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March 15, 2017

Inclusion of Hate Group in U.S. Delegation Moves United States Backwards

Washington, D.C.—Human Rights First today expressed deep concern over the Department of State’s designation of the Center for Family and Human Rights (C-FAM) as one of two organizations joining the U.S. delegation to the 61st Session of the U.N. Commission on the Status of Women. C-FAM is classified as an anti-lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center.

“The United States has worked hard to position itself as a leader on human rights within the United Nations and that progress is now in great jeopardy,” said Human Rights First’s Shawn Gaylord. “C-FAM is not just a conservative organization, but a radical organization that supports criminalizing the behavior of LGBT people, which often ends up criminalizing their very identities.“

Under the guise of “reestablishing a proper understanding of international law, protecting national sovereignty and the dignity of the human person,” C-FAM promotes an anti-LGBT platform including by supporting countries notorious for the criminalization of LGBT people and systematic human rights violations against members of the LGBT community. The organization has been vocal in its support for Russia’s 2013 propaganda law and other similar laws in the region. The organization partners with country missions at the United Nations that promote initiatives targeting the LGBT community under the guise of protecting the family. C-FAM sponsored a U.N. event in May 2016 titled, “Uniting Nations for a Family Friendly World.” Among the U.N. country missions leading the event were Russia, Kyrgyzstan, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Somalia, Uganda, and other nations notorious for policies and laws that infringe on the human rights of LGBT people.

Austin Ruse, president of C-FAM, is known for inflammatory rhetoric. In 2014 he declared that “human-hating people that run modern universities…should all be taken out and shot.” He has also openly expressed support for laws that criminalize homosexuality.

“For those who believed that President Trump would take a moderate stance on LGBT issues, this is an alarming indication that he is moving the country dramatically backwards on issues impacting LGBT people around the world,” said Gaylord. “The Trump Administration must recognize that criminalization and persecution of LGBT people are fundamental human rights abuses and must continue to be combated as a central aspect of U.S. foreign policy."

For more information or to speak with Gaylord, contact Christopher Plummer atPlummerC@humanrightsfirst.org or 202-370-3310.