In December of 2010, WMA Jobs with Justice coordinator Jon Weissman sent an email to the Arise list-- did we know that the person who had opened a storefront church only a few doors from Arise was the notorious homophobe and hatemonger Scott Lively? he has never been far from our minds since then, and we continue to organize against his messages of hate.
“Stop the Hate and Homophobia Coalition” Organizes Nationwide Protest Calling for an End to Scott Lively’s Promotion of Hate against the Gay Community Worldwide
When: March 14, 2012pm at 1:30pm
Where: In front of the Federal Building, 300 State Street, Springfield
In early February 2012 the Ugandan government reintroduced the Anti-Homosexuality Bill (AHB), a.k.a the ‘Kill the Gays’ bill, legislating draconian measures against its gay community, which continues to include the death penalty for homosexual acts. One week following the reintroduction of this legislation the Ugandan government raided a peaceful gay rights conference causing the sponsor’s leader to go into hiding. The LGBT community of Uganda is under increasing threats of violence, imprisonment and stigma. American evangelical Christians played a role in stirring the anti-homosexual sentiment that culminated in the initial AHB legislation in Uganda and continues to heightened homophobia in that country today.
Scott Lively was one of three evangelical leaders who presented at a 2009 conference in Kampala, Uganda which resulted in the original Anti-Homosexuality Bill’s introduction just one month later. Scott Lively likened his appearance to “a nuclear bomb against the gay agenda in Uganda.” From his home base at the Abiding Truth Ministries housed in the Holy Grounds Coffee Shop at 455 State Street in Springfield MA, Scott Lively’s anti-gay message filled with lies, propaganda and pray-away-the-gay quack science fuels anti-homosexual sentiment worldwide.
The Stop The Hate & Homophobia Coalition had an action against Scott Lively on November 18, 2011 to help educate the people of Springfield, MA about just who Scott lively is. The protest on March 14th is a continuation of that action. National solidarity actions also are scheduled for Kansas City, Washington DC, and Sacramento. We will continue to advocate against the hate and homophobia Scott Lively and others promote until they stop.
The Stop the Hate and Homophobia Coalition was formed in January 2011 upon learning that Scott Lively was living and ministering in Springfield. Lively is president of the Abiding Truth Ministries, which has been classified as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center, and he has been running the Holy Grounds Coffee House on State Street, right near Commerce High School. The coalition deplores hateful messages and actions, and calls for community education about the impact of homophobia on our communities, as well as calling for community leaders, neighbors, co-workers, family members, etc. to speak out against homophobia whenever it is perpetrated. The coalition involves a number of community-based organizations, local college professors and students, members of the faith community and individual community members.