World Congress of Families attendee explains how U.S.-based groups spread homophobia in Africa

Rafael Cruz, father of Sen. Ted Cruz, (R-TX) Republican presidential candidate, speaks on behalf of his son at the Southern Republican Leadership Conference in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma May 22, 2015.   REUTERS/Rick Wilking - RTX1E6ZH

Pastor Rafael Cruz, father of Sen. Ted Cruz

When Pastor Rafael Cruz (father of GOP presidential contender and Texas Sen. Ted Cruz) was quoted last week saying that the “next thing” on the LGBT agenda is “to try to legalize pedophiles,” he was attending a little-known conference called the World Congress of Families, held in Salt Lake City this year. The global gathering of pro-life, virulently anti-gay organizations includes U.S.-based groups like Alliance Defending Freedom and the Family Research Council, but it is usually held outside the U.S., often in places where homophobia is alive and well and people are hungry for the message. In fact, since the mid-1990s, WCF has been providing U.S.-based groups that are losing the battle against LGBT rights at home the opportunity to take their fight abroad.
“The World Congress of Families acts as a networking operation,” explains

Luís Ramos, executive director of Political Research Associates. “As groups like the Alliance Defending Freedom, Family Watch International, the National Organization for Marriage and others move into new countries to pass laws restricting the rights of LGBTQ people and reproductive freedom, it is frequently WCF who opens the door by holding these international gatherings that connect U.S. Christian-right organizations with foreign political, religious, and cultural leaders.”

One of those points of connection was Theresa Okafor, a regular WCF attendee and director of the anti-gay Nigerian group the Foundation for African Cultural Heritage. Political Research Associates was able to obtain video of Okafor explaining how missionaries from the U.S. helped spread homophobia throughout Africa. On camera, Okafor notes that gays have “always existed” in Africa, but that WCF actually helped Africans “spring into action” and pass anti-gay laws that criminalize gay relationships.

What this boils down to is fresh evidence that, far from being an isolated incident, the Scott Lively push to demonize homosexuality in African countries and other areas is still being facilitated by a broad and active set of groups here in the U.S.

Keep reading below to watch the video.

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