The Howard Center

The Howard Center is the leading sponsor of the World Council of Families, an international pro-family conference. From their website:


We affirm that the natural human family is established by the Creator and essential to good society. We address ourselves to all people of good will who, with the majority of the world’s people, value the natural family. Ideologies of statism, individualism and sexual revolution, today challenge the family’s very legitimacy as an institution. Associated with this challenge are the problems of divorce, devaluation of parenting, declining family time, morally relativistic public education, confusions over sexual identity, promiscuity, sexually transmitted diseases, abortion, poverty, human trafficking, violence against women, child abuse, isolation of the elderly, excessive taxation and below-replacement fertility. To defend the family and to guide public policy and cultural norms, this Declaration asserts principles that respect and uphold the vital roles that the family plays in society.


The natural family is the fundamental social unit, inscribed in human nature, and centered on the voluntary union of a man and a woman in the lifelong covenant of marriage. The natural family is defined by marriage, procreation and, in some cultures, adoption. Free, secure and stable families that welcome children are necessary for healthy society. The society that abandons the natural family as the norm is destined for chaos and suffering. The loving family reaches out in love and service to their communities and those in need. All social and cultural institutions should respect and uphold the rights and responsibilities of the family.


The cornerstone of healthy family life, marriage brings security, contentment, meaning, joy and spiritual maturity to the man and woman who enter this lifelong covenant with unselfish commitment. In marriage, both husband and wife commit to a life of mutual love, respect, support and compassion. Spousal conflicts that can arise in marriage are opportunities for personal and marital growth, not, as modern cultures encourage, reasons to break the covenant. Divorce is destructive to families and society. Society and public policy should discourage divorce, while taking legal or other appropriate action in cases of intransigently abusive relationships. Steadfast commitment in marriage provides the security in family life that children need. Children also need and are entitled to the complementary parental love and attention of both father and mother, which marriage provides. Communities and religious institutions should care for families and households whose circumstances fall short of these ideals. Social policies should not promote single-parenting.


The natural family provides the optimal environment for the healthy development of children. Healthy family life fulfills the basic human need to belong and satisfies the longings of the human heart to give and receive love. The family informs the human person’s original attitude toward such fundamental matters as identity, security, responsibility, love, morality and religion. In personal and intimate ways that no self-defining entity could, the natural family cares for its children and provides for their spiritual, physical, psychological and moral growth. Policy should promote the definition and permanence in family relationships that create the stability and security in family life children need.


The complementary natures of men and women are physically and psychologically self-evident. These differences are created and natural, not primarily socially constructed. Sexuality is ordered for the procreation of children and the expression of love between husband and wife in the covenant of marriage. Marriage between a man and a woman forms the sole moral context for natural sexual union. Whether through pornography, promiscuity, incest or homosexuality, deviations from these created sexual norms cannot truly satisfy the human spirit. They lead to obsession, remorse, alienation, and disease. Child molesters harm children and no valid legal, psychological or moral justification can be offered for the odious crime of pedophilia. Culture and society should encourage standards of sexual morality that support and enhance family life.


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