Letter to President Tajani: do not support World Congress of Families
Until 13 February, Antonio Tajani, President of the European Parliament, was listed as one of the main speakers at the World Congress of Families in Verona (29-31 March). This conference, whose goal is to defend the “natural family as the only fundamental and sustainable unit of society”, is known for its explicit anti-women’s rights and anti-LGBTI rights positions.
Members of the LGBTI Intergroup write to President Tajani, asking him to confirm publically he will neither attend nor support this conference.
TO: Antonio Tajani, President of the European Parliament
Concerns: your support to the World Congress of Families in Verona this March
Brussels, 18 February 2019
Dear President Tajani,
It has come to our attention that until 13 February, you were supposed to be the listed as one of the main speakers at the upcoming World Congress of Families, taking place in Verona in March. It seems that your picture was deleted from the Congress’ website only recently [i].
We still want to express our profound surprise and disappointment to see you, President of the European Parliament, initally accepting to take part in an event which « defends the natural family as the only fundamental and sustainable unit of society. ». The World Congress of Family is organised by the International Organisation for Family (IOF), a cross-continents umbrella organisation known for its anti-LGBTI agenda. The IOF was established in 2015 with the Cape Town Declaration, which « affirm the dignity of marriage as the conjugal bond of man and woman » and the importance to resist « every push to redefine marriage: to include same-sex ones ».
In recent years, the rhetoric of « protecting the natural family » has been used not only to preach hate against Rainbow Families, but also to promote the criminalisation of homosexuality in several countries across the globe, as well as restrictions on rights to freedom of expression, freedom of assembly, and self-determination for LGBTI people.
May we remind you that LGBTI rights are human rights, and therefore protected by the European Union and enshrined in all its activities. As the President of the European Parliament therefore representative of all EU citizens, it is your responsibility and duty to refrain from taking part in events that and contribute to preaching hate against vulnerable groups such as LGBTI people.
In light of the above, we kindly request that you confirm publicly and officially that will neither take part or support in any form the World Congress of Families this March.
We look forward to hear from you on this matter.
Terry Reintke MEP, Co-president of the LGBTI Intergroup
Daniele Viotti MEP, Co-president of the LGBTI Intergroup
Tanja Fajon, vice-president of the LGBTI Intergroup
Sophie in’t Veld MEP, vice-president of the LGBTI Intergroup
Malin Bjork MEP, vice-president of the LGBTI Intergroup