Scott Lively wants to take away LGBT Russians' rainbow.
Lively, the self-described "human rights consultant" who gladly takes credit for lobbying Russia, Uganda and others to ramp up their anti-LGBT laws, recently wrote an open letter to Vladimir Putin in which he urged Putin to stand firm against international pressure to undo the law.
And now, he's in Moscow with Brian Brown (of the National Organization for Marriage) and representatives from the World Congress of Families, planning for the WCF's September 2014 conference.
Lively is pushing his latest strategy suggestion to Russia, to sabotage any attempt by athletes to make a small visible gesture of support for LGBT people, by taking away the rainbow:
This article is a call to Christians and Jews (and Moslems -- who also revere the book of Genesis ) to take back the rainbow from the "gays." I am urging pro-family leaders and advocates everywhere to start using the rainbow again, especially in ways that clearly link the symbol to Biblical opposition to the "gay" agenda, or which remind the world of its true meaning. One way to do this is to create our own rainbow flags and banners bearing the slogan "The Rainbow Belongs to God: Genesis 6-9, 19" or a similar message.
In Lively's latest report from Moscow, he's happy to say that Archpriest Dimitri Smirnov, head of the Russian Orthodox Church, "is very supportive of my Rainbow strategy for the Winter Olympics and thinks it has a chance of being implemented." (The religious leader is also helping Lively shop for a publisher for his book, The Pink Swastika, which claims that gay men invented Naziism and were its guiding force.)
Lively's "No Rainbow For Queer People" strategy was sparked by what he perceived as a no-win scenario for Russia going into the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics. The expectation is that some athletes and travelers might wish to show support for LGBT people, while Russia would look bad if the nation clamped down too heavily on foreigners for it.
The far-right's concern about this intensified after the hate group MassResistance released an audio recording in which Patrick Burke acknowledged that some athletes do intend to show some gesture of support, and are still considering how. Some right-wing websites treated this like a sensational scoop, and almost like an international scandal.
Lively is hoping that by transforming the rainbow into a religious symbol or even an anti-gay symbol, any attempt to show support will be muted, indecipherable or co-opted amidst the mixed messaging.
In 2006 and 2007, Lively toured Russia and some Baltic states, lobbying for several laws, of which the propaganda law was only one part:
During that tour, which began in the Russian Far East city of Blagoveschensk and ended in St. Petersburg, I lectured in a variety of venues including numerous universities, churches and conference halls, and met with numerous government leaders at various levels of influence. The entire tour spanned approximately 50 cities in seven countries: Russia, Poland, Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, Ukraine, and Belarus (we also passed through Kazakhstan but didn't speak there).
With Lively's encouragement, the first "homosexual propaganda" ban was enacted by the city of St. Petersburg, Russia. Several other cities, states and countries that Lively lobbied are in some stage of considering or enacting a ban, including Ukraine, Moldova and Lithuania. Lately, he's been pushing for the opportunity to lobby the conservative governments in Australia and Britain.