Leader of anti-LGBT hate group Abiding Truth Ministries and longtime anti-LGBT activist Scott Lively picked up enough votes at the Massachusetts Republican convention to be placed on the primary ballot in the upcoming 2018 gubernatorial race.
Lively received 626 votes from the over 2000 delegates gathered at the April 28 convention in Worcester — double the 15 percent threshold needed to appear on the September ballot against incumbent Charlie Baker. Lively ran unsuccessfully as an independent against Baker in 2014 , getting almost 20,000 votes, or roughly 1 percent .
According to MassLive.com , before Lively can go head-to-head with Baker in the state’s Republican primary Sept. 4, he must collect 10,000 voter signatures for ballot certification. In a newsletter via the Committee to Elect Scott Lively, he told his supporters that his campaign is taking an “all hands on deck” approach with regard to getting signatures. He said he has already collected at least 10,250 but is looking to get 3,000-5,000 more to serve as a buffer in case some are disqualified.
“We’re concerned that ‘Charlie the Cheat’ Baker may twist arms at the Secretary of State’s office to disqualify certified signatures after they are turned in,” the newsletter said.
Lively’s campaign website is littered with conspiracy theories and anti-immigrant, anti-Muslim and anti-LGBT rhetoric. If elected, he says he will work to pass a ban on “the promotion of non-traditional lifestyles to minors” and that the “LGBT agenda” should be restricted from public life.
He claims that “political elites” have “orchestrated this sudden wave of ‘refugees’,” refers to undocumented immigrants as “illegals” and says that they need to “take all that they have learned about living in an orderly democratic society back to their homelands so they can recreate there what they have enjoyed here.”
With regard to abortion, if he’s elected , he will make his first public policy act an executive order that will recognize the “legal personp-hood [sic] of the unborn,” and he will task every authority – including the state police – to implement and enforce the order. If necessary, he says, he will “create a constitutional crisis” that will force the issue to the Supreme Court and overturn Roe v. Wade . He also supports the death penalty for “serial abortionists.”
Lively also says on his campaign website that he stands with anti-Muslim Dutch politician Geert Wilders (who was banned for months from Britain over concerns his views would trigger violence) and posts the transcript from one of Wilder’s 2014 speeches.
Lively is perhaps best known for his virulent anti-LGBT conspiracy theories about the so-called “gay agenda” and for his 1996 book, The Pink Swastika, that claimed the Nazi Party was made up of gay men who orchestrated the Holocaust. Historians have roundly refuted the book .
Lively has also repeatedly vilified LGBT people as “perverts,” “deviants” and “dangerous,” and equated homosexuality with pedophilia. His other books, like the 1997 Poisoned Stream, claims that homosexuality is a “dark force” throughout human history.
In 2012, he was sued in federal court for human rights violations under the alien tort statute by the U.S.-based Center for Constitutional Rights on behalf of a Ugandan LGBT advocacy group.
The lawsuit alleged that Lively’s anti-LGBT rhetoric and actions in Uganda led to the persecution of LGBT people in that country. The lawsuit – the first known Alien Tort Statute case seeking accountability for persecution on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity – was dismissed in 2017 on a technicality, but the ruling by a judge affirmed that Lively aided and abetted anti-LGBT persecution and that he had violated international law.
The 25-page ruling excoriated Lively and his anti-LGBT activities, stating that the “Defendant’s position on LGBTI people range from the ludicrous to the abhorrent,” and that “he has tried to make gay people the scapegoats for practically all of humanity’s ills.” The “crackpot bigotry could be brushed aside as pathetic,” the judge continued, “except for the terrible harm it can cause.” (The ruling has been appealed by Lively’s attorneys with anti-LGBT hate group Liberty Counsel in an attempt to strike the judge’s language.)
Photo credit: AP Images/Winslow Townson