Little did my partner and I realize what the drastic changes for our lives during the next two decades after we retired from teaching and moved from Arizona to the coast of Oregon. It was 1992, the year of the virulently anti-LGBT Proposition 9 that led to thousands of closeted people in the state coming out in response to the proposed ballot measure. (Note that this wasn’t the only Measure 9: it was followed eight years later by another anti-LGBT measure, ironically numbered Measure 9.) was the Oregon Citizens Alliance, led by Lon Mabon and Scott Lively. We joined the other LGBT people who came out of the closet because of the outrageous Prop 8 and have had a very different life because of our freedom in Oregon.
Mabon has disappeared, but the 58-year-old Lively has made his mark around the world in the past 22 years. He disappeared from the Oregon scene with his move to California where he founded the Abiding Truth Ministries, designated as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC).
Lively is highly qualified in hatred. He and his believers think that “the gays” are responsible for every problem in history and in the Bible from the Spanish Inquisition and Holocaust to the need for Noah’s ark. According to Lively, God’s anger about wedding songs for gay weddings caused the flood.
In the recent release of his book The Pink Swastika: Homosexuality in the Nazi Party, co-written with Kevin Abrams, Lively wrote that gay people are responsible for Nazi atrocities and accuses gays in the United States currently carrying out the same agenda against Christians in this country.
His hatred went international in 2002 at a conference in Uganda about the connection between homosexuality and pornography. That speech led to others and then to meetings with government officials. Seven years later, Lively was a key speaker in Uganda where he proclaimed that homosexuality caused the Rwandan genocide, Nazism, and AIDS, a justifiable punishment by God. After his impassioned speeches, the Ugandan legislature introduced its infamous “Kill the Gays” bill, downgraded to “Jail the Gays” bill that removed the death penalty. The bill passed but was recently overturned on a technical basis.
On behalf of Sexual Minorities Uganda (SMUG), the Center for Constitution Rights has filed a federal lawsuit against Scott Lively and Abiding Truth Ministries. The complaint states that he specifically sought out Uganda to further his agenda, knowing that Uganda was fertile ground to “meaningfully provoke and bring about the persecution of the LGBT community.” It connects his actions to the escalation of anti-gay propaganda and persecution in Uganda. The suit is the first known sexual identity and gender discrimination suit under the Alien Tort Statute (ATS), which allows foreign victims to sue corporations, governments and individuals for human rights violations.
A year ago, a federal judge refused to dismiss the lawsuit. U.S. District Court Judge Michael A. Ponsor ruled that the plaintiffs were on solid ground under international and federal law and that First Amendment arguments were “premature.” Ponsor wrote, “[Lively] has allegedly supported and actively participated in worldwide initiatives, with a substantial focus on Uganda, aimed at repressing free expression by LGBTI groups, destroying the organizations that support them, intimidating LGBTI individuals, and even criminalizing the very status of being lesbian or gay.”
Lively’s European came from his organization, Watchmen on the Wall, that he co-founded with a Russian radio host and Latvian pastor. In his 50-city European tour in 2007, Lively declared LGBT rights “as the most dangerous political movement in the world.” Lively is partially responsible for Russia’s anti-LGBT law, causing an increase in anti-LGBT violence and discrimination that Lively blames on the LGBT people themselves. During a radio interview with Bryan Fischer, Lively has taken credit for the Russian law: “I believe I did have something to do with that. I included [these suggestions] in my letter to the Russian people that I published in the very last city of the tour, which was St. Petersburg, and of course, St. Petersburg turns out to be the first city that adopted this law.”
While appearing on religious-right activist Linda Harvey’s “Mission America” radio show, Lively explained that the only LGBT violence in Russia is “gay-on-gay crime.” He said that “the guys that are beating up gays in Russia … are butch homosexuals who are beating up effeminate homosexuals, the same thing that happened in Germany.” In both these situations, Lively has no credible evidence to back up his claims.
Lively also wanted the Russians to adopt the rainbow “as a Russian symbol, a Christian symbol” and said that he met with Russian Orthodox Church’s leadership to present this idea. His idea was that the Russian Olympics could be held under the banner of the rainbow stating “the rainbow belongs to God.” He said:
“It looks like they are going to do that. Get all the pro-family organizations to come along to declare 2014 ‘The Year of God’s Rainbow’ and all of us adopt it—I’m wearing a pin right now that says ‘Reclaim The Rainbow: Ezekiel 1:28’—I think all of us should just start taking the rainbow, putting it on our webpages, wearing it and just take it away from them, it doesn’t belong to them.”
I haven’t noticed that happening.
Six years ago, Lively moved himself and the Ministries to Springfield (MA) where he’s working on his latest goal—running for governor. After talking about running for Massachusetts governor for a few years, Lively has now submitted the necessary 10,000 valid signatures to be an independent candidate for the position. As gubernatorial candidate, Lively has tried to disclaim his involvement with the Ugandan law, but records show that he told reporters that he was “one of the people that helped to start the pro-family movement there. … This was all new to them.” He also said that his campaign against homosexuality was like a “nuclear bomb” against the so-called gay agenda.
Lively has not restricted himself to bashing his description of “the gay agenda.” He said that he “would prosecute abortionists for aggravated first-degree murder if it were in my power to do so.” He believes that the educational Common Core is “Commie Core,” that notions like the DREAM Act are “Marxist,” and that public employee unions are “unconstitutional.”
In his announcement as a candidate, Lively did include condemnation of homosexuality, but he’s also concentrating on changing Massachusetts into a religious state. “They need a leader who will remind the people that Massachusetts was founded upon Jesus Christ and the Bible and that our future security and prosperity depend on restoring our trust in Him. ‘Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord!’ Psalm 33:12.:
The candidate knows full well that he has no chance of winning: “My main goal in running for Governor is to advocate Biblical values in the political arena,” he wrote on his website. He does think that “real conservatives” will take back the GOP.
Meanwhile, Democrats are cheering him on. Radical-right votes are sure to go to Lively and away from the mainstream Republican, especially if front-runner, pro-choice Charlie Baker wins the GOP candidacy at the 9/11/14 primary. In 2010, Brian Camenker of MassResistance said:
“Lively is everything that Charlie Baker is not. He is principled, pro-family, pro-life, pro-traditional marriage, pro-2nd-amendment, pro-religion, pro-parents’ rights, and utterly fearless.”
Run, Scott, run!