Utah beware! A list of ‘extremists’ and potentially ‘very dangerous’ people at the World Congress of Families

Family_playing_a_board_gameYou may have heard a Human Rights Campaign (HRC) spokesman claim on Utah radio that Sutherland Institute will be bringing 3,000 “extremists” and “very dangerous” people to Utah to attend the ninth World Congress of Families (WCF) next year.

That struck us as an odd and rather irrational claim, given who has attended and spoken at WCF: presidents of nations, religious leaders and people of faith from most major religious denominations, widely published scholars and researchers, high-level government officials, and extraordinary people engaged in helping the less fortunate around the world. While this description evidently leads the HRC to see “extremists,” it reminds us of the majority of mainstream Utah.

In any case, we thought it would be useful to provide a brief list of some past WCF attendees, supporters and speakers. Then you can decide whether the WCF will be a gathering of “extremists” and “very dangerous” people, or simply will draw extraordinary people of faith and secular accomplishment who are similar in belief and thinking to the majority of Utahns.


Helan Alvare Law Professor, George Mason University; formerly in the Office of General Counsel for the National Conference of Catholic Bishops
The Hon. John Anderson Former Deputy Prime Minister in the Federal Parliament of Australia
The Hon. Kevin Andrews Australia Minister for Social Services
Cardinal Ennio Antonelli President of the Pontifical Council for Family (Holy See), Roman Catholic Church
Cardinal Raymond Leo Burke Cardinal Prefect of the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura
Dr. Allan Carlson Appointed by President Ronald Reagan to the National Commission on Children
Sheri Dew Former Counselor in the Relief Society General Presidency, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
Patrick Fagan, Ph.D. Former Deputy Assistant Secretary for Family and Community Policy, U.S. Dept. of Health & Human Services under Pres. George H.W. Bush
Martha Fox Former first lady of Mexico
Elder Bruce C. Hafen, J.D. Emeritus, First Quorum of the Seventy, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
George Williford Boyce Haley Former U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of the Gambia
Ian Harper Emeritus Professor, University of Melbourne
Farooq Hassan, J.D., Ph.D. Professor of Law, Harvard University
Thomas Holman, Ph.D. Professor of Marriage, Family, and Human Development, Brigham Young University
Wade Horn, Ph.D. Assistant Secretary for Children and Families, U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services under President George W. Bush
President Lech Kaczynski Former President of Poland
Dr. Alveda King Niece of Martin Luther King Jr.
Patriarch Kirill Patriarch of Moscow and all Russia, Russian Orthodox Church
Elder Erich Kopischke First Quorum of the Seventy, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
Joel Kotkin Distinguished Presidential Fellow in Urban Futures at Chapman University
Richard Land, D.Phil. Former president of the Southern Baptist Convention
Mary Anne Layden, Ph.D. Center for Cognitive Therapy, University of Pennsylvania
Phillip Longman, Ph.D. Former Knight-Bagehot Fellow at Columbia University
Christine Vollmer de Marcellus Member, Pontifical Council for the Family and Pontifical Academy for Life
Cardinal Renato Martino Italian Cardinal Deacon and president emeritus of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace
John Mueller The Lehrman Institute Fellow in Economics at the Ethics and Public Policy Center
Margaret Nadauld Former president of the Young Women’s Association, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
Elder Russell M. Nelson Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
Wendy Nelson Former professor of Marriage and Family Therapy, Brigham Young University
Lloyd D. Newell Host of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir’s Music & the Spoken Word
Elder Dallin H. Oaks Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints; Honorary Member, Board of Directors of the World Congress of Families
Patrick Parkinson Professor of Law, University of Sydney, Australia; President of the International Society of Family Law
Paige Patterson 8th President of the Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary
Cardinal George Pell Australian cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church
D. Juan Antonio Reig Pla Bishop of Alcala de Henares (called by Pope Benedict XVI), Roman Catholic Church
David Prentice, Ph.D. Professor of Life Sciences, Indiana State University
Grover Joseph Rees Former U.S. Ambassador to East Timor; former Chief Justice of the High Court of American Samoa
André Rouvoet Former Dutch Deputy Prime Minister
Madame Jehan Sadat Widow of Anwar Sadat
Ellen Saurbrey Former US Ambassador, United Nations Commission on the Status of Women
Alan Sears Former federal prosecutor under President Ronald Reagan; President and CEO of Alliance Defense Fund
Mary Ellen Smoot Former President of the Relief Society, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
Senator Francisco Tatad Former Majority Leader for the Philippines Senate
Cardinal Alfonso Lopez Trujillo Cardinal Bishop and former President of the Pontifical Council for the Family (Holy See), Roman Catholic Church
Lynn Wardle, J.D. Professor of Law, Brigham Young University
Brad Wilcox, Ph.D. Associate Professor of Sociology, University of Virginia


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