Video: Evangelist says ‘indirectly assisting’ Russia with anti-gay law ‘one of my proudest moments’

PinkNews logo with white background and rainbow corners

Anti-gay evangelist Scott Lively has claimed that he “indirectly” helped to “craft” Russia’s anti-gay law, and said it was “one of the proudest moments” of his career.

Appearing on the programme of anti-gay Bryan Fischer, Lively said he had been on a tour of Russia which concluded in 2007. By his logic, he claims some of the benefit for the anti-gay law, as St Petersburg was where he ended his tour, and was the first city to pass a law banning homosexual “propaganda”.

President Vladimir Putin signed the federal law in June banning the promotion of “non-traditional relationships” toward minors, a move that has been criticised as part of a broader crackdown on Russia’s gay community.

In the video posted by Right Wing Watch, Lively says: “I believe I did have something to do with that, I mean not directly, I wasn’t working with the government officials, crafting it, but in my 50 city tour of the former Soviet Union in 2006 and 2007, that was what I was advocating for. That is what I was suggesting that they ought to do, and I included that in my letter to the Russian people in the very last city of my tour which was St Petersburg, and it turns out that St Petersburg was the first city that adopted htis law.

“Then several others did, then the federal government passed in unanimously in the national congress, and Putin signed it.

“I indirectly assisted in that, and it is one of the proudest moments of my career”.

In a follow up to his letter warning Vladimir Putin that anti-gay “propaganda” laws in Russia may not be enough, earlier this month, Lively released a bizarre tirade on his blog praising Putin as an “unlikely hero” and invoking “the battle we waged together against Nazism”.

In his open letter to Vladimir Putin, Mr Lively wrote: “I want to caution you not to assume that you have fully solved the problem by the enactment of this law.”

He added: “Few political agendas in the history of mankind have marshaled the tenacity and resolve of the homosexualist movement.

“Its activists are driven by an implacable militancy and a zeal to advance their own self-serving interests that rivals even the most fanatical religious cult.”

Scott Lively is also currently accused of human rights violations for his support of the Ugandan ‘Kill the Gays’ bill. At his request to have the case against him dismissed last month, Judge Michael Ponsor ruled against Lively.

Judge Ponsor said: “Widespread, systematic persecution of LGBTI people constitutes a crime against humanity that unquestionably violates international norms.

“The history and current existence of discrimination against LGBTI people is precisely what qualifies them as a distinct targeted group eligible for protection under international law. The fact that a group continues to be vulnerable to widespread, systematic persecution in some parts of the world simply cannot shield one who commits a crime against humanity from liability.”

The ruling was made in the lawsuit brought against Lively by the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) on behalf of Sexual Minorities Uganda, a coalition of LGBT rights and advocacy groups.

The case alleges that his actions in Uganda over the past ten years led to the persecution, torture, arrest and murder of gay people in the country.