Tuesday, August 20, 2013

FACES OF HATE: Americans Behind Russia's Anti-Gay Brutality

Many of us are saddened, disturbed and angry about anti-gay laws in Russia and the related harassment, humiliation, torture and even murder commitment against gay people in Russia, often condoned and even encouraged by government. Calls to Boycott Russian Vodka and the Olympics are definitely bringing needed attention to the atrocities.

But we should also direct our attention towards the people and organizations right here in the United States who are partly responsible for anti-gay hate and violence occurring overseas. We should all do what we can to draw attention to, ask questions of and demand answers from these American citizens and organizations who praise, take credit for, support and even brag about Russia’s brutal anti-gay policies.

Here's some of those faces of hate:

Scott Lively
SCOTT LIVELY: An attorney, pastor, self-proclaimed “human rights consultant,” founder and president of Defend the Family International and the president of Abiding Truth Ministries in Springfield, Massachusetts, Scott Lively conducted a 50-city speaking tour of Russia six years ago and says current anti-gay laws reflect policies that he advocated at the time when he urged Russia to “criminalize” the public advocacy of homosexuality (a policy he has unsuccessfully advocated for in the United States as well). 

"The purpose of my visit was to bring a warning about the homosexual political movement which has done much damage to my country," Lively wrote in an open letter to Russian citizens. "This is a very fast-growing social cancer that will destroy the family foundations of your society if you do not take immediate, effective action to stop it."   

He said such actions would make Russia a “model pro-family society" and suggested that “people from the West would begin to emigrate to Russia in the same way that Russians used to emigrate to the United States and Europe.“ (Lively is also coauthor of a book called “The Pink Swastika: Homosexuality in the Nazi Party,” which claims that "homosexuals are the true inventors of Nazism and the guiding force behind many Nazi atrocities.")

Peter LaBarbera
PETER LABARBERA: Founder and president of Americans for Truth About Homosexuality based in Naperville, Illinois, Peter LaBarbera  has spoken out in support of the atrocities occurring in Russia. When his organization was classified as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) LaBarbera said, “If you are not on the SPLC hate list, you are not doing enough.”  He frequently tries to link gay men and pedophilia together and has stated that occurrences of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) among gay men are “reassuring” and “demonstrates that God sees homosexuals as an abominations.”  In regards to Russia he recently wrote: "Russians do not want to follow America's reckless and decadent promotion of gender confusion, sexual perversion, and anti-biblical ideologies to youth." 

Austin Ruse
AUSTIN RUSE: "You admire some of the things they're doing in Russia against propaganda," says Austin Ruse, president of the Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute (yes, they actually have the hypocritical audacity to use the words “human rights” in their name), which has offices in New York and Washington, D.C.  He laments the fact that such laws can’t be passed in our nation.  The institute is seeking accreditation from the United Nations (and also claims the U.N. is “risking credibility” by pushing for support of gay rights) and Ruse plans to travel to Russia this summer to meet with government officials and civic leaders. "We want to let them know they do in fact have support among American NGOs (non- governmental organizations) on social issues," he says.

Stefano Gennarini
STEFANO GENNARINI:  Also of the Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute, Stefano Gennarini speaks favorably of Russia’s new anti-gay laws and refers to parades, rallies and protests in support of gay equality as “ludicrous and disturbing behavior on show in the squares and streets of Europe and America."  (I couldn’t find comments from him about the disturbing behavior of stalking, harassing, beating, torturing and murdering innocent gay people in the squares and streets of Europe.) Instead, he says, people in other regions, such as Africa and the Islamic world, might “look to Russia as a positive example when considering laws of their own.”

THE WORLD CONGRESS OF FAMILIES: Based in Rockford, Illinois, The World Congress of Families is planning to hold its eighth international conference at the Kremlin's Palace of Congresses in Moscow next year.  “Russia, with its historic commitment to deep spirituality and morality, can be a hope for the natural family supporters from all over the world," the organization states on its website.

I don’t advocate for violence against these people or organizations, nor deny them their Constitutional rights to free speech and freedom of religion.  But can they, should they, be held accountable in some manner?

What do you think?

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