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Back to Section One | Back to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, March 18, 2011 - Volume 39 Issue 11
Anti-Gay pastor meddles in Moldova anti-discrimination bill
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Anti-Gay pastor meddles in Moldova anti-discrimination bill

by Mike Andrew - SGN Staff Writer

Anti-Gay US pastor Scott Lively - one of the driving forces behind Uganda's 'Kill the Gays' bill - is now interfering in Moldova, hoping to kill a proposed bill that would protect Gay and Lesbian Moldovans.

The legislation, introduced last month, would outlaw discrimination against anyone on the basis of religion, nationality, ethnic origin, language, religion, color, sex, age, disability, sexual orientation, political opinion, or social status.

It was proposed as part of Moldova's effort to gain an association agreement with the European Union. Members and associates of the EU must conform to the European Convention on Human Rights.

Moldova is a former Soviet Republic now bordered by Romania and the Ukraine. It became independent when the USSR collapsed in 1991.

Human Rights Watch LGBT Program Acting Director Boris Dittrich says the proposed legislation in Moldova is similar to discrimination protections adopted in other parts of Eastern Europe like Albania, Macedonia, and Croatia.

Dijtrich noted that the former communist countries 'didn't have antidiscrimination legislation, so it's very good that they include sexual orientation and hopefully also gender identity. So, it's not a wild law, no. This is to protect people against discrimination.'

Conservative Christian leaders saw the proposed legislation as a threat to their moral authority, however.

Lively was invited to Moldova in January by two right-wing Christian groups - Pro Familia and Moldova Crestina.

'He came there with a story like what he told in Uganda, that if this antidiscrimination law would be accepted, the society would be homosexualized and the homosexuals would take over and it would be very dangerous,' Dittrich said.

Lively himself confirmed that he fears the anti-discrimination law would lead to LGBT domination of Moldova.

'I've been dealing with these laws all over the world and I recognize - as I said there in the lectures I gave and the media interviews that I gave - an antidiscrimination law based on sexual orientation is the seed that contains the entire tree of the homosexual political agenda with all of its poisonous fruit,' Lively told RFE/RL Moldovan news service, 'and that, if you allow an antidiscrimination policy to go into effect, it essentially puts the power of the law and the government into the hands of Gay activists and makes people who disapprove of homosexuality criminals.'

Lively's Moldovan allies repeated his argument almost word-for-word.

'The antidiscrimination bill is only a seed. Once it is planted in a country, it turns into a whole tree that bears poisoned fruit,' Pro Familia Vice President Vitalie Marian told RFE/RL.

Marian added that Lively 'explicitly told us that this bill is just the beginning, and later homosexuals will be given rights, starting with the right to hold public demonstrations.'

Since Lively's visit, the Pro Familia group has created an online 'black list' of Moldovan public figures who support Gay rights. The list includes several parliament members and the head of state television.

People who appear on the list can have their names removed only by submitting a written statement opposing the antidiscrimination bill.

The measure has been passed by two parliamentary committees, but is now stalled.

Members of parliament from the opposition Communist Party have declared in the wake of Lively's visit that they will not support the bill as long as it includes protections based on sexual orientation.

The Moldovan Communist Party opposes association with the EU, and some observers believe that it is using the controversial issue of sexual orientation to scuttle the government coalition's efforts to move closer to Europe.

In addition to his association with the 'Kill the Gays' bill author David Bahati, Lively is also the founder of the Christian-fascist organization Watchmen on the Walls, based in Riga, Latvia.

The Watchmen have been involved in many incidents of anti-Gay violence in Latvia and other countries. They are listed as a 'hate group' by the Southern Poverty Law Center.

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