'Coming For Your Daughters and Sons'

Last week, Republican members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee invited Susan Yoshihara, a vice president at the Catholic Family & Human Rights Institute (C-FAM) to testify at a hearing against the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

This was notable because, while the disabilities treaty has support from prominent mainstream Republicans, C-FAM is the kind of group that warns that ratification of the treaty would allow the UN to at any moment swoop in and snatch American kids who wear glasses.

That’s because C-FAM’s primary purpose is to incite right-wing panic over the very existence of the United Nations, primarily its work to improve the lives of women and gay people and to combat sexually transmitted diseases. So, when the UN Population Fund released a report this week “linking adolescent pregnancy to an underlying failure to fulfill young women's human rights” and discussing ways to fight teen pregnancy throughout the world through measures like combatting child marriage and ensuring access to contraception, C-FAM responded by sending an email to its supporters announcing “They’re coming for your daughters and sons.”

“The sexual radicals have your children, MY CHILDREN, in their crosshairs,” writes C-FAM’s president Austin Ruse. “This new report by one of the most powerful UN agencies in the world tells governments that your children must have UN-style family planning. That means pills, injections, IUDs and the whole panoply of evil devices that will ruin their bodies and take their souls. And if all these evil devices fail? Well, there is abortion, always abortion, everywhere abortion.”

“Why do they want our sons and daughters?” Ruse asks. “Because it is faith-families who are the best line of defense against their global agenda of population control and sexual deviancy.”

Ruse adds that he is happy to have earned the enmity of reproductive rights organizations because “They are the enemy of all that is good and true so we celebrate when they hate us because they hated Christ first.”

We can’t wait for C-FAM to be invited to testify on this before Congress.

From: Austin Ruse

Subject: They're coming for your daughters and sons...

WHO WANTS OUR DAUGHTERS?

WHY DO THEY WANT OUR DAUGHTERS?

READ ON....

November 14, 2013

Dear Colleague,

The UN Population Fund has just released their annual State of the World Report and it is the worst possible news for girls and boys all over the world.

The sexual radicals have your children, MY CHILDREN, in their crosshairs.

This new report by one of the most powerful UN agencies in the world tells governments that your children must have UN-style family planning. That means pills, injections, IUDs and the whole panoply of evil devices that will ruin their bodies and take their souls.

And if all these evil devices fail? Well, there is abortion, always abortion, everywhere abortion.

The sexual radicals want to get your sons and daughters involved with these things by imposing on them what is called "sexuality education." Forgive my language, but they want your kids looking at pornographic images, masturbating and having sex at earlier and earlier ages.

Why do they want our sons and daughters? Because it is faith-families who are the best line of defense against their global agenda of population control and sexual deviancy. The way to undermine faith-filled families is to target kids and target them at 8, 9, 10 years old.

I ask you to look above this text and gaze into the innocent faces of those school girls kneeling and singing their prayers. The sexual radical despise this. They hate it. They know they cannot overcome this except by lies, and by force and by coercion.

We can stop them. We really can.

UNFPA and its wicked allies like Catholics for Choice have attacked C-FAM and the Friday Fax for years and years. They hate us and how happy we are about that. They are the enemy of all that is good and true so we celebrate when they hate us because they hated Christ first.

We can stop them, but not without your help. In the next 48 hours we will release our Friday Fax report on the new UN report targeting kids. This will be the first time any of our friends around the world will know about this report. In fact, if we did not report on it, faith-filled people around the world would never know about it. And how dangerous that would be!

The Friday Fax plays a vital role as the Watchman on the Wall, telling the world about really goes on at the UN. I get notes of profuse thanks from Africa, Asia, Latin American, tiny islands in the Pacific Ocean. I get emails from rural homes in the poorest parts of the world. And they all say the same thing. Thank you for exposing the truth!
Knowledge is the first line of defense. The evil one and his minions do not want you to know what he is doing. Hah, I say. We will tell everyone about the evil you are doing to little bodies and little souls.

...

You can give from any country in the world and you do not have to be Catholic to give. We fight for all babies and all families! Evangelical families are under devilish attack in Latin American. We fight for them, too.

They are coming after your daughters, your grand-daughters and your sons and grand-sons but we can stop them. You cannot do what we do but you can help us do our work. Please go to www.c-fam.org/contribute and give as much as you can.

Yours sincerely,

Austin Ruse
President


 

Austin Ruse Wonders Why Gay Rights Movement Isn't 'Embarrassed' By Transgender People

Austin Ruse, president of the Catholic Family & Human Rights Institute (C-FAM) responded to the Senate’s passage of the Employment Nondiscrimination Act with a column in Crisis magazine today declaring that ENDA will lead to “quotas for transsexuals” and force businesses to hire unqualified transgender workers: “They don’t even have to know how to type as long as they have lopped off their penises or at least wear dresses.”

All of which got Ruse to wondering why the “totalitarian” gay rights movement isn’t “embarrassed by the T in LGBT,” or what he calls “displays of obvious psychological disturbances.”

Race hustlers everywhere know exactly where this is headed, toward self-imposed quotas by businesses large and small. The only way a business can inoculate itself against charges of discriminatory hiring practices is to hire the aggrieved class no matter what. If pushed by the Justice Department, Hobby Lobby’s only line of defense would be to trot out the transsexuals. They don’t even have to know how to type as long as they have lopped off their penises or at least wear dresses.

One of the truly strange things about the gay-rights movement is how free they are with their strangest cousins. You would think that even gay men and lesbians might be rather embarrassed by the T in LGBT. But so bold are they, so fearless, that they now lead with the T. Most Americans are rightly put off by such displays of obvious psychological disturbances.

The bill that just passed the US Senate was met with no genuine objection even by conservative Senators, so cowed are they by the new totalitarians of the sexual left. The bill now moves to the House of Representatives where there are more spines, one hopes.

Also today, Ruse gave an interview to the Catholic website Aleteia about a year-old report on rising STI rates in the U.S., from which Ruse concluded that “the sexual revolution has been tried and shown to be an utter failure” and that those who don’t agree with him “are as willfully blind as the most hard-line Stalinists ever were.”

“The evidence is overwhelming,” says Austin Ruse, president of the Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute (C-FAM). “The sexual revolution has been tried and shown to be an utter failure. The body count and the diseases continue to rise. Marriages and families are destroyed.”

“The only ones who do not see this are the ideologists who refuse to see the empirical evidence. They are as willfully blind as the most hard-line Stalinists ever were. And they keep asking for more and more of the same.”
 

Fringe Activists Take Center Stage At Senate Hearing On Disabilities Treaty

Yesterday, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee held a hearing on the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, which the Senate failed to ratify last year thanks to a startlingly successful religious-right scare campaign.

Showing just how radical the opposition to the treaty is, nearly every witness testifying on behalf of the treaty was a Republican. Pro-treaty witnesses included Republican senators Mark Kirk and Kelly Ayotte, former Republican congressman and Bush homeland security secretary Tom Ridge and former Republican governor and attorney general Dick Thornburgh. Ayotte read a statement from former Republican senator and presidential candidate Bob Dole in support of the treaty, and former Republican senator Bill Frist lent his voice in support of the treaty in a Reuters op-ed published yesterday morning.

The fact that the treaty has wide support from mainstream Republicans left its opponents on the Foreign Relations Committee to reach into the right-wing fringe to find witnesses to testify against ratification.

Susan Yoshihara, vice president of the Catholic Family & Human Rights Institute focused her testimony on her fear that the treaty’s protection for “sexual and reproductive health” would promote access to abortions – a major concern for a group dedicated to fighting protections for gay people and reproductive rights around the world.

Yoshihara’s claim has been thoroughly debunked, including by a major anti-choice group, and was debunked again by Frist in his op-ed:

The relevant provisions in the treaty regarding sexual and reproductive health demand nondiscrimination for persons with disabilities.

In many parts of the world, people with disabilities, regardless of age, are believed to be sexually immature or inactive. The assumption can make them targets for rape and other sexual crimes while, at the same time, gynecologic and obstetrical care are withheld and considered inappropriate and unnecessary. In other cases, they are forcibly sterilized or forced to have abortions, simply because they have a disability.

The treaty’s “sexual and reproductive health” language is a necessary provision to protect these people. It does not define services — a ratifying country’s existing law provides the definition. The agreement simply demands that those with disabilities not be denied any treatments based on their disability.

It does not create any new services not previously available or legally sanctioned in an adopting country.

Meanwhile, Michael Farris of the Home School Legal Defense Association continued what Frist called his “impressive fear campaign” claiming that the treaty would somehow endanger the rights of American homeschoolers. Last year, Farris went so far as to claim that the treaty would allow the U.N. to come into American homes and seize children with glasses. At yesterday’s hearing, he claimed that a case involving a homeschooling German family that was denied asylum in the U.S. means that the Obama administration is hostile to homeschooling and would somehow us the disabilities treaty to overturn U.S. homeschooling laws.

In an exchange with Sen. Dick Durbin, Farris was unable to explain how the treaty, which is based on the already-implemented Americans with Disabilities Act and would require no changes to American laws, would in fact destroy homeschooling. 

“I struggle with the thought that we are going to stop this effort to extend the rights of the disabled around the world for fear of something which you can’t even clearly articulate when it comes to homeschooling,” Durbin responded.

Former senator Rick Santorum also revived his role in opposing the treaty yesterday, sending out an email claiming, absurdly, that the convention "threatens U.S. sovereignty and parental rights, and if ratified, it would effectively put us under international law when it comes to parenting our special needs children." Needless to say, none of those claims has any basis in reality.

Right-Wing Groups Gear Up To Oppose Disability Rights Treaty, Again

Last December, former Republican senator and presidential candidate Bob Dole took to the Senate floor in a wheelchair to urge his former colleagues to ratify the Convention on the Rights of Persons With Disabilities (CRPD), a United Nations treaty that would encourage countries around the world to emulate the United States’ protections for the rights of the disabled.

The treaty fell six votes short of the 2/3 majority it needed for passage, thanks to an intense lobbying effort by Religious Right groups that warned – against all evidence – that the treaty would threaten U.S. sovereignty, impede the rights of homeschoolers, expand abortion rights and allow the UN to seize children with glasses from their families.

Now, the fight is set to start over again. The Senate Foreign Relations Committee has scheduled a hearing on the treaty for tomorrow, and once again the extremist right is gearing up to defeat it by spreading myths about CRPD’s true purpose and effects.

The first sign of what is to come is that Susan Yoshihara of the Catholic Family & Human Rights Institute (C-FAM) has been called as a witness for Tuesday’s hearing. C-FAM is a far-right group dedicated to defeating gay rights and reproductive health measures at the UN. Most recently, the group has made headlines for vocally defending Russia’s ban on gay-rights speech , a law that C-FAM’s president Austin Ruse said “most of the people in the United States” would agree with. C-FAM opposes UN efforts to prevent violence against LGBT people, an effort for which it has found its strongest allies in Islamic countries like Saudi Arabia and Pakistan.

C-FAM also stands against any UN public health initiatives that stray from an abstinence-only ideology. The group criticized UN HIV/AIDS guidelines that called for decriminalizing adultery, homosexuality and extramarital sex, claiming that decriminalization “would fuel the spread of HIV/AIDS.” The group also opposes efforts to combat HIV/AIDS through sex education and condom distribution, which it claims are merely ruses to “protect the sexual revolution.”

C-FAM’s opposition to the CRPD has centered on the myth that the treaty would expand abortion rights – a myth that even the anti-choice National Right to Life Committee has debunked and which Sen. John McCain called just plain “wrong.”

As the Senate considered the CRPD last year, Yoshihara warned that the treaty included protections for “sexual and reproductive health,” which she said meant the treaty would be “used to advance a right to abortion.” After the treaty fell short in the Senate, Yoshihara declared that “cooler heads prevailed,” fretting that “the text could be interpreted as including a right to abortion.”

Also gearing up to fight the CRPD is the Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA), which is renewing its warnings that the treaty, along with the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, would imperil homeschooling families in the United States, “override existing state laws” and “surrender our nation’s sovereignty to unelected bureaucrats.” An indication of HSLDA’s mode of operation is that the group’s founder Michael Farris has written a novel set in a future in which the United States has signed the Convention on the Rights of the Child, allowing the UN to snatch children from American homeschooling parents .

It is Farris who warned last year that the treaty would allow the UN to come in and take control of children who wear glasses or have ADHD. In an interview with the American Family Association’s Bryan Fischer, Farris claimed that the treaty could even empower doctors to kill disabled children. He even warned that the treaty would make the United States “an official socialist nation.”

Thanks in large parts to Farris’ efforts, rumors claims that the United States’ signing of the CRPD would endanger homeschooling became so pervasive that Democratic Sen. Chris Coons of Delaware was forced to confirm with the Department of Justice that “ratification of this treaty will not do anything to change existing American law, rules or enforcement on homeschooling” and that the treaty would not “ erode one iota of American sovereignty.”

HSLDA and Farris found a powerful ally in former senator and failed presidential candidate Rick Santorum, who warned that the treaty would lead to the deaths of children with disabilities like his daughter Bella.

Under Farris and Santorum’s leadership, the Religious Right rallied to oppose the CRPD last year. The Family Research Council’s Tony Perkins warned – with absolutely no basis – that under the treaty, “the global community could force America to sanction sterilization or abortion for the disabled–at taxpayer expense.” Phyllis Schlafly’s Eagle Forum included the treaty vote on its “bills to watch” list, and Schlafly warned that CRPD – and UN treaties as a whole – “override national sovereignty in pursuit of social engineering, feminist ideology, or merely busybody interference in a country’s internal affairs.”Concerned Women for America, Liberty Counsel, Eagle Forum and the American Family Association also joined the effort against ratification

While right-wing groups circulate irresponsible rumors about imaginary impacts of the CRPD, international disability rights advocates are left without an important tool for their work – the United States’ approval of international standards based on US law. The Senate now has a second chance to listen to common-sense voices of support for the treaty – including leading disability rights, civil rights and business groups – and reject the unhinged rhetoric that brought down the treaty last year.

Religious Right Activists Attack Jon Stewart For (Hypothetically) Discriminating Against Christians

Wendy Wright and Chelsen Vicari co-hosted Sandy Rios In The Morning this week, and used the opportunity to attack The Daily Show’s Jon Stewart for discriminating against Christians… in a hypothetical scenario that the two Religious Right activists invented.

Wright, the former head of Concerned Women for America who is now vice president of the Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute (C-FAM), was upset about a Daily Show segment from 2005 that poked fun of the “Christian persecution complex,” noting Christianity’s ascendency in the West following the conversion of Constantine I. Wright said she couldn’t understand why Stewart thinks “we are in charge and we are the oppressors,” referring to the Crusades as an instance in which Christians faced persecution. “I guess he never heard of the Crusades; the Crusades were actually defensive against the Muslim hordes,” she said.

Yes, that’s right, she cited the Crusades as an example of anti-Christian persecution.

She also spoke to Vicari, who like Wright used to work for CWA but now is with the Institute on Religion and Democracy, about Stewart’s recent interview with Malala Yousafzai.

Vicari was upset because she imagined that while Stewart and President Obama lauded Yousafzai, they wouldn’t have done so if she was shot while defending the rights of Christians.

I couldn’t, I just couldn’t see why there was such a disconnect between the way Jon Stewart was treating Malala for something very admirable, a girl’s right to an education, but he couldn’t stand up for the right to believe in Jesus Christ,” she said. I had this thought, Wendy, I thought, you know if Malala Yousafzai was a Christian standing up for girls’ rights to believe in Jesus Christ, would we still know her name? Would she receive all this praise that she’s getting from the international community? From our national leaders? The president just invited her to the White House on Friday. Would Jon Stewart have had her on his show? The answer is probably not and I have to ask the question, why that is?

Of course, Vicari has no idea if Stewart would have interviewed a girl who survived a shooting over her defense of Christians’ freedom of religion, but nevertheless she maintained that Stewart hypothetically discriminated against Christians.

Globalizing Homophobia, Part 1: How The American Right Came to Embrace Russia’s Anti-Gay Crackdown

This is the first post in a four-part series exploring how American right-wing groups have supported Russia’s recent spate of anti-gay laws and its crackdown on LGBT citizens.

This summer, as part of a larger effort to channel political dissatisfaction by scapegoating minorities, the Russian government escalated its crackdown on the rights of gay, lesbian, transgender and bisexual citizens. President Vladimir Putin and his allies found support and guidance in their anti-gay efforts from a group eager for an opportunity to notch some victories in the battle against LGBT freedom and equality: the American right.

On June 11, the Russian Duma passed a law banning “propaganda” about homosexuality to minors, essentially a gag rule criminalizing any advocacy for LGBT equality. (Moscow had already instituted a 100-year ban on gay pride parades.) Weeks later, on July 3, Putin signed a bill banning the adoption of Russian children by same-sex couples abroad and by single people in countries that allow marriage equality. Shortly afterward, a member of the Duma proposed a law that would revoke gay people’s custody of their biological children. The bill’s sponsor said in an interview that children would be better off in orphanages than with a gay mother or father.

Throughout this process, Russian gay rights groups reported a surge in anti-gay hate crimes. Journalist Julia Ioffe has documented some individual stories.

Russia’s crackdown on LGBT people comes amidst a broad crackdown on the rights of minorities and political dissenters or, in the words of one lawmaker, a campaign “to defend the rights of the majority.” On the same day the Duma passed its ban on gay “propaganda,” it also approved a harsh anti-blasphemy law promising jail time for “offending religious feelings.” The blasphemy measure was meant to strenghthen the laws that led to the political prosecution of the feminist punk band Pussy Riot, whose members were sentenced to two years in a penal colony for a performance that was deemed to offend “religious sensibilities.”

Russia’s repression of LGBT people and the Pussy Riot case have provoked an international outcry, intensified by the  the country’s role as the host of next year’s winter Olympics.

But throughout all this, one group has cheered on Putin’s actions: the American Religious Right and its international allies.

Even as tensions have grown between Russia and the United States, several Religious Right leaders have spoken loudly in favor of Putin’s crackdowns on gay people and political dissenters:

  • Conservative commentator and former Republican presidential candidate Pat Buchanan praised Putin for “trying to re-establish the Orthodox Church as the moral compass of the nation” by going after gays and political dissent and suggested that the United States follow his lead.
  • The anti-feminist group Concerned Women for America hailed the Pussy Riot prosecution, saying that the band displayed an “utter lack of morality.”
  • Religious Right activist Bob Vander Plaats, whose Family Leader events in Iowa have become must-attends for Republican presidential candidates, praised Putin’s “decisive leadership” on anti-gay laws.
  • American Family Association spokesman Bryan Fischer declared that Russia’s gay “propaganda” ban was exactly the kind of “public policy that we’ve been advocating” and that, if anything, the ban didn’t go far enough.
  • Peter LaBarbera of Americans For Truth About Homosexuality praised the propaganda law, writing, “Russians do not want to follow America’s reckless and decadent promotion of gender confusion, sexual perversion, and anti-biblical ideologies to youth.”
  • Scott Lively, an American activist linked to Uganda’s push for the death penalty for gays, wrote that under Putin’s leadership, Russia has become a “beacon of freedom” while the U.S. has descended into a “gay version of the Soviet Union.” Lively also gave himself credit for “indirectly” assisting the ban on “homosexual propaganda,” calling it “one of the proudest achievements of my career.”
  • Vision America’s Rick Scarborough suggested that God would rebuke President Obama over his condemnation of Russia’s anti-gay crackdown, saying that Obama’s criticism of the propaganda law “puts our country in a very precarious place.”
  • Radio host Linda Harvey, head of the group Mission: America, praised the gay “propaganda” ban, declaring that any “responsible adult” would support it.
  • Rush Limbaugh praised Putin for “putting [his] foot down” against gay peoples’ “full-frontal assault on what has always been considered normalcy.”
  • Austin Ruse of the Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute (C-FAM) called the Russian law a “good thing” and claimed that “most of the people in the United States” would support a similar measure.
  • Larry Jacobs of the Illinois-based World Congress of Families hailed the propaganda law for “preventing [LGBT people] from corrupting children" and declared  that "the Russians might be the Christian saviors to the world."
  • Six American Religious Right groups, including the World Congress of FamiliesMission: America and C-FAM , joined an international coalition of right-wing groups in signing a statement supporting the anti-gay crackdown and condemning the international outrage against it.

American conservative groups haven’t just praised Russia’s crackdown on gays. Working through several channels, American anti-gay activists quietly provided intellectual backing and international support that directly and indirectly fueled the resurgent anti-gay movement in Russia and in other former Soviet states like Lithuania, Moldova and Ukraine.

In a series of posts today and tomorrow, we’ll look at how American activists influenced Russia’s anti-gay laws by funding anti-gay activism in Russia, testifying before the Duma, providing false research to fan the flames of anti-gay laws abroad, and building an international movement to back the harshest anti-gay laws around the world.

Six US Conservative Groups Sign Statement Supporting Russian 'Gay Propaganda' Ban

The Illinois-based World Congress of Families, which works to promote anti-gay and anti-choice legislation abroad, issued a press release today touting its participation in a worldwide network of conservative groups working to bolster Russia’s recent “gay propaganda” ban. The group has joined five other American organizations in signing on to a joint statement [PDF] supporting the law and condemning the related international outrage. Also signing the statement were the Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute, whose president Austin Ruse has spoken out in support of the Russian law; Mission: America, the group led by conservative radio personality Linda Harvey; GrasstopsUSA, a group linked to World Congress of Families spokesman Don Feder; the anti-choice Population Research Institute; and a Christian group called His Servants that sells such books as "An Ounce of Prevention -- Preventing the Homosexual Condition in Today's Youth." 

Interestingly, Feder and Harvey seem to have put aside their anti-Islam activism for the purpose of the statement, which was also signed by a handful of UK-based Islamic groups.

Here’s the text of the statement:

Statement by worldwide organizations in support of the Russian Federal Law On Protection of Children from Information Harmful to their Health and Development

The signing entities below are highly concerned about the heavy attacks that the Russian Federation is facing due to its recent Federal Law of June 29, 2013 No. 135-FZ “On Amendments to Article 5 of the Federal Law On Protection of Children from Information Harmful to their Health and Development …” that protects innocence and moral formation of children by prohibiting propaganda of "non-traditional sexual relationships" among them.

We affirm that the natural family created through the marriage of a man and a woman is the foundation of any human society and is entitled to protection by society and the State as stated in the international Human Rights norms, including Universal Declaration of Human Rights (Art. 16 (3)). Any harmful initiative for the natural family is destructive for the society as a whole. We also affirm that the children need special protection due to their innocence and immaturity.

We acknowledge that the Russian law protects the innocence of children and the basic rights of their parents recognized in the international legislation and treaties. With its new law Russia is protecting genuine and universally recognized human rights against artificial and fabricated "values" aggressively imposed in many modern societies. We also note that the concepts of “sexual orientation” and “gender identity” are not outlined in the existing binding international treaties and agreements.

We thus call for respect of the sovereignty of the Russian people and we invite all organizations and people who feel responsible for the protection of the innocence of children and their rights, the natural family and parental rights to stand up for Russia, as well as for Ukraine and Moldova suffering the same pressure due to similar laws.

Ruse: 'Most Of The People In The United States' Would Agree With Russia's Anti-Gay Law

C-FAM president Austin Ruse is standing by his firm defense of the Russian law criminalizing speech that is deemed “information about non-traditional sexual behavior” to minors, which he said would even have the support of the American public. While filling in for American Family Association talk show host Sandy Rios today, Ruse discussed the “homosexual propaganda” law that is part of a growing and violent crackdown on the Russia’s LGBT community, arguing that it is “a good thing that there are laws against proselytizing the homosexual lifestyle to school children.”

He then argued that most Americans would be just fine with a ban on pro-gay rights speech: “I dare say that most of the people listening right now and most of the people in the United States would say that it would be inappropriate to proselytize the homosexual lifestyle to school children and that’s what they are doing in Russia.”

Ruse even said that the law was a fair compromise for a parent who “does not believe that this way of life is appropriate or healthy and you do not want this presented in a positive manner to your children,” while on the other hand doesn’t believe “homosexuals should be discriminated against in an unjust way.”

Conservative Catholic C-FAM Wages 'War' on Choice, Gays, Free Speech

Conservative Catholics love to portray the advance of LGBT equality as an attack on religious liberty. And they feign a “live-and-let-live” philosophy by saying things like this poll-tested talking point used by everyone from NOM to Jim DeMint: “All Americans are free to live as they choose, but no one has the right to redefine marriage for all of us.” It’s not very believable, but it’s apparently the best they’ve got.

Well, now the Catholic Family & Human Rights Institute (C-FAM), a militantly anti-abortion and anti-gay group that works through the UN and other international agencies, isn’t even bothering with that liberty-loving façade. C-FAM is celebrating the draconian anti-gay law in Russia that makes it a crime even to publicly advocate for LGBT equality – and cheering the spread of similar laws in places like Lithuania and Moldova, where anti-gay hate machine Scott Lively has been pushing his poison.

An article in C-FAM’s July 25 alert crows, “Bans on Homosexual Propaganda Advance Despite Western Outrage.” The article gloats thatEastern European countries are following Russia's lead to protect children by curbing advocacy for ‘non-traditional’ sexual acts.”

C-FAM is feeling its oats this week. It has repeatedly sent an alert with the subject line, “War is Coming. You are Called.” The letter from C-FAM President Austin Ruse, written from the now-infamous Moscow airport, talks about a “war council” of European parliamentarians and UN officials that he has been meeting with behind closed doors to declare war on pro-choice advocates.

Ruse complains that “pro-abortion” governments like Belgium and the U.S. have blocked C-FAM from getting official UN recognition. But he says it hasn’t impeded their work, becausewe still have UN access wearing the badges of good friends like Family Research Council and Alliance Defending Freedom.”

Ruse is lining up his allies to win official UN recognition next January. But as of today, what he really needs is $22,000 to avert a “real financial catastrophe” and make this month’s payroll. Follow your heart.  

Syndicate content

Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute Posts Archive

Brian Tashman, Tuesday 03/18/2014, 11:10am
Not only did Austin Ruse lose his gig guest hosting at American Family Radio after calling for left-leaning professors to be shot, but he has now lost one of the board members of his lobbying organization, the Catholic Family & Human Rights Institute (C-FAM). Yesterday, Faithful America launched a petition asking Monsignor Anthony Frontiero of the St. Joseph Cathedral in Manchester, New Hampshire, to resign from C-FAM’s board of directors. Today, Frontiero informed Faithful America in an email that he has resigned. Besides Ruse, there are now just two members left of C-FAM’... MORE >
Brian Tashman, Friday 03/14/2014, 2:50pm
Perhaps we shouldn’t have been surprised that Catholic Family & Human Rights Institute head Austin Ruse wanted to have liberal and women’s studies professors “taken out and shot,” as he once called for the murder of Hillary Clinton. Back in 2001, Catholics for Choice released a report [PDF] on Ruse and his lobbying efforts at the United Nations, especially his campaign against the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women and the Beijing Platform for Action, which he dubbed the work of “radical feminists.” The report... MORE >
Brian Tashman, Friday 03/14/2014, 10:55am
UPDATE: Even though Austin Ruse spent yesterday’s broadcast insisting that wouldn’t back down from his comments that left-wing professors should be “taken out and shot” because he wasn’t serious and his critics are all “dumb” “pajama boys,” today he told Talking Points Memo that he is now sorry: “I deeply regret and apologize for using the expression 'taken out and shot' on the Sandy Rios Show this week. It was not intended to be taken literally. I have dedicated my life and career to ending violence. I regret that... MORE >
Brian Tashman, Thursday 03/13/2014, 12:40pm
Austin Ruse is upset that we reported on comments he made yesterday on Sandy Rios In The Morning, the American Family Association radio program he is guest hosting, where he said that “the hard left, human-hating people that run modern universities,” especially the women’s studies departments, “should all be taken out and shot.” Ruse, who heads the Catholic Family & Human Rights Institute (C-Fam), spent yesterday and today lashing out at critics on Twitter, saying liberals are “dumb,” “stupid” and “idiots.” Ruse started... MORE >
Brian Tashman, Wednesday 03/12/2014, 2:05pm
While filling in today for American Family Radio host Sandy Rios, Austin Ruse commented on the media frenzy surrounding a Duke University freshman who announced that she is a porn actress. Ruse, who leads the ultraconservative Catholic Family & Human Rights Institute (C-Fam), promptly blamed the college’s women’s studies department and said that “the hard left, human-hating people that run modern universities” should “all be taken out and shot.” That is the nonsense that they teach in women’s studies at Duke University, this is where she... MORE >
Miranda Blue, Tuesday 02/18/2014, 1:06pm
Two members of the feminist punk band Pussy Riot, who in 2012 were sentenced to two years in a penal colony for staging a protest in a cathedral, were detained again in Sochi, Russia, today. The two were released after a few hours, during which they say that they were beaten by police . While people across the world have held up the Pussy Riot prosecution as an example of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s human rights abuses, the group has had some strong detractors in the American right. Just as with Russia’s recent crackdown on LGBT people, the ordeal of Pussy Riot has... MORE >
Brian Tashman, Wednesday 01/15/2014, 1:30pm
Religious Right activists often claim that they will never be silent about “Nazi” abortion rights …that is, unless those rights exist in Israel. We noted last week that Israel’s decision to expand public funding for abortion coverage was met with crickets from many American anti-choice groups that also embrace Christian Zionism and accuse President Obama of being unfriendly to Israel. These organizations, of course, would have erupted with rage if the Obama administration had even contemplated implementing a similar policy. In a column today, a writer at the... MORE >
Miranda Blue, Tuesday 01/14/2014, 11:42am
The Associated Press is reporting that “dozens of gay men” have been arrested in northern Nigeria as a result of a new law strengthening the country’s prohibition on homosexuality, in what public health groups fear will be a setback to efforts to fight AIDS. LAGOS, Nigeria (AP) — Police, working off a list of 168 suspects purportedly obtained through torture, are arresting dozens of gay men in Nigeria's northern Bauchi state, human rights activists said Tuesday. A new law in Nigeria, dubbed the "Jail the Gays" bill, is encouraging the persecution of... MORE >