Scott Lively Denies Responsibility for Uganda’s “Kill Gays” Bill
December 18th, 2009
NPR’s East Africa Correspondent Gwen Tompkins reports on NPR today:
Scott Lively’s philosophies have been deeply internalized here among those who are proponents of the law, and for people who are listening to these public dialogues on homosexuality, they’re hearing Scott Lively’s words reiterated by Ugandan Evangelicals and others who are proponents of the bill. And they believe it to be Gospel. They believe it to be scientific fact, what they’re listening to.
NPR’s Michel Martin then spoke to Scott Lively about the March conference, in which he defends his role in the events in Uganda. Lively acknowledges being “a consultant” on the law before it was drafted. Here is the audio:
As you can hear, this is a typical soft-ball NPR interview. There’s no mentioning of the fact that Scott Lively has played a leading role in three of the Southern Poverty Law Center’s ten anti-gay hate groups. There’s no examination of Lively’s Holocaust revisionism aside from an oblique reference to his “controversial” book at the beginning. In fact, none of his controversial beliefs surrounding Nazi Germany and the Holocaust came up. Instead, Lively pretends that he was simply asked for his opinion and he gave it. Whatever happens after that is none of his concern.
But here’s the kicker (at the 4:47 mark), when Lively said:
“It’s racist to suggest that Africans have no will of their own to produce public policy to suit their own values, and that three little-known, not very influential figures from American could come in and basically dominate this process. That’s pretty racist. We don’t have that kind of influence. We gave our opinion. And if it was true that our opinion was so weighty, then they would have backed off immediately, hearing all of us saying that we don’t agree with what they did.
The problem with that is that he’s constructed a very easily defeated strawman, as he is wont to do. First, we have long reported that Uganda’s violent hatred of its LGBT citizens had already provided fertile ground for the March anti-homosexuality conference to take root. It was that awareness of Uganda’s recent violent history that made the conference by Lively, Exodus International board member Don Schmierer and International Healing Foundation’s Caleb Brundidge so alarming. Lively’s rhetoric — which Gwen Tompkins reported had been repeated and accepted “as Gospel” among influential religious leaders in Uganda — included blaming gays for a “pedophilia” problem in the country, blaming gays for Fascism and the Holocaust in Nazi Germany, and blaming gays for the Rwandan genocide of 1994. And we know through video evidence that Lively’s historical revisionism has played a role in this year’s anti-gay hysteria.
But not only does he discount his own inflammatory rhetoric he also ignores the repeated assertions by Ugandan politicians that “homosexuality is a learned behavior” (which comes straight out of Schmierer’s and Brundidge’s talks in March). He also he also ignores the very real influence his pronouncements continue to have in Uganda. Uganda’s political and religious leaders are now talking about including Livey’s forced conversion therapy option as a possible amendment to the Anti-Homosexuality Bill. That was his idea, which he proudly owns.