St Petersburg Gay Gag Rule Had US Origins


A report by the Advocate alleges that St Petersburg’s ban on so-called homosexual propaganda may have been inspired by Scott Lively, an American evangelical currently being sued for inciting Uganda’s “Kill the Gays” bill.

Reports the Advocate:

Ironically, the law Russia’s Conservative Party is using to flex its cultural differences was born not in the Motherland, but in the U.S.

Pouncing on antigay momentum around the 2006 ban on the Moscow Pride parade, American evangelist Scott Lively wrote a letter to the Russian people after completing a speaking tour in the country. Through his speaking engagements, Lively closely allied himself with the Russian Orthodox church and his influence is still evident. Many will remember Lively as the origin of what became Uganda’s Bill 18, also known as the notorious “kill the gays” bill. In his letter, Lively elaborated that, “The purpose of my visit was to bring a warning about the homosexual political movement which has done much damage to my country and which has now taken root in Russia. 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.” Through his tour, Lively closely allied himself with the Russian Orthodoxy and presented its adherents with a road map to protect themselves from what they saw as gay propaganda.

Of the several steps he lays out, the third is this: “Criminalize the public advocacy of homosexuality. My philosophy is to leave homosexuals alone if they keep their lifestyle private, and not to force them into therapy if they don’t want it. However, homosexuality is destructive to individuals and to society and it should never [be] publicly promoted. The easiest way to discourage ‘gay pride’ parades and other homosexual advocacy is to make such activity illegal in the interest of public health and morality.” Play by play, the Russian Orthodoxy has taken Lively’s blueprint and is acting swiftly on his urging “to protect their country from the gay movement.”

The Advocate’s detailed piece goes on to chart how this idea found fertile ground in the Russian political landscape which was then shifting toward the hard right, and is particularly damning of the Russian Orthodox church that, it says, has been hand-picking officials like St. Petersburg governor Georgiy Poltavchenko in order to steer Russia toward a more hard-right religious ethos.

The piece is also keen to point out that the gay gag rule has met with internal challenges and that not all lawmakers and officials have capitulated to anti-gay sentiment.

A national gay gag rule has now been introduced in the Russian Duma, so these revelations are particularly timely.

Read the full Advocate expose here.

As mentioned above, Lively’s Abiding Truth Ministries is currently being sued by The Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) alleging that Lively’s involvement in Uganda’s push to further criminalize its LGBT citizen’s identities constitutes persecution. This is being levied under the Alien Tort Statute (ATS) that allows foreign victims of human rights abuses to seek remedy in the American courts.


Related stories:

Moscow Now Proposing Anti-Gay Law

Russian Gay Activist Attacked While Police Look On

Russian Politicians Ban ‘Gay Propaganda,’ Hire Trans Prostitutes


Image used under the Creative Commons Attribution License with thanks to Hryckowian.


Teresa Wlosowicz
Teresa W5 years ago

Netty, I'm not surprised either.

Robert K.
Robert K5 years ago

Just amazing. Studies show that the most virulent anti gay people are those unsure of their own sexuality. Haters, when you do this garbage you're actually coming out of the closet. I'd be laughing if not for the fact that this hatred has real world consequences. Remember Matthew Shepard?

federico bortoletto
federico b5 years ago

Chissà perchè tutto questo non mi sorprende.

Sandra K.
Sandra T5 years ago

This evil little evangelical turd should be brought up on international hate crimes. His hate mongering is resulting in the deaths and imprisonment of gay/lesbian/bi/trangendered people in every country around the world he visits. Not only should he be brought up on hate crimes, his passport should be revoked. Disgusting little Weasel For Jesus. I refuse to tolerate racism, sexism & HOMOPHOBIC EVIL coming from anybody. A petition should immediately be started to have this idiot brought up on hate crimes charges in the US.

Annmari Lundin
Annmari L5 years ago

Why can't we find a deserted spot somewhere on this rock and send all hate-mongering religious leaders (and followers) there on a one-way ticket?

Jane H.
Jane H5 years ago

these so-called Christians give Christianity a bad name.

Netty van Driest
Netty v5 years ago

Why am I not surprised?

John Zalewski
John Z5 years ago

I remember Scott Lively from the early 1990's in Oregon, trying to pass anti-gay laws. The laws barely failed but it was disheartening to see teenagers and adults buying into the hate. He wasn't successful ultimately but the little man is still trying and succeeding.

Francesc Ferrero Herrera

Poisoning the water we are drinking is a social threat, no matter what one or thousand million people say.

Mary L.
Mary L5 years ago

Another black eye for America from a fake Christian.