Two of America’s most infamous equality opponents, Christian evangelical pastor Scott Lively and Peter LaBarbera of Americans for Truth About Homosexuality, on Friday held a press conference in Washington to launch their new global anti-gay group Coalition for Family Values.
The group’s stated intention is ‘to unify and coordinate pro-family groups around the United States and the world to more effectively oppose the now global LGBT agenda.’
The first action of the coalition was to issue a statement of support for Russia’s ‘gay propaganda’ laws, which the groups refers to as ‘Russian Pro-Family Laws’ in their press statement, and to urge other countries to follow the Russian example.
‘[We] want to praise the Russian Federation for providing much-needed leadership in restoring family values in public policy, and to encourage the governments of the world to follow the excellent example that the Russian government has set’, the coalition said.
‘By taking these steps in the face of intense criticism and hostility by some Western governments and NGOs, the Russians have demonstrated the high value that they place on their children and the ‘natural family’ model of society. We believe that God will bless the Russian people for their faith and courage.’
The Washington Blade reports that more than 70 anti-gay activists and religious leaders from the U.S., Canada, Australia, the U.K. and Brazil, and at least one US lawmaker – Oklahoma state Rep. Sally Kern – have joined the coalition.
Lively, who is known for his virulent homophobia, is currently facing trial in a US federal court in a unique ‘crimes against humanity’ case for his efforts in Uganda, which many say led to the drafting on the infamous ‘Kill The Gays’ bill.
In 2012, Sexual Minorities Uganda filed a suit against Lively for fanning anti-gay flames in the East African country during an address to parliament members in 2009. The anti-gay bill, which President Yoweri Museveni has reaffirmed his promise to make it law, has been shown to be strongly linked and driven by American Christian evangelical organizations.
LaBarbera is reported to have travelled to Jamaica to speak at an anti-gay conference organized by the Jamaican Coalition for a Healthy Society and the Christian Lawyers’ Association in Kingston. These groups have lobbied against a possible repeal of a colonial-era law that bans same-sex intercourse, commonly referred to as the ‘buggery law.’
‘The dirty little secret that the media and homosexual activists are desperate – desperate – to squelch is that people are coming out of homosexuality every day. This is the work of God, this is the work of Jesus,’ LaBarbera was quoted saying.
His organization Americans for Truth About Homosexuality was designated as an anti-gay hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) in 2010 for spreading ‘hateful propaganda’, and claiming that homosexuality can be ‘cured’.
The formation of the coalition has been slammed by the Human Rights Campaign, the largest US LGBT rights organization.
‘Americans aren’t buying the hate these anti-LGBT extremists are selling, so they’ve been forced to take their take their dangerous rhetoric abroad,’ HRC president Chad Griffin was quoted by the Associated Press as saying. ‘These radicals are now traveling from country to country advocating for the persecution of LGBT people under the guise that they’re saving children.’
At the press conference, LGBT rights activists Ellen Sturtz and Slava Revin of the Spectrum Human Rights Alliance heckled Lively and LaBarbera for several minutes after they spoke. They were later escorted from the room where the conference was taking place.