Russian Blues

February 25, 2017 in General

In Harpers magazine (March 2017), Martha Gessen has written a riveting expose of the World Congress of Families, to which our own beloved Family First New Zealand (?) is affiliated.

Gessen’s article focuses on the May 2016 WCF conference in Tbilisi, Georgia. As we all know, the WCF is fixated on the US Christian Right dogma that the white, nuclear single-income western ‘family’ is ‘under attack’ from marriage equality and same-sex parenting, transgender rights and abortion and reproductive rights.

The Russian Orthodox Church is in strong presence at this conclave, but there is a sense of defeatism amongst the representatives from the West, while Russians, Georgians and Poles are conversely jubilant. The Poles wouldn’t be so happy when a massive pro-choice mobilisation occurred against further Law and Justice moves to restrict abortion access several months later, though.

In the early nineties, the World Congress of Families’ Allen Carlson established reciprocal ties with Moscow State University, leading to successful WCF exploitation of fears about demographic decline in Russia and Eastern Europe. From 2012, Vladimir Putin encouraged and exploited this religious social conservative resurgence and moral panic. Indeed, according to Gessen, Russians derogate LGBT activism as “neomarxist” and “totalitarianism” Meanwhile, Gessen met with the forelorn Brian Brown of the US National Organisation for Marriage, currently under investigation for campaign finance irregularities and in growing burgeoning debt from its failed US Christian Right campaign against marriage equality.

Source: Martha Gessen: “Family Values” Harpers Magazine (March 2017): 35-40.

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