If there was a gay misery index, Scott Lively would be one of the leading indicators. But the professional bigot knows in his heart that if he had just explained himself better at the outset, we wouldn’t dislike him as much as we do.
But let’s clear one thing up here and how: In an open letter to the gay community, Lively tells us he’s not gay, no matter what the rumor mill said. “Contrary to speculation, I have never struggled with same-sex attraction, but I have recognized in my own sins enough of a similarity to homosexuality to have felt empathy for you,” he writes.
We know you can’t choose family, but we’re relieved that Scott isn’t a sister under the skin.
So what prompted this epistolary outpouring? Lively says that he just realized that “in all of my years of talking about you and ‘the homosexual issue’ generally, I have never spoken to you as a community. I repent of that, and apologize to you.”
Not dropping us a line is probably the last thing Lively needs to apologize for. Just to review all the “talking” Lively did over the years: He got his start by pushing antigay ballot measures in Oregon, graduated to writing a book (charmingly titled The Pink Swastika) to prove that “the Nazi Party was entirely controlled by militaristic male homosexuals throughout its short history.” (Of course every single credible Holocaust historian knows that Lively has turned the historical record upside down: Hundreds of thousands of gays were branded with pink triangles and sent to their deaths in concentration camps.)
Then he exported his brand of hate to Uganda, where his sermonizing about the gay menace was quickly followed by introduction of a bill to make homosexuality a capital offense. Lively was shocked, shocked that Ugandans would decide that the people he keeps saying are behind the Nazi movement and other evils should somehow be wiped off the face of the earth. Big-hearted Scott doesn’t even wants us imprisoned.
But if only Lively had just told us how much he loved us at the start, he believes that we would have turned from our sinful ways to tread the straight and narrow. “Frankly, as I sit here at my computer, I wonder whether my entire career against your political and social agenda, and all of the notoriety I have achieve in your community might all have occurred so that I would be a person whose letter you would read today,” Lively boasts. “Because in the end, none of the politics really matter. This earth and everything in it will pass away, perhaps sooner than we think. What matters is where we end up when this short life is over.”
We’re all weepy at the thought of poor Scott, alone, staring at a blank computer screen late at night, not quite able to come to terms with the legacy of cruelty he has engendered. And for what?
If Lively has to bring more pain and suffering into the lives of gays and lesbians to get into the next, well, he apparently thinks that’s a small price to pay, even in his final moral accounting. We’re just not quite as sure as Lively that God would agree. And that, for Lively and his ilk, may well be the final irony.