||This article's introduction may be too long for the overall article length. (December 2014)|
Scott Lively at the 2014 MassEquality and WGBH Gubernatorial Forum on LGBTQ issues, March 25, 2014.
|Born||Scott Douglas Lively
December 14, 1957
Shelburne Falls, Massachusetts
|Occupation||Author, attorney, pastor and activist|
|Known for||Anti-gay activism|
Scott Douglas Lively (born December 14, 1957) is an American author, attorney, social activist and a former independent candidate for Governor of Massachusetts in the 2014 election. He is the president of Abiding Truth Ministries, a conservative Christian organization based in Temecula, California. He was the state director of the California branch of the American Family Association and a spokesman for the Oregon Citizens Alliance.
Lively has called for the criminalization of "the public advocacy of homosexuality" as far back as 2007 and is directly involved in anti-gay legislation in Uganda. He appeared in Russian television channel Russia-1's documentary titled Sodom in September 2014.
He has been interviewed in radio and television about his involvement in the ex-gay movement and his opposition to LGBT advocacy. According to a January 2011 profile, Lively "has not changed his view that gays are 'agents of America's moral decline,' but he has refocused his approach to fit his parishioners in Springfield, Massachusetts", and "is toning down his antigay rhetoric and shifting his focus to helping the downtrodden."
On August 14, 2013, a federal judge ruled that the case against Scott Lively, by the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) on behalf of Sexual Minorities Uganda (SMUG), a Uganda-based coalition of LGBT rights and advocacy groups, can move forward against him. This is a first-of-its kind case in which the lawsuit alleges that Lively's actions over the past decade, in collaboration with some Ugandan government officials and Ugandan religious leaders, are responsible for depriving LGBT Ugandans of their fundamental human rights based solely on their identity, which the lawsuits alleges falls under the definition of persecution under international law and is a crime against humanity. This effort resulted in the introduction of an Anti-Homosexuality Bill in Uganda, which Lively allegedly helped engineer.
Scott Lively was born and raised in the village of Shelburne Falls, Massachusetts, the oldest of six children. He became an alcoholic aged 12 as a means of coping with an unhappy family situation. When Lively was 16, his father was committed to a mental institution, never to return. After graduating from high school in 1976, Lively spent the next 10 years "drifting around the United States, often homeless, sometimes sleeping under bridges and begging for spare change on street-corners." Lively has stated in his autobiography: "I visited every one of the 48 continental states and logged over 25,000 miles by thumb, bus and train in my wandering. I didn’t learn to drive a car until I was 25."
On February 1, 1986, Lively became a born-again Christian while staying at an alcohol treatment facility in Portland, Oregon. He says of his conversion to Christianity, "It was a miracle which completely removed my desire for alcohol and drugs — something I had been unable to do for myself over several years of a desperate futile struggle to find some way to freedom."
In 1991, Lively, together with Oregon Citizens Alliance, shifted focus from abortion to homosexuality citing the "rapid advance of that agenda in Oregon".
On August 30, 2013, in response to anti-LGBT legislation in Russia, Lively wrote an open letter addressed to Vladimir Putin saying, "You have set an example of moral leadership that has shamed the governments of Western Europe and North America and inspired the peoples of the world."
Anti-homosexuality activism in Uganda
In March 2009, Lively, along with evangelical activists Don Schmierer and Caleb Lee Brundidge, arrived in Kampala to give a series of talks. "The theme of the event, according to Stephen Langa, its Ugandan organizer, was "'the gay agenda — that whole hidden and dark agenda' — and the threat homosexuals posed to Bible-based values and the traditional African family."
"[T]housands of Ugandans, including police officers, teachers and national politicians", reportedly attended the conference. Lively and his colleagues "discussed how to make gay people straight, how gay men often sodomized teenage boys and how 'the gay movement is an evil institution' whose goal is 'to defeat the marriage-based society and replace it with a culture of sexual promiscuity.'" Lively wrote days later that "someone had likened their campaign to 'a nuclear bomb against the gay agenda in Uganda.'"
The talks inspired the development of the Uganda Anti-Homosexuality Act, a private member's bill in the Ugandan parliament. The bill, submitted in November 2009, called for the death penalty in some cases, and was harshly criticized in the international community.
Lively expressed disappointment that "the legislation was so harsh." "Lively says he recommended an approach rooted in rehabilitation, not punishment and says an anti-gay bill being considered by the Ugandan Parliament goes too far."
[M]y advice to the parliament was to go the other direction from what they did to actually go on a proactive positive message promoting the family, promoting marriage, etcetera, through the schools, and that if they were going to continue to criminalize homosexuality that they should focus on rehabilitation and not punishment. And I was very disappointed when the law came out as it is written now with such incredibly harsh punishments.
Lively has said that he will endorse the bill if the death penalty is removed.
In March 2010, Lively wrote:
In my view, homosexuality (indeed all sex outside of marriage) should be actively discouraged by society -- but only as aggressively as necessary to prevent the mainstreaming of alternative sexual lifestyles, and with concern for the preservation of the liberties of those who desire to keep their personal lifestyles private. Marriage-based culture served humanity very favorably during the centuries when homosexuality was disapproved but tolerated as a sub-culture in America, England and elsewhere. It has obviously not fared well in the decades since the so-called sexual revolution kicked open Pandora's Box and unleashed both rampant heterosexual promiscuity and "Gay Pride" on the world.
In March of this year I had the privilege of addressing members of the Ugandan parliament in their national assembly hall when the anti-homosexuality law was just being considered. I urged them to pattern their bill on some American laws regarding alcoholism and drug abuse. I cited my own pre-Christian experience being arrested for drunk driving. I was given and chose the option of therapy which turned out to be one of the best decisions of my life. I also cited the policy in some U.S. jurisdictions regarding marijuana. Criminalization of the drug prevents its users from promoting it, and discourages non-users from starting, even while the law itself is very lightly enforced, if at all.
On March 14, 2012, the Center for Constitutional Rights filed a federal lawsuit against Lively on behalf of a gay rights group, Sexual Minorities Uganda, under the Alien Tort Statute. The suit accused Lively of violating international law by conspiring to persecute the Ugandan LGBT community. He responded: "That’s about as ridiculous as it gets. I've never done anything in Uganda except preach the Gospel and speak my opinion about the homosexual issue."
Pam Spees, a staff attorney for the Center for Constitutional Rights, said, "This is not just based on his speech. It's based on his conduct. Belief is one thing, but actively trying to harm and deprive other people of their rights is the definition of persecution."
In August 2013, a federal judge rejected an attempt by the defense to dismiss the case against Lively. U.S. District Court Judge Michael A. Ponsor rejected the jurisdictional claims by the defendant, ruling that the plaintiffs were on solid ground under international and federal law and that First Amendment arguments were "premature." In December 2014, the First Circuit Court of Appeals rejected another petition to dismiss the case.
The Pink Swastika
Along with Kevin E. Abrams, Lively co-authored the book The Pink Swastika. Abrams and Lively state in the preface that "homosexuals [are] the true inventors of Nazism and the guiding force behind many Nazi atrocities."
The premise of Lively and Abrams' book has been criticized as a "pernicious myth", "utterly false" and "a flat-out lie", and several historians have questioned Abrams and Lively's claims and selective use of research.
- The Pink Swastika (1996)
- Seven Steps to Recruit-Proof Your Child: A Parent's Guide to Protecting Children from Homosexuality and the "Gay" Movement (1998)
- Why and How to Defeat the "Gay" Movement (2000)
- Redeeming the Rainbow: A Christian Response to the "Gay" Agenda (2009)
- Massachusetts gubernatorial election, 2014
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- "Scott Lively says being gay is "worse than mass murder" as trial moves forward". Gay Star News. December 8, 2014.
- The Pink Swastika: Homosexuality in the Nazi Party: Preface to the Fourth Edition, retrieved 2010-04-17
- Erik N. Jensen (January–April 2002). "The Pink Triangle and Political Consciousness: Gays, Lesbians, and the Memory of Nazi Persecution". Journal of the History of Sexuality 11 (1/2): 319–349, pp. 322–323 and n. 19. doi:10.1353/sex.2002.0008.
- Bob Moser (Spring 2005). "Making Myths". Intelligence Report (Southern Poverty Law Center) (117).
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- "The Other Side of the Pink Triangle: Still a Pink Triangle". October 24, 1994. Retrieved 2008-11-08.
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- Lively, Scott; Abrams, Kevin E. (1996). The Pink Swastika. Founders Publishing Corporation. ISBN 0-964-76091-6.
- Lively, Scott (1998). Seven Steps to Recruit-Proof Your Child. Founders Publishing Corporation. ISBN 0-9647609-5-9.
- Lively, Scott (2000). Why and How to Defeat the "Gay" Movement. Abiding Truth Ministries.
- Redeeming The Rainbow. Defend The Family.
- Official website and blog
- Abiding Truth Ministries
- Lively for Governor website
- Photos of the two candidates on the Lively-Saunders 2014 ticket