Liberty Counsel Champions "Peaceful" Hate Group Leader Behind Uganda's "Kill The Gays" Bill
August 20, 2013 11:44 am ET by Luke Brinker
Mat Staver, founder and chairman of the right-wing Liberty Counsel, denounced a federal human rights lawsuit brought against Scott Lively, an extremist pastor whose international anti-gay proselytizing has, by Lively's own account, inspired a spate of anti-gay laws.
Appearing on Salem Radio Network's The Janet Mefferd Show on August 19, Staver called Lively, whom Liberty Counsel represents, a "peaceful" man victimized by "a George Soros-backed organization":
The "George Soros-backed organization" Staver referred to is the New York-based Center for Constitutional Rights, which is working with Sexual Minorities Uganda (SMUG) to hold Lively accountable for his complicity in human rights violations in that country, where Lively's preaching against gays stoked anti-gay violence and inspired legislation - popularly known as the "kill the gays" bill - to make "certain homosexual behavior" punishable by death.
As president of the anti-gay hate group Abiding Truth Ministries, Lively has traveled the globe to campaign against LGBT rights. As The New York Times reported in March 2012, Lively met with Ugandan politicians and lawyers in 2009 to strategize about how to combat "the 'gay' agenda." Shortly thereafter, lawmakers introduced the "kill the gays" bill.
Lively's international crusade against gays stems primarily from his belief that the battle against gays is essentially lost in the U.S. Lively finds this dismaying, but the "peaceful" preacher is cheered by Russia's brutal, draconian crackdown on gays - for which he claims credit:
I can't point to any country of the world today that is a model for the rest of the world, except perhaps for Russia, which has just taken the very important and frankly necessary step of criminalizing homosexual propaganda to protect the society from being "homosexualzed." [sic] This was one of my recommendation [sic] to Russian leaders in my 50-city tour of the former Soviet Union in 2006 and 2007.
Liberty Counsel's official line is that Lively merely conveys to international audiences his biblically-based opposition to homosexuality, and that any abuses of human rights have nothing to do with his work. But Lively's actions and his own words suggest otherwise.