Scott Lively Defends his Anti-Gay Activism in Uganda while Denying Role in Crafting the Anti-Homosexuality Bill

In an interview on Friday with Janet Mefferd, Religious Right activist Scott Lively repeatedly maintained that he had no role in crafting Uganda’s Anti-Homosexual Bill, which included a provision requiring capital punishment for gay people, and lashed out at a lawsuit filed against him by Sexual Minorities Uganda and the Center for Constitutional Rights over his role in the legislation.

He reiterated his assertion that George Soros and allied “globalists” were trying to “kick off a sexual revolution” in Uganda because they were upset about the growth of Christianity in the country, and said that in response to the “flood of sexual perversion that was coming into their country” Ugandan officials “decided they have to have some kind of new law, even though homosexuality was already illegal, they needed to strengthen the law [criminalizing homosexuality] and just sort of put their foot down.” Lively said he participated in a 2009 anti-gay conference to “prepare the leadership of the country to understand what the issue was because they knew they were going to come out with this bill”:

Lively: Uganda after Idi Amin had a Christian revival, they are still having a Christian revival, the president is a Christian, his wife is a very strong Christian, Janet Museveni, and as a result of that they went from having the highest AIDS rate to having the lowest AIDS rate in Africa. And of course that began to make waves around the world and it really upset the apple cart of the globalists, the George Soros types that use the sexual revolution as a way to bring countries under their sway. So when Uganda did this, they began trying to interject themselves into the country and kick off a sexual revolution there, starting with pornography. Back in 2002, I just by divine appointment became the keynote speaker for their first national conference on pro-family issues, it was against pornography and obscenity, it was the top people of the country, Cabinet ministers, Supreme Court justices; it was quite an honor to have been there, someone else canceled out and I got a phone call asking if I would go. Because of that, some of my enemies and there’s actually a documentary that labels me the ‘father of the Ugandan pro-family movement’ as a result of that.

What I told them was what I had learned in the United States, where this was coming from, who was behind this effort in their country—which they didn’t know—and how to respond to it. So they began at that point, you know, paying attention and sure enough that was what was going on. Over the next seven years they were not able to stop the flood of sexual perversion that was coming into their country as a result of their efforts, and by this time you’ve got homosexual men from the United States and from Europe going into Uganda and messing with the boys, there was a lot of sex tourism now as a result of this. So they decided they have to have some kind of new law, even though homosexuality was already legal, they need to strengthen the law and just sort of put their foot down. So this conference in 2009, in March, was to prepare the leadership of the country to understand what the issue was because they knew they were going to come out with this bill.

Right before a commercial break, Lively suggested that the Anti-Homosexuality Bill law wasn’t as bad as reported because, according to Lively, countries in Africa tend to “have extraordinarily harsh statutes but very lenient applications in the courts”:

Mefferd: It’s very important, as you pointed out, that you opposed this aspect of the bill that would impose the death penalty on a homosexual but this is what they’ve sort of zoned in on that in some respects you’re responsible for that, isn’t that the case?

Lively: That’s true. People need to understand that even though this really sort of offends our sensibilities when we hear of a law that that’s harsh, but it’s very, very typical of Africa, African nations have extraordinarily harsh statutes but very lenient applications in the courts.

Update: Lively later said that he proposed a bill that would make homosexuals either go to so-called ex-gay reparative therapy or face imprisonment, telling them to use an Oregon law that offers people arrested for drunk driving the choice of rehab or jail time as a model:

Mefferd: When you go back to 2009 and what you actually said during the conference, was there anything that you did say at that time that gave them actual fodder for screaming and yelling, do you regret anything you said—

Lively: No, no, no.

Mefferd: Or do you stand by what you said?

Lively: First of all as regards to the bill, the bill hadn’t been written yet, I had an opportunity, I spoke to members of the Ugandan Parliament in their assembly hall, and there was several other speakers and the minister of ethics and integrity was there and he made a few comments. My suggestion was, rather than focusing on punishment, you should focus on therapy. I gave my own personal testimony, before I became a Christian, an instrumental factor was I got arrested for drunk driving and they gave me the option in Oregon of taking diversion, as they called it, or losing my license and going to jail. I chose the therapy option, it was one of the best things that ever happened, it was in that rehab center that I got down on my knees and surrendered my life to Christ, so I gave that as my testimony to the Ugandans saying this is the model you should follow, you could be the first country in the world to offer this as a standard, a national standard, that we want to help people overcome this sin.

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