Anti-Gay Activism Looks Lively in Latvia

From OneNewsNow:

An international pro-family organization, Watchmen on the Walls (WOW), has announced its participation in the boycott of Ford Motor Company.

The announcement comes 18 months into the boycott that began in the United States, and WOW says it will now help spread it to Russian-speaking countries near its headquarters in Latvia.

…[S]pokesman Dr. Scott Lively…says people of the former Soviet Union’s Russian-speaking countries are among the strongest opponents of the homosexual agenda in the world.

Ford is known for being nice to gay employees and for aiming advertising at a gay clientele; this has brought down the wrath of the American Family Association, which runs OneNewsNow. Of course, Lively is quite right about that last statement, given that gay Russians face violent assaults from citizens whipped up by far-right nationalists and Orthodox fundamentalists. And Lively is apparently happy to inflame the situation further; Gay Republic Daily quotes a speech he made during a trip to Russia earlier this month:

“The youth must know about “the blue threat” as much as possible. Many countries of the former Soviet Union, which had been the outposts of family values recently, have submitted to the pressure of homosexuals.”

“A gay parade has already been held in Lithuania, and in Kiev Ukrainian President was standing on one stage with George Michael, a homosexual singer, who has been caught making love in the bushes recently. Even in Russia in the town of Omsk homosexuals penetrated into a local university and formed their own club, which tried to breakdown my lecture. But I believe that Russia will become a country, where “the blue plague” will be stopped.”

Lively is most famous for his 1995 book The Pink Swastika, which explored the presence of homosexuality in the Nazi Party. The book argues that gay activists can be compared with the Brownshirts, and that the claim that homosexuals were the victims of Nazism is a historical distortion on a par with Holocaust denial. He also helps to run the Oregan Citizen’s Alliance, which was dormant before Lively hit on the idea of involving East European immigrants. The Williamette Week reported in February:

In front of about 30 people gathered recently in a Salem church sanctuary to celebrate the reunion of the Oregon Citizens Alliance, Scott Lively found cause for optimism about the rebirth of the anti-gay group.

…Lively, a longtime OCA leader, introduced five members from the group the Watchmen on the Walls—an international network of Christian activists dedicated to fighting what it calls “the homosexual agenda”—to show a video of their movement in parts of the former Soviet Union.

The 45-minute video, which repeatedly refers to homosexuals as “terrorists,” shows how conservative Latvians successfully stopped gays from marching in their capital, Riga. (European news reports show anti-gay demonstrators throwing feces on the gays.)

The video also features Alexei Ledyaev—a Kazakhstan-born Baptist pastor and leader of the New Generation Church, whose satellite broadcasts claim an audience of more than 200 million people—leading large crowds in chants of “In the name of Jesus Christ, we curse the name of homosexuality!”

Ledyaev is Lively’s link-man in Latvia; the Baltic Times published a profile last summer which also recounted details of the anti-gay counter-protest:

Many of those who witnessed the events of that afternoon recall four hours of a tense confrontation between an irate crowd shouting things like “No to sodomy!” and a line of stoical, generally non-responsive policemen, punctuated by sudden moments of banal violence. One protester pelted an LNT cameraman with eggs. When a member of Mozaika [a gay-rights group] attempted to leave the hotel by the front door, one protester ran up to squirt water in her face.

Igors Maslakovs directed the members of his group, No Pride, to go to other exits of the hotel in order to harass gay pride participants as they were leaving, and many of the children, some as young as eight, under his stead, all dressed in particularly graphic T-shirts that suggested a ban on sodomy, jumped up to follow orders, as if they were playing a game of “capture the flag.”

A rambling and poorly-translated essay by Ledyaev reposted here gives his side, and some analysis:

A double policemen cordon around the few mostly foreign homosexuals (at least two policemen per each gay) beating their ownin order to make a way for foreigners this was too much!

A friend of mine grabbed a policeman by his truncheon and asked him,

* Why do you beat the people?
* We were given an order that none of the gay should be hurt.
* And if they tell you to fire at people?
* You should inquire the city council of Riga, said the policeman and pulled out his tool of mass impact.

Security of the gay was more important than security of the people…

Stay home, dear Swedish pederasts, and walk down the streets of your own Stockholm but don’t show up on the squares of Riga.

…Islamization goes full speed wherever homosexual lifestyle is legally accepted. Muslim organizations and committees, centers and mosques, schools are being opened overwhelmingly everywhere…. Homosexuality and islamization are two sides of the medal and integral elements of the one destructive process of European culture and civilization.

Latvia-based blog Marginalia has some further commentary:

The antics of New Generation, a mostly Russophone sect closely tied to Ainars Slesers’ Latvia’s First Party (LPP), have long been reported in Latvia — I’m choosing to describe it as “a mostly Russophone sect” on purpose, because that’s what it is (Ledyaev, its leader and a self-described “apostle,” was furious when our President described it that way)… Ledyaev has suggested replacing Latvia’s constitution, the Satversme, with the Ten Commandments, introducing Christian totalitarianism, and “humbling all liberals and homosexuals.”

Ledyaev was also the subject of a satirical cartoon that showed him as a worshipper of Cthulhu; the newspaper office found itself surrounded by protesters.

In 2002, Ledyaev was barred from Russia, where, according to Charisma, his denomination has sixty branches (there are also plans to expand into Africa). He believes that George Bush “is a man chosen to fulfill God’s plan on earth in the last days”, and that there will be a “New World Order” of Christianity.

Lively visited Latvia in March, alongside a fellow activist named Ken Hutcherson. Hutcherson presented himself as coming from the White House as “Special Envoy for Adoptions, Family Values, Religious Freedom, and Medical Relief”. According to the Seattle Stranger, Hutcherson claims he was given this title by the Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives, although a White House spokeswoman denied it was true.

UPDATE: The SPLC has a report on all this. See my blog entry here.

5 Responses

  1. […] few days ago on I blogged on the anti-gay activism of Oregon-based Scott Lively and his links with the international […]

  2. […] part of an extreme nationalist and Christian dominionist agenda. I blogged him back in September; here he is in full throttle after a Christian counter-protest against gay rights ended in anti-gay violence: A […]

  3. […] James Hutchens runs the Christian Zionist outfit ”Jerusalem Connection“; Kenneth Hutcherson has links with anti-gay Christian militants in Latvia, and he addressed the church there under the […]

  4. […] blogged on Hutcherson previously here; in 2007 he visited Latvia with anti-gay activist Scott Lively, where they made links with a […]

  5. […] “base church” in Riga is known more for its virulent anti-gay activism; as I blogged here, the church’s head, Alexei Ledyaev (with whom Makarenko has worked closely), is a huge fan of […]

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