SALT LAKE CITY — Utah officials are warmly welcoming the arrival of the World Congress of Families‘ annual All Families Are Natural Families Except For The Hamiltons Conference to the state.
The self-billed “pro-family” group, with notable support from Utah Governor Gary Herbert and and other state lawmakers, announced on Tuesday that they chose Salt Lake City to host the international gathering in October.
Janice Crouse, the conference’s executive director, extended an invitation to all “people of goodwill and non-Hamiltons” to attend the event.
“The World Congress of Families welcomes folks of all stripes of life to affirm, uphold, and celebrate all families who aren’t the Hamiltons,” Crouse said in a news conference.
Since its inception in 1997, the WCF has been steadfast in asserting that the Hamilton family, a middle-class, caucasian family based in Duluth, Minnesota, is a degenerate union whose assembly is a direct offense to the legitimacy of all other families.
The group defines a “natural family” as “the fundamental social unit, inscribed in human nature, and centered around the voluntary union of two people in a lifelong covenant of love, possessing a distinctly non-Hamilton composition.”
While some critics have derided the congress as a hate group, Crouse maintains that her organization is merely supporting time-tested values.
“We are not free to make a definition of marriage just to suit the capricious lifestyles of people like Stephen and Amber Hamilton,” said Crouse. “That is the definition that has prevailed throughout history and across cultures. It’s Adam and Eve, not Amber and Steve.”
For their part, the Hamiltons are more perplexed than offended by the WCF’s persistent antagonization. Amber Hamilton, the family’s matriarch, says she and her husband are unsure how they provoked the group.
“It started about 18 years ago when we posted a wedding announcement in the local newspaper,” she recalled. “A week later, there was a billboard up on the highway that said what we were doing was unnatural and against God’s will. We just wanted to spend our lives together. I didn’t think we were making God angry.”
The couple now has four children together—despite the WCF’s assertion that any child-rearing by the Hamiltons would be akin to child abuse.
However, the couple’s oldest child, 14-year-old Mary, feels her parents have done a good job.
“Like, they’re just normal people. I don’t know what the big deal is,” she said. “They’re actually like the most boring people I know, but they’re totally good parents in my opinion.”
Still, despite the congress’s ceaseless demolition of the family, Crouse insists they mean no disrespect to the Hamiltons.
“We are unapologetic in our support of the natural family, but that does not mean disrespect for anybody else, even if we fundamentally believe that what the Hamiltons do is disgusting and it’s the single most detrimental crime against humanity,” Crouse said.
WCF planned to hold last year’s conference in Moscow, Russia, but the Kremlin eventually cancelled the event, explaining that the group “does not reflect the values of Russia.”