When I asked Scott Lively, the American evangelical pastor who travels the world and who takes credit for getting Russia's “gay propaganda" law passed, to name five prominent non-religious Americans who, like him and other anti-gay evangelical leaders, use science to argue that homosexuality is harmful, he refused to answer.
“I’m not going to give you the names, because as soon as I give the name of any person you can target, you’re going to destroy their lives,” Lively, who has called homosexuality a “behavioral disorder,” claimed. “I’m not going to expose them to gay-bullying.”
Lively, who also inspired Uganda lawmakers to pass the notorious anti-homosexuality law, is now running for governor in Massachusetts, the state that was first in the nation with marriage equality, so that he can “advance a biblical world view in an arena that hasn’t heard that in a while.” Lively wants to see an end to gay marriage and desires to bring anti-sodomy laws back to the United States, and, expanding on his recent suggestion of a coming anti-gay “revolution” and “Christian revival,” said he believes the revolution will happen if the “conservative states…rebel against the federal supremacy clause.”
Lively, who spoke with me in an interview on SiriusXM Progress, said in one breath, “I support the right to privacy and think people should keep their sexual lifestyles and behaviors to themselves if they’re outside of the mainstream,” only to say minutes later that he supports sodomy laws because “it’s important to have laws regulating harmful sexual conduct, but I don’t believe it’s necessary to enforce them — unless there in a problem with them.”
Recently the subject of an exhaustive report by the Human Rights Campaign in which he was billed as "one of the most notorious exporters of hate," Lively, a long-time crusader against LGBT rights, addressed the Ugandan parliament several years ago regarding what he saw as the dangers of homosexuality and inspired the anti-homosexuality bill. But he said he thinks Uganda went too far in penalizing homosexuality with life in prison. Lively said he’s “very disappointed” that Uganda “fell back into punitive sanctions,” explaining that he “was urging them to focus on therapy and prevention.”
But what if people don’t want to go into an “ex-gay” therapy program?
“Well then they would take whatever the other alternative is, which was probably going to jail,” he said.
Asked about his comments on a radio program in which he suggested President Obama is the “anti-Christ,” Lively laughed and denied saying anything of the kind.
“I did not say that Obama is the anti-Christ,” he flatly replied. But then when the tape was played for him, in which Lively talks of the anti-Christ being the leader of the “largest superpower in the world,” he revised his answer.
“No, no — that’s Obama,” he admitted, adding, "but the context of that show was laying out a hypothetical situation.”
Lively, whose statements are regularly tracked by Right Wing Watch, recently said the country is sitting on a “powderkeg” and that “explosive” change is coming. He told me the Tea Party movement is an example of what’s to come.
"I think the Tea Party movement sort of is representative of the unhappiness in the population with this extreme leftist agenda that has been advancing at the expense of Christian culture for a long time,” he explained. "I’m just sort of looking out at the landscape and seeing the amount of anger that there is with the Obama administration and the totalitarian police state that is emerging and it’s just rolling over Christian values — not just Christian values but also conservative values."
And who does Scott Lively support for the 2016 presidential race?
“I’m not going to tell you,” he said at first. "I'm not going to do that. You’re just going to turn that into another basis to attack.”
But then he offered his favorite among the names that have been floated: the Johns Hopkins University neurosurgeon Ben Carson, who last year compared homosexuality to bestiality and pedophilia.
“I just like the few things I’ve heard about him,” said Lively.