America's Globetrotting Homophobes Exposed, Put on Notice by New HRC Report
Recognizing that U.S.-based hate groups have never worn them, the Human Rights Campaign has taken off the gloves to expose American extremist organizations and individuals in a new report about the homophobic hatred they spread around the globe.
"They spew venomous rhetoric, outrageous theories, and discredited science," notes the report, titled "The Export of Hate." "Some claim that LGBT people are responsible for the Holocaust, the Rwandan genocide, and the spread of HIV/AIDS. Others argue that LGBT people are luring away children, and that acceptance of LGBT people will lead to the destruction of families around the world. Some even suggest that the death penalty could be an appropriate punishment for simply being LGBT."
In the report, HRC tells the story of homegrown hate, America's sleeper export, in 26 graphically arresting pages. "The Export of Hate" is packed with data about the history, finances, personalities, and disturbing objectives of individuals and groups such as Scott Lively, Lively's Abiding Truth Ministries, and the World Congress of Families, which is scheduled to hold its annual conference in the Salt Lake City next year.
Noting Lively's activities promoting a particularly vile brand of homophobia in East Africa, Eastern Europe, Russia, and even the U.K., the new report says, "In the United States, Lively is largely considered a fringe extremist, even by other anti-LGBT activists, but he has never been content to spread extremism and hate at home."
As for the World Congress of Families, in more than one case, it has provided impetus for passing draconian, antigay legislation, including Russia's Anti-Homosexuality Propaganda law and Uganda's recently repealed Anti-Homosexuality Act.
In the case of Russia, the World Congress has partnered closely with some of that country's most rabidly homophobic individuals, organizations, and politicians, including some who are recognized by the U.S. government as "specially designated nationals and blocked persons." That list was compiled as part of the Obama Administration's sanctions against Russia for the invasion of Ukraine. HRC has asked authorities to investigate whether top World Congress officials violated U.S. sanctions by collaborating with Russians on the list in order to help pull off international forum focused on promoting homophobia and anti-abortion rights activities.
As Right Wing Watch notes, last week's Large Families: The Future of Humanity conference in Moscow was attended by many of the people included in HRC's new report, including Brian Brown, president of National Organization for Marriage, which has fought against marriage equality in the U.S. for years and has been threatening to launch an international organization .
According to multiple media reports, the Moscow forum ended with passage of a resolution — an "Urgent Appeal to the Nations of the World" — calling on passage of laws similar to Russia's draconian "gay propaganda" law. That infamous policy has had a variety of negative consequences, including prosecution of elementary-school children who identify as LGBT and investigation of teachers who allowed even younger children to exchange Valentine's Day cards irrespective of their genders.
The Russian law, which Brown, Lively, and many of their cohorts would like to see replicated in countries around the world, has also been credited with spurring an increase of violence against LGBT Russians.
"The Export of Hate" profiles America's worst globetrotting homophobic offenders a rap-sheet style that also puts them "on notice." The report complements two other recent reports from HRC and is being promoted via social media with the hashtag #endthehate.
“Hate is not an American value, and we must expose and fight these individuals and their extremist allies,” said Ty Cobb, the HRC Foundation’s director of global engagement. “This is a destructive group of activists spreading anti-LGBT rhetoric, promoting laws that criminalize LGBT people, and seeking to restrict their speech and those who support them. Although their views may find little traction in the United States, public opinion in many other nations makes their words and global advocacy fundamentally dangerous.”
The report also provides profiles of Benjamin Bull of the Alliance Defending Freedom, Paul Cameron of the Family Research Institute, Jordan Sekulow of the American Center for Law and Justice, Peter LaBarbera of Americans for Truth About Homosexuality, Sharon Slater of Family Watch International, Larry Jacobs or the World Congress of Families, and Robert Oscar Lopez, a blogger and English professor at California State University, Northridge.
The report includes a second tier of homophobes in a "Dishonorable Mentions" section, including Brian Camenker, founder of antigay group MassResistance, based in Massachusetts. Mat Staver, Liberty University Law School dean and talk radio host, and Michael Brown, also a talk radio host in the U.S., are on the list as well, as is Concerned Women for America's Janice Shaw Crouse. Christian missionary Scott Stirm of Waco, Texas, also made the report because of his efforts to oppress and harm LGBT people in Belize.