Scott Lively, a pastor in Springfield, Mass., is facing an unprecedented lawsuit that alleges he persecuted gays in Uganda, committing a "crime against humanity," even as he takes credit for anti-gay legislation in Russia.
When President Vladimir Putin recently banned “homosexual propaganda” in Russia, he joined sides in a new global culture war: a struggle to stop the march of gay rights abroad even as advocates wave rainbow flags in America.
Now, as the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics approach, both sides are bracing for unrest — and an American pastor is taking credit for the law that started it all.
Scott Lively is a hero to some, a demon to others and a joke to still more. From his home in Springfield, Mass., he runs Abiding Truth Ministries, a church dedicated to combating “the homosexual agenda,” and Holy Grounds Coffee Shop, where the faithful gather for java and Jesus. Lively also sermonizes overseas, promoting his books — most notably The Pink Swastika, which traces the Nazi Party to a gay bar — and portraying gay love as a “dark force” in human history responsible for the Inquisition, American slavery and the Holocaust.
U.S. pastor Scott Lively speaks before a Watchmen on the Walls conference in Novosibirsk, Russia on August 17, 2007, warning of a widening global clash between "Christians and Homosexuals."
Last month a federal judge allowed a first-of-its-kind lawsuit to proceed against Lively that alleges the pastor persecuted gays in Uganda and committed a potential “crime against humanity” — one that contributed to a bill that would have made homosexuality an act punishable by death.