World Congress of Families Preps for African Conference with Supporters of Anti-Gay Laws, Opponents of Sex Ed

Anti-LGBTQ-equality activist Brian Brown at December 2016 press conference launching the International Organization for the Family.

The World Congress of Families, an international network of anti-LGBTQ and anti-abortion culture warriors, will hold a regional conference in Accra, Ghana on Oct. 31 and Nov. 1. Local organizers held a press conference this week to promote the event, which will feature globe-trotting, U.S.-based anti-LGBTQ and anti-choice activists Brian Brown and Sharon Slater, as well as politicians, religious leaders, and activists from Ghana and other African nations. Brown heads the WCF and its parent International Organization for the Family.

Among those who appeared at the press conference were Theresa Okafor, a WCF representative in Africa. Okafor defends harsh anti-gay laws passed in Nigeria and other African countries. At a WCF gathering in Madrid in 2012, she suggested that advocates for gay rights in Africa were part of a “conspiracy” with the violent Islamist terrorist group Boko Haram to “silence Christians.” As RWW reported in 2015, at the WCF’s global summit that year, where Okafor  was honored as “Woman of the Year”:

She complained that Western feminist ideas threaten the family by demonizing patriarchy, blurring lines of gender and making women feel that they are autonomous from men. (In contrast, she cited as one positive example of strong cultural support for the family in Africa the fact that a woman who went to the police to report being beaten by her husband would be told to go home and settle with him.)

The theme for the WCF conference in Ghana will be “The African Family and Sustainable Development: Strong Families, Strong Nation.” According to coverage of the press conference by Modern Ghana, it “seeks to position Africa as a more active advocate within the global pro-family movement.”

The conference website says it aims to “bring together all pro life and family advocates and believers” and that its organizers “want to establish an active collaboration with government officials, the media, academia, religious & traditional bodies, civil societies, NGOs and interest groups to deliberate intensely on the state of the family” and its place in development.

The website encourages people to attend to:

  • LEARN CURRENT TRENDS Know what trends are opposing the traditional family and the dire consequences on peace, progress and development.
  • JOIN GLOBAL FAMILY REMNANT Become part of the global remnant fighting for the thriving of godly family values for preservation of generations.
  • HELP PASS RIGHT FAMILY LAWS Receive the right and adequate information as a law maker to institute correct “pro-life” laws in your domain.
  • SHARE IDEAS WITH BEST BRAINS Receive intellectual information that awakens you to the subtle happenings affecting the God-ordained family today.

One speaker at the press conference took aim at comprehensive sex education, another target of the WCF and its allies. The Ghanaian Times reported that Moses Foh-Amoaning, executive secretary of the National Coalition for Proper Human Sexual Rights and Family Values, warned that including comprehensive sexuality education (CSE) into the curriculum “will undermine the cultural and moral values of the country.”

“According to him,” reported the Ghanaian Times, “safeguarding of the country’s indigenous traditional, cultural, sexual rights and family values were critical to addressing the threat of Lesbianism, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Rights (LGBT) of the people.”

Sharon Slater, who leads the anti-LGBTQ, anti-choice organization Family Watch International, is, as her bio on the Ghana conference page says, “passionate in leading the war against comprehensive sex education.” Indeed, a couple years ago she released a “documentary” calling CSE a “war on children” and a plot by Planned Parenthood to “sexualize children” in order to create future customers for contraception and abortion. Slater is a frequent speaker at WCF regional conferences and other international gatherings. She defends laws that criminalize homosexuality; at a law conference in Nigeria several years ago, Religion Dispatches reported that she encouraged delegates “to resist the United Nations’ calls to decriminalize homosexuality.” Slater directed a half-hour Family Watch International “documentary” called “Cultural Imperialism: The Sexual Rights Agenda,” which charged that UN agencies and western nations were using financial aid “as a weapon to bully and blackmail smaller nations into accepting their radical sexual rights agenda.”

Catherine Onwioduokit of Family Renaissance International, WCF’s local partner and host for the event, also spoke at this week’s press conference. “She noted that teaching the undiluted word of God, values and norms of the society would bring resultant positive effects and changes to the family unit,” the Ghanaian Times reported. “Mrs Onwioduokit stressed her outfit’s commitment to continue creating awareness on the importance of the family through God-centered information for the transformation of the society.” The tagline on Family Renaissance International’s website is “rising to occupy.”

A bio for another scheduled conference speaker Abu Bako, says he is a “catalyst for kingdom driven holistic change and transformation” and “a specialist in training, equipping and developing quality leaders at all levels of public life, in all the eight gates of society”—which appears to be a variation on dominionist references to “seven mountains” or “seven gates” of society.