WorldNetDaily is joining Accuracy in Media in defending anti-gay pastor Scott Lively's anti-gay activities in Uganda.
A Jan. 14 WND article by Bob Unruh uncritically repeats Lively's defense against a lawsuit filed against him on behalf of what Unruh described as "an organization of homosexuals in Uganda" accusing Lively of helping to inspire a proposed law that would permit the death penalty for mere homosexuality.
According to Unruh, Lively claims that "I opposed the death penalty provision of the Ugandan bill from the beginning. … It is a baseless charge for which they have not a shred of proof, but in any case advocacy for legislation is speech." But Unruh does not present any documentation to back up Lively's claims -- indeed, it appears that the only person Unruh talked to for this article was Lively.
Unruh didn't mention that in a February 2011 WND column, Lively ranted about how "lavender Marxists" are "murderers" who "have fixed their malevolent gaze on Christian Uganda." If Lively was this harsh while in the U.S., it's entirely possible he was even more inflammatory while in Uganda, where he was out of the reach of U.S. media. Indeed, the lawsuit includes quotes from Lively in Uganda in which he calls pornograhy a "tool of 'gay' social engineering," held a closed-door meeting with pastors there, after which he claimed he described how "America was brought low by homosexual activism," and equated homosexuality with sexual violence against children.
Unruh, curiously, did not mention any of these statements from Lively in his article, stating only that "a multitude of Lively’s comments and statements" are cited in the lawsuit.Unruh also does not provide a link to the lawsuit so his readers can check it out for themselves.
Unruh followed up with a March 24 article that attacked the lawsuit by complaining it targeted Lively's "speech" under a law "that usually is used to target torture, genocide, war crimes and summary executions."This, apparently, is the defense being used by Lively's lawyers from the right-wing legal group Liberty Counsel.
Unruh also whitewashed the allegations against Lively, claiming only that he "shared his opinion on homosexuality and pornography" in Uganda. Unruh completely omits the fact that the lawsuit claims that Lively helped inspire a proposed law that would permit the death penalty for mere homosexuality.
Unruh quotes Liberty Counsel repeating an earlier defense Lively made regarding the murder of Ugandan gay activist David Kato: "The suit leaves out the fact that the suspected killer is a male prostitute with which Kato had sex and refused to pay." In fact, as we've noted, Ugandan police may be trying to cover up a motive of homophobia in Kato's death, and that observers say that the man who was convicted in Kato's death may have been set up to murder Kato for being gay and thought if he established a homosexual sex demand, he would be treated leniently.
Given WND's anti-gay agenda -- and the fact that one of its own opinionators, Molotov Mitchell, embraced Uganda's proposed "kill the gays" law -- it's no surprise that Unruh and Co. would defend Lively. After all, WND sells Lively's factually challenged book "The Pink Swastika."
UPDATE: Warren Throckmorton focuses on Unruh's claim that Lively was expressing "his biblically based religious beliefs," adding:
Where does the Bible say that homosexuality is responsible for the Holocaust? For the Rwandan genocide? That gays are pedophiles? Are those Biblically based beliefs?
Even if one disagrees with the suit, the truth is that Lively is not being sued for his beliefs that homosexuality is a sin. There are many evangelicals who believe that in the U.S. and in Uganda who also abhor the Anti-Homosexuality Bill and tell the truth about their GLBT fellow citizens.