By Trudy Ring
Originally published on Advocate.com February 21 2014 5:44 PM ET
Some of the nation’s most virulently antigay activists have come together to create a new organization in an effort to stop progress on LGBT rights worldwide.
Scott Lively of Defend the Family International and Peter LaBarbera of Americans for Truth About Homosexuality held a press conference today at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., to introduce the new group, the Coalition for Family Values, the Washington Blade reports.
“We share a Biblical worldview and speak the plain truth of the LGBT agenda and its destructive influence on society,” said Lively, a Massachusetts-based minister who has praised Russia’s “gay propaganda” ban and spread his homophobic message to Uganda and other nations. “Our goal is to promote and protect the natural family as the essential foundation of civilization, and family values as the sources and guide to mainstream culture in every society, while advocating reasonable tolerance to those who choose to live discreetly outside the mainstream.”
Lively, who is also running for governor of Massachusetts as an independent, and LaBarbera, a proponent of “ex-gay” therapy, are among 70 right-wing activists from the U.S., Canada, Australia, the U.K., and Brazil, who have joined the coalition, according to the Blade. Other well-known names include Sally Kern, an Oklahoma state representative who has said gay people are more dangerous than terrorists; Brian Camenker of the antigay group MassResistance, who has equated LGBT rights advances with the rise of the Nazi Party in Germany and communism in China; and lawyer Matt Barber, who recently railed against allowing gay conservative groups at the Conservative Political Action Conference, saying, “There is nothing conservative about sodomy.”
At the press conference today Lively mentioned that he has been to Russia three times, and he reiterated his oft-noted support for the antigay law that nation adopted last year. “We want to praise the Russian Federation for providing much-needed leadership in restoring family values in public policy,” he said, and he urged that other countries enact similar laws.
Lively is also the subject of a lawsuit that claims he urged Uganda to enact antigay legislation, the infamous Anti-Homosexuality Bill, which is on the verge of becoming law in that country and could mean life imprisonment for some gay people. Questioned about the suit at the press conference, he dismissed the Center for Constitutional Rights, which filed it on behalf of Sexual Minorities Uganda, as a “Marxist law firm from New York City.” He added, “The purpose of the lawsuit is to shut me up because I speak very articulately about the homosexual issue from a pro-family perspective.”
Two pro-LGBT activists, Ellen Sturtz and Slava Revin of the Spectrum Human Rights Alliance, interrupted the press conference and heckled Lively and LaBarbera. Security personnel eventually removed them from the room. Watch below.