Russia recently passed a bill banning “gay propaganda” and public celebrations of gay pride, in a move shocking and horrifying to the developed world. Of course, we have long known that anti-gay American activists are only constrained here by the fact that they live in a free, secular, democratic society and thus have to behave themselves at least somewhat. They’re giddy about what’s happening in Russia, and of course, they wish they could do it here:
The latest step drawing praise from social conservatives is a bill signed into law Sunday by President Vladimir Putin that would impose hefty fines for holding gay pride rallies or providing information about the gay community to minors.
“You admire some of the things they’re doing in Russia against propaganda,” said Austin Ruse, president of the U.S.-based Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute. “On the other hand, you know it would be impossible to do that here.”
Ruse, whose institute is seeking accreditation at the United Nations, plans to travel to Russia this summer to meet with government officials and civic leaders.
“We want to let them know they do in fact have support among American NGOs (non-governmental organizations) on social issues,” he said.
Among others commending Russia’s anti-gay efforts was Peter LaBarbera of Americans for Truth About Homosexuality.
“Russians do not want to follow America’s reckless and decadent promotion of gender confusion, sexual perversion, and anti-biblical ideologies to youth,” LaBarbera said on his website.
Scott Lively, a man whose bitter homophobia makes Porno Pete look downright sane, is taking credit:
Scott Lively, a Massachusetts-based evangelical lawyer and activist, conducted a 50-city speaking tour of Russia in 2007, and says the current bill reflects policies that he advocated at the time.
At the end of his tour, Lively released a “Letter to the Russian People,” and he redistributed it this month after the parliament vote.
“The purpose of my visit was to bring a warning about the homosexual political movement which has done much damage to my country,” he wrote in the letter. “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.”
Lively advocated training therapists in the techniques of helping gay people “recover” from same-sex attraction and he urged Russia to criminalize the public advocacy of homosexuality.
“Russia could become a model pro-family society,” he wrote. “If this were to occur, I believe people from the West would begin to emigrate to Russia in the same way that Russians used to emigrate to the United States and Europe.”
In a rare moment of candor for a Religious Right figure in the United States, Lively openly laments our American values:
Lively said he would like to see efforts in the U.S. to discourage all sexual activity outside of marriage, but doubted efforts to restrict gay activism could make headway here.
“Russians, even after glasnost, are comfortable with an authoritarian style,” he said. “That wouldn’t work in the United States.”
Scott, if you don’t like it here, leave. We happen to be rather delighted with the way we do things here, for the most part.