16 Dec Adding Fuel to the Flame
A Message from Bob Spiel, UFI Chairman of the Board:
Last year at this time your generosity overwhelmed us. I expressed to you our need for the financial resources to take on the challenges of 2014 – and donations came from around the globe large and small. The combined giving of so many put enough fuel in our tank to have a very effective year. Our accomplishments included:
- Monitoring negotiations at major UN conferences, working closely with international pro-family/pro-life coalitions, submitting written statements and interventions to the UN, delivering our updated UN Negotiating Guide and Guides to Family Issues to UN Missions, delegates, and ambassadors, as well as presenting at several UN parallel events and side events.
- Sponsoring over 20 college students and their leaders at UN meetings, and assisting other pro-family groups in becoming accredited at the UN.
- Releasing our new free Guide to Family Issues: “Divorce: 100 Reasons Not To” and five new Infographs on marriage and divorce.
- Impacting state legislation, and educating citizens on the dangers of proposed “Nondiscrimination laws,” “Bathroom bills,” and “Comprehensive Sexuality Education.”
- Dozens of interviews with the media, hundreds of volunteer hours posting articles to World Family News, and thousands of visitors to our Facebook page, Blog, and UFI website.At the same time, 2014 was a difficult year for the cause of the family — particularly in the United States of America. Activist federal judges and the United States Supreme Court have exercised their power to the denigration of the family and the union between a man and woman. Clearly the winds of opposition are blowing stronger, yet it has never been truer:
“Wind will snuff a candle – – but only adds fuel to the flame.”
Now as we look forward to 2015 once again we need your assistance financially to ensure our flame grows brighter and brighter in the face of such headwinds. The mission of United Families has never been clearer that we are educators dedicated to helping families flourish through shaping laws, policy, opinions, and lives. And 2015 is promising to be a year where we UFI must be engaged at an even greater level than ever before. As we look to the coming year here there are many major things on the horizon:
1. At the United Nations:
- UFI will be presenting parallel events at Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) and other UN sessions this March. These are foundational moments to educate and unify the pro family delegates and Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) leaders across the world.
- Additionally, our presence at the UN makes sure more delegates have our UN Negotiating Guide, which is a critical tool in helping them maintain pro-family language in UN documents.
- On the other hand, pro-abortion feminists are funding 400 travel grants to bring hundreds of women to the UN to promote the inclusion of abortion on demand and comprehensive sexuality education in the 2015 UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). We need to be there to help counter this wave.
- In the United States comprehensive sexuality education in schools to children as young as kindergarten is being advocated like never before.
- UFI will provide resources and support for parents who are fighting the push for comprehensive sexuality education in their schools.
- Also in the U.S., at both state and city levels, nondiscrimination laws and ordinances protecting “sexual orientation and gender identity” are being promoted.
- UFI has actively worked to oppose nondiscrimination laws at the state and city levels. These laws give special protections to some people at the expense of others. While we absolutely believe in treating everyone with dignity and respect, no one should have to choose between making a living, and living their beliefs.
- Additionally, whether or not same-sex marriage is legally recognized in a particular state, nondiscrimination laws are being used as legal vehicles to prosecute people who disagree with same-sex marriage because of religious beliefs. They create the legal framework for pulling the conflict into court.
- UFI is also at the ground level helping organize the 8th World Congress of Families which is coming to the United States for the first time in 2015. It will be held in Salt Lake City, Utah October 27-30.
- The World Congress of Families (WCF) is an international network of pro-family organizations, scholars, leaders and people of goodwill from more than 80 countries that seek to restore the natural family as the fundamental social unit and the ‘seedbed’ of civil society. There have been seven WCF conferences – Prague (1997), Geneva (1999), Mexico City (2004), Warsaw (2007), Amsterdam (2009), Madrid (2012) and Sydney 2013).
- We are also excited to announce the influence of UFI is expanding, reaching more states and countries, including a new chapter in the Republic of Korea (South Korea).
More to come…
With all of these developments on deck, we will continue to teach the truth about families. Our educational emails and websites help promote a “marriage culture,” teaching the important value of marriage, mothers, and fathers. As our friend Dr. Mark Regnerus said, we want to “use a winsome message of the beauties of marriage.”
We will also continue to mentor young Interns to effectively advocate for family values at state legislatures and the United Nations. This will be our fourth year having interns be a part of our UFI team in New York and at state houses. We will continue to educate State Legislators and voters by helping them be better informed on family issues and communicate with elected officials.
Our vital participation in each of these areas can only happen with YOUR HELP.
So please, as you complete your Christmas and holiday giving, remember the impact your combined generosity had last year and give what you can — $20, $40, $100 or even $200.
ALL donated funds go toward the hard costs of participation. Only one UFI member is paid …our wonderful part-time bookkeeper. Everyone else donates their time, sweat, tears, passion and even their funds to be where we need to be. Without you we can’t make it happen – but with your help 2015 will be remarkable as the pro-family flame grows brighter and brighter.
Chairman of the Board
United Families International