NOM's President Brian Brown is starting a global hate group. It's called the International Organization for the Family (IOF) and it sounds messy af.
IOF says it “unites and equips leaders worldwide to promote the natural family.” Its first public project is a new global anti-LGBT manifesto dubbed the “Cape Town Declaration,” which the right-wing site Breitbart described as “throwing down the gauntlet to the LGBT lobby.” IOF is hoping to gather two million signatures in the coming year. Manifesto signers pledge “to resist the rising cultural imperialism of Western powers whose governments seek nothing less than the ideological colonization of the family.” It is certainly no coincidence that the manifesto includes “ideological colonization,” a phrase repeatedly employed by Pope Francis.
The declaration and its concluding vow – “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 honored in our lands” – feels a lot like a global version of the 2009 Manhattan Declaration, in which conservative evangelicals and Catholics pledged civil disobedience and vowed never to “bend to any rule purporting to force us to bless immoral sexual partnerships, treat them as marriages or the equivalent, or refrain from proclaiming the truth, as we know it, about morality and immorality and marriage and the family.”
That’s probably no coincidence either. Among the early signers of the Cape Town Declaration are conservative Catholic scholar Robert George, one of the Manhattan Declaration’s authors, and a George protégé, anti-equality activist Ryan Anderson of the Heritage Foundation.
Other signers from the U.S. include right-wing operative Richard Viguerie; NOM Chairman John Eastman; Larry Jacobs of the World Congress of Families; anti-marriage-equality strategist Frank Schubert; C-Fam’s Austin Ruse, who is fomenting anti-LGBT backlash at the United Nations; Howard Center founder Allan Carlson; Janice Shaw Crouse, who led the 2015 World Congress of Families summit in Salt Lake City; and Movieguide’s Ted Baehr. Also among the initial signers are anti-equality activists from around the world; many of them, like Nigeria’s Theresa Okafor, have participated in World Congress of Families summits.
Also listed as signers are a number of religious leaders, including Foley Beach, Archbishop of the Anglican Church in North America; Catholic Bishop Emmanuel Badejo of Ojo, Nigeria; Lawrence Khongy, pastor of Faith Community Baptist Church in Singapore; and Josiah Trenham, an Orthodox priest who has spoken repeatedly at World Congress of Families gatherings.