When it comes to ardent anti-LGBT advocate Scott Lively, it's best to know the spot on the globe to which he is most fully directing his focus. After all, this is the man most internationally known for his commitment to turning Uganda into a country defined by hostility for LGBT people, so much so that his advocacy in the African nation sparked a still-ongoing crimes against humanity lawsuit against the Massachusetts activist and gubernatorial candidate. It is not your every anti-LGBT activist who can "rise" to such "heights."
Over the past year, there is no doubt that Russia has become Lively's focal point. No surprise, really, since the world's attention has turned to eastern Europe, with no small measure of this attention during this Olympics year involving LGBT rights. But as with most of his planetary obsessions, Lively has a way of taking already tense situations and twisting the wires tighter and tighter until the already tightly wound coil nears a snapping point. This has certainly been his way in Russia.
It began as 2013 did. Lively started that year with praise for Russia and its law banning so-called "gay propaganda," even claiming he might have played a role in it. He also began laying what would become his framework moving forward when he insisted that Russia's move was a "better way forward" for western nations:
I am personally very pleased to see this development, having called specifically for legislation of this sort in my speaking tour of the former Soviet Union in 2006 and 2007. During that tour, which began in the Russian Far East city of Blagoveschensk and ended in St. Petersburg, I lectured in a variety of venues including numerous universities, churches and conference halls, and met with numerous government leaders at various levels of influence. The entire tour spanned approximately 50 cities in seven countries: Russia, Poland, Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, Ukraine, and Belarus (we also passed through Kazakhstan but didn‘t speak there).
My purpose in writing this article is to contrast the positive developments in the former Soviet Union with recent anti-family developments in the west and to offer a better way forward. Victory is still theoretically possible for the pro-family movement in the west if we are willing to pay the price.
That was basically it for a bit. It wasn't until late summer when Lively got back in the Russia game, which came in the form of advice for Hungary to follow Russia's lead:
I strongly advise that you adopt an anti-propaganda law similar to what Russia has recently passed, to stop the “gay” agenda from advancing any further that it may already have done. It will also be necessary to uproot and discard any existing sexual orientation regulations (the bad seeds) which criminalize discrimination against homosexuality in your laws and in the official policies of your government agencies, universities, corporations, and NGOs.
But when Lively got back to the Russia party, he stayed. He kicked off the fall of 2013 with a bang, writing a letter of praise—a fan letter, practically—to President Vladimir Putin, in which Lively directly equated LGBT activism with Naziism:
Today I have mailed my Open Letter to President Vladimir Putin, praising him, and the Russian government for standing up for the family (READ LETTER HERE). I have also sent him a copy of my book, The Pink Swastika: Homosexuality in the Nazi Party, co-authored by Jewish researcher Kevin E. Abrams, which will soon be published in Russian. We have promised President Putin the first copy of that book in his own language.
I will close this letter with the same words I wrote to him, invoking the battle we waged together against Nazism:
“Once again, thank you, President Putin, for standing firm in defense of the natural family, which is the essential foundation of all human civilization. Perhaps through the inspiration of your leadership, an alliance of the good people of our countries with those of your own, can once again in some cooperative fashion, redeem the future of mankind from a Fascist Leviathan, just as we did in World War II.”
With intentions made clear, Lively began thinking of ways he could actually stir the pot in the country. That same month, he began turning attention to the following year's Winter Olympics, advising the Russian government that they must use the attention on those games to "rescue God's rainbow" before it's too late:
The global homosexual movement, in cooperation with the leftist media, is making a final gambit to gain exclusive control of the rainbow symbol. They have set a trap for the Russian government that they intend to spring during the Winter Olympics scheduled for February 2014 in Russia.
Very simply, they plan to protest Russia’s new law criminalizing homosexual propaganda to children by encouraging individual competitors and other highly visible figures, including celebrities, to display the rainbow symbol during the Olympic Games. The media will ensure that each such display is broadcast to the world.
It is a no-win scenario for the Russian government. If the Russians ignore the tactic, the “gays” will declare victory and claim that the Russian government was ashamed to enforce its “hateful” law while under the scrutiny of the world. If the Russians attempt to enforce the law by punishing those who display the rainbow, the media will portray those persons as heroic victims and martyrs, while portraying the Russians as “homophobic” bullies secretly intent on exterminating homosexuals. Either way, the media will segue any rainbow related stories with coverage of violent hate crimes (real or staged) against homosexuals that occur anywhere in Russia during the games (or any time since the passage of the new law). They will imply that these incidents are the result and intent of the new law, and the “climate of hate and fear” it has engendered . Worst of all, whichever way this protest campaign goes, the rainbow will be perceived by the world as the exclusive property of the “gay” movement.
However, with a simple judo move, the Russians could catch the “gays” in their own trap, and at the same time rescue God’s rainbow from being dragged through the mud.
Imagine the Russian Olympics taking place under a giant rainbow banner declaring that the rainbow belongs to God! And rainbow symbols incorporated in virtually every aspect of the games and the celebrations surrounding them. The scheme to display rainbows as a rebellious act by Hollywood celebrities, and left-leaning Olympic contenders would be rendered impotent. The “gay” movement would be thwarted in its attempt to steal for itself what belongs to God and to all of us as His children. And, best of all, the entire world, including the “gays,” would be reminded of the truth of the Bible: that God gave us the rainbow as a reminder not only that He judges sin, but that He forgives and heals those who repent.
Someone was clearly going for the gold in crazed theatrics. But I digress.
Also in that particularly prolific September of '13, Lively sent another letter to another nation, advising that country to also use Russia as a legislative model. This time it was Australians who got the unsolicited advice:
For Australians to prevent the homosexualization of your country, you must stop approaching this problem as conservatives, and start thinking and acting pro-actively. You must turn from a defensive to an offensive strategy, setting new goals for your public policy and culture that are MORE family-friendly, and MORE values centered than what you currently enjoy. The new Russian law prohibiting homosexual propaganda to children can be an inspiration, but there are innumerable ways that creative pro-family strategists could move the ball forward toward our goal of a genuinely family-friendly society.
The next day of that same month, Lively made a quick attempt to deny that Russia's bad laws might create bad situations. Responding to a news report about his own global advocacy, Lively wrote of an incident of violence in the nation:
[T]he Russian incident appears to me to be another case of gay on gay crime, but even if it isn’t, it’s just random crime completely unrelated to and unjustified by the new Russian law.
Keep this "anti-gay hate crimes aren't anti-gay hate crimes" theme in mind. It will come up again in a minute.
The following month, we learned why Lively had been so focused on Russia the month prior. Turned out, he had a Moscow trip planned for October of 2013. And not just any trip, but a trip on behalf of the World Congress of Families.
I want to stop here and give that last point the full attention it deserves. The World Congress of Families, for those unacquainted, is a coalition that includes some of the United States' top anti-LGBT organizations. Focus on the Family, the National Organization For Marriage, and Alliance Defending Freedom are part of WCF, to name just three (full list here). That Lively was on this trip is a very important point, as it directly connects him to the American "pro-family" movement at large. This is important because he's someone who is very easy to write off as little more than a fringe voice. While that instinct is understandable, it is both an illogical and dangerous thing to do, so long as he is on planning trips and in planning meetings that, according to a WCF press release, also included major religious right voices like Brian Brown, Austin Ruse, and Tom Minnery.
So that clear connection in mind, here is how Lively described that WCF trip and what he, patriotic ambassador that he is, told the Russian people about America while he was there:
I am writing to you from Moscow (Russia, not Idaho) where I am on a one-week mission to bolster the Russian pro-family movement. At the moment I am in my 9th floor hotel room overlooking the Moskva River in the heart of Moscow (Moskva). It is a rainy, grey morning but the city is fully alive and awake, the roads choked with traffic (as bad as New York or L.A.). It’s a very expensive city, so I am eating my breakfast of items from the grocery store rather than going down to the restaurant. (I made the mistake of ordering lunch at the hotel restaurant on my first day without asking the price. It was $65).
I arrived on the 14th and have been very busy since I touched down. On the 15th and 16th I participated in the planning meeting for the World Congress of Families VIII, which will take place September 2014 here in Moscow. There were representatives from several countries, all there to help the Russian planning group to ensure their conference is a success. About half the group was from the U.S., but Mexico, Spain, Italy, Serbia, Australia, New Zealand, Venezuela and France were also represented. We dealt with logistics on the 15th and then on the 16th we visited the conference facilities.
How incredibly ironic it is that Russia is now our best hope for stopping the conquest of the world by the “progressives.” On Father Dimitri’s television show I made the point that the Americans and the Soviets both won and both lost the Cold War. The Americans broke the Soviet system through economic strategies and tactics. But before they collapsed, the Soviets poisoned the United States with Cultural Marxism, promoting moral degeneracy and family breakdown through so-called “progressive“ ideology. Today, post-Soviet Russia is re-emerging as a Christian nation, while the United States is becoming a “Gay Soviet Union.” What a strange turn of events.
It certainly was a strange turn in 2013. Sadly, Mr. Lively's strange global goals extended over into the next year.
To kick off 2014, Lively returned to that "anti-gay hate crimes aren't really anti-gay hate crimes" theme that I told you to remember. This time, he caught a lot of attention when he claimed that a Human Rights Watch video showing cruel anti-gay abuses in Russia was a fake. And even those incidents that might have been real, Lively claims, were likely perpetuated by "masculine oriented homosexual men" who are Nazis:
I have one final, very important point to make in this article. I am NOT saying all of the incidents described the video are fakes.
While it is true that “gay” activists are masters of public deception, and their ranks include not just veteran political propagandists but also billionaires like George Soros and movie producer David Geffin [sic] — with the capability of staging any possible scenario flawlessly — I believe some of the incidents depicted on the film are probably real.
But that begs the question, who are these perps? Q. What sort of men go out of their way to find and harass effeminate “gay” men on the public streets? A. They are, literally, NAZIs! Ultra-Macho Nationalists, of which Russia has many. Q. And who makes up a significant part of the Nationalist movement everywhere in the world through all of modern history? A. Masculine oriented homosexual men of the very same sort that created the Nazi Party of Germany.
Oh yeah, in case you didn't already realize, Nazis are his really big life obsession. Really strapping Nazis, usually. He loves to provide great detail of their supposedly queer virility. Which is ahistorical obviously. But isn't it also odd? Again, I digress.
Back to the timeline: Two weeks later, Lively took his call to global arms up a notch further, holding a D.C. press conference alongside viciously anti-gay voices like Peter LaBarbera and Diane Gramley. He and his allies, operating as ad hoc group they call the The Coalition for Family Values, put out a statement in which they called for all of the world's governments to use Russia as an instruction manual for beating back "sexual deviance":
As the press conference we released our statement praising the Russian Federation for passing pro-family laws and encouraging other nations to follow suit.
As the 2014 Winter Olympic Games come to a close in Sochi, Russia, we want to praise the Russian Federation for providing much-needed leadership in restoring family values in public policy, and to encourage the governments of the world to follow the excellent example that the Russian government has set in 2013 and 2014 by banning LGBT propaganda to children and limiting the adoption of children to natural families only. By taking these steps in the face of intense criticism and hostility by some Western governments and NGOs, the Russians have demonstrated the high value that they place on their children and the natural family model of society. We believe that God will bless the Russian people for their faith and courage.
The Coalition for Family Values will be encouraging our current and future affiliates throughout the world to lobby their own governments to follow the Russian example. While the LGBT agenda has seemed like an unstoppable political juggernaut in North America and Europe, the vast majority of the people of the world do not accept the notion that sexual deviance should be normalized. It is time that these voices are heard on the world stage before the so-called elites of the Western powers impose their inverted morality on everyone through the manipulation of international law, which they clearly intend to do.
A few days after that press conference, when Uganda passed its heinous anti-gay law, it was understandable that Lively had to make a comment. After all, he is widely credited as the father of that African nation's modern push toward extreme anti-LGBT measures. The person who yells "fire!" in a crowded nation pretty much has to say something when that nation turns up the flames.
Not surprisingly, Lively's attention yet again turned to Russia, suggesting that country's direction was better than the jail time (and once-suggested-but-ultimately-nixed death penalty) that Uganda coupled with its government-led fight to remove all traces of LGBT life. In order to pull focus from what he so clearly did in Uganda and shift attention to his new interests in Russia, Lively wrote:
I believe the Russian approach of banning homosexual propaganda to children as a preventive measure is a better model for other nations of the world looking avoid the moral degeneracy that has occurred in the U.S. and E.U. due to so-called “gay rights.”
One has to wonder if Lively would be so contrite about how far Uganda did go, had such international attention never greeted the dire situation there. Back when LGBT activists started covering Lively's work in the African nation, long before the mainstream media caught on, Lively didn't seem so concerned about couching his words or turning down the temperature. It was only after everyone started talking about what became known as the "kill the gays bill" that Lively started injecting nuanced and somewhat measured ideas into his advocacy there. It seems he's now using Russia as an extension of this spin campaign, pointing to Putin's prized fight as more in line with what he really hoped to accomplish. Or what he could feasibly accomplish.
As winter moved into spring, Lively's latest global obsession kept blossoming. In a lengthy treatise from March of this year, Lively asserted that America is quickly becoming a horrid wasteland, largely because of the gays. And what does Lively suggest is becoming a "greater defender of true human rights? Why Russia, natch. And again, Mr. Lively patted himself on the back for whatever role he played in creating that current state of affairs:
I have traveled extensively in the former Soviet Union, where I lectured on human rights in numerous universities, and, while in Latvia, I authored the Riga Declaration on Religious Freedom, Family Values and Human Rights in 2007. In my capacity as President of Defend the Family International I was in Moscow last October and met with high level representatives of the Russian Orthodox Church and Russia’s pro-family movement.
America has largely turned her back on God, reorganized her government and culture on a statist model, and is plummeting in a death spiral of moral and ethical degeneracy. As our collective former (Bible-based) values of self-restraint and personal responsibility steadily decline, external controls and surveillance by the new police state increase. The rule of law becomes the rule of man, and equal justice under law becomes special rights for favored groups.
Conversely, Russia has begun embracing Christian values regarding family issues, albeit imperfectly, in stark contrast to its aggressively godless Soviet past. Repression in Russia is decreasing as rapidly as it is increasing in the U.S..
I ask you, which is the greater threat to human rights: Russia’s law preventing homosexual activists from disseminating their propaganda to children, or the lawless decrees of these American federal judges? I submit that the former is not a threat at all, but a reaffirmation of true human rights (in that case the right of parents to raise their children according to their own values), while the latter is an egregious affront to liberty and an undermining of respect for the rule of law, which endangers all human rights.
Russia has a long way to go even to meet today’s tarnished standards in America, but if current trends hold, Russia will eventually supplant the U.S. as the greater defender of true human rights. Unfortunately, at the pace that our country is falling, that day may not be far off.
He's quite proud of his advocacy. Lively reiterated a few days later:
I do not hesitate to define homosexuality as a behavioral disorder with serious, moral, sociological and public health consequences. I am proud to say that I advocated for the Russian ban on advocacy of LGBT propaganda to children and that I want other nations to follow suit. I declare frankly that my opposition to so-called “gay” marriage and “gay” adoption of children derives from my belief that homosexuality itself is wrong and harmful to the people who practice it and to society.
Which brings us to this merry month of May. Responding to a Daily Beast report that President Putin has placed sanctions on Obama campaign donors specifically because they have ties to the LGBT community, Lively spun this into both proof that LGBT rights is at the heart of Ukrainian coup and a warning to American conservatives to not blindly support their country (aka "the New World Order") or their president:
I personally think Obama’s motives and timing in the Ukrainian coup (and subsequent push for war) are influenced at least in part by Putin’s unequivocal stand against homosexual perversion.
I caution US conservatives not to fall into line with Obama against the Russians. There is far more to this crisis than the war-propaganda and spin of the western media (including some conservative outlets) would have us believe. I for one will not take sides with the New World Order crowd against the only world power that is standing up to the LGBT agenda and embracing Biblical values on family issues. At least not over a geo-political crisis in which (IMHO) the Russians are clearly in the right.
Again, you have to just marvel in Mr. Lively's patriotic spirit. If you go back and look at this timeline of Russian advocacy, it's not just LGBT people who Lively is framing as wrong and bad and harmful and Nazi-like. Mr. Lively is also quick to make his home country into this terribly fated land. To hear him tell it, the coldest day of the Cold War era will soon seem like a time at the beach compared to the daily horrors that are coming to the US of A. Except it's not an iron curtain he is wrapping around the nation—it's a rainbow-colored one.
So where will Mr. Lively next take his Russian attention? In a perfect world, his advocacy and influence would not extend beyond the caviar section of his local supermarket. However, we have already seen how Mr. Lively can shape the world affairs of our imperfect world. What is fringe in America can look differently to other cultures; what is implausible here can sound differently in other native tongues.
And sometimes, crude ideas that can seem dangerous or even deadly to more accepting governments? On the foreign stage, in some countries, those same ideas are still in play. They are Lively.