NBC has a report about Scott Lively, the deranged anti-gay bigot who thinks gay people were responsible for Adolf Hitler, the Inquisition and even slavery. It has some details about his actions around the world and his role in pushing harsh anti-gay legislation in other countries.
On his blog this month, Lively praised Putin as “the defender of Christian civilization” for signing this summer a ban on information that treats being gay as valid or attractive — and traced the idea to his own tour of Russia in 2006-7. Last week, Lively suggested Russian officials foil gay activists planning to rainbow-bomb the Olympics by flying a rainbow banner over the games so “the global homosexual movement” would be reminded that “the rainbow belongs to God!”…
Lively has reason to be a bit cocky. America may have “fallen to the gays,” he says, but much of the world still fears them and Lively is working to keep it that way.
In Moldova in 2011, according to Human Rights Watch, he helped several cities declare themselves “gay-free zones” and organized an “emergency” campaign to block a law prohibiting discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. In Poland, Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, Ukraine and Belarus he met with politicians and pastors, fostering talk of new curbs on gay rights. Every place he goes, Lively says, his goal is to block the open expression of homosexuality, keep discrimination legal and make pro-gay advocacy a crime.
“Yes, I think I influenced the Russian law,” Lively said. While some gay rights activists still think he’s just a laughingstock, Boris Dittrich, the director of LGBT advocacy for Human Rights Watch, tends to confirm Lively’s claims. Russia was plenty homophobic before Lively’s arrival but the American pastor appears to have given shape to that free-floating hatred, Dittrich said. As he passed through Russia’s regions, Lively met with politicians and bans on homosexual propaganda followed, spreading to more than a half-dozen areas before Putin swept them into a national standard.
Lively — who calls himself the “father” of Uganda’s anti-gay movement — also shared the first sharp details of his work in Eastern Europe and responded to the rise in hate crimes that seems to follow him around the globe.
In 2006, Lively served as California state director of the American Family Association in Sacramento and fought the “homosexualization” of public schools. He befriended Alexey Ledyaev, charismatic pastor of New Generation, a Latvian megachurch with more than 200 branches worldwide. Together they founded Watchmen on the Walls, a network of activists who pledged to guard the Kingdom of Christ against the siege of homosexuality — and by fall of that year Lively was on a Watchmen trip to Russia.
He landed in Vladivostok, Russia’s largest port on the Pacific Ocean, boarding a train for a 22-hour journey north to Blagoveshchensk, a river city on the border of China. He recalled feeling “just like Dr. Zhivago! Red velvet curtains, a samovar at the end of each car, passing through endless birch forests.” For 10 days Lively used “Blago” as a hub, shuttling in and out of nearby communities, shouting Paul Revere-like warnings of a gay invasion.
By February 2007 he was back in the States in high spirits, bearing a 45-minute highlight reel that he screened at an OCA reunion in Portland. It repeatedly referred to gays as “terrorists,” showed members of the Watchmen interrupting a pride parade in Riga (with bags of feces, according media reports), and included a cross-national howl from a Latvian member of the Watchmen. “Your generation beat the Nazis, and our country beat the Communists,” the activist said. “Together we will defeat the homosexuals!”
A month or so later, Lively was back on the circuit, speaking at the World Congress of Families conference in Warsaw before hopping to Riga, his base for the next several months. He preached in churches, lectured in universities, took the podium at conferences. He sat down with pro-family leaders, pastors and a few members of parliament.
The Center for Constitutional Rights has filed a lawsuit against Lively, accusing him of “crimes against humanity” for his work overseas to pass anti-gay laws. A few weeks ago a federal judge refused to dismiss the suit. I’m not a fan of that suit, however. It’s clearly not illegal in this country, nor should it be, to advocate a policy, no matter how heinous that policy may be. It’s the mirror image of the Russian law that forbids advocacy of gay rights. Lively should be criticized, hounded, and exposed at every possible moment, but he should not be facing legal consequences.