MOSCOW — Anti-gay activist Scott Lively returned to Russia this week at the invitation of the Rockford, Ill.-based World Congress of Families (WCF), a Christian group that has opposed same-sex marriage and adoption of children by same-sex couples or LGBT parents in the United States and globally.
This is Lively’s first trip back to the country since his 50 city tour in 2007.
The WCF has convened meetings of social conservatives globally to exchange ideas on topics such as combating LGBT and reproductive rights in advance of its summit in Moscow next September, the agenda of which, according to Lively, is “traditional” values and the family.
On his blog, Lively wrote that he has had several meetings with Russian Orthodox Church officials, including Archpriest Dimitri Smirnov, head of the Patriarch‘s Commission on the Family.
Smirnov works directly for Patriarch Kirill (or Cyril), the powerful head of the Russian Orthodox Church (equivalent to the Pope of the Catholic Church).
Kirill has pushed for several laws now enacted in the Russian Federation including the controversial “gay propaganda,” and the law prohibiting adoption of Russian children by same-sex couples or couples whose countries permit same-sex marriage.
Last month, Lively said that while he did not play a direct role in drafting Russia‘s anti-gay legislation, he does believe that his 2007 tour through Russia where he urged the implementation of such laws, served as a catalyst for legislation.
“I indirectly assisted in that,” Lively said, “and it’s one of the proudest achievements of my career.”
Lively also noted that he was receiving assistance in having a Russian language version of his anti-gay book, The Pink Swastika.
“Father Dimitri has also offered to help me find a publisher for the Russian version of The Pink Swastika.We have pledged to devote 50% of earnings from this book to promote the pro-family movement in Russia and the former Soviet countries,” he wrote.
“Given the Russian attitude about homosexuality, and the still-fresh memories of Nazism in the Russian population, this book has significant potential to further harden resolve against the homosexualization of Russia and the countries in its orbit,” Lively added.
Larry Poltavtsev, a spokesperson for a Russian LGBT rights activist group, said Lively’s “mission will only lead to justification for further violence against LGBTQ Russians.”