Scott Lively accuses Oxford Union of disingenuous invite to use his name to attract interest for debate

By Melanie Nathan, January 30, 2013.

Screen Shot 2013-01-13 at 2.19.06 PMWe have been reporting on the recent debacle between Oxford Union, the debating society, in the U.K. and Scott Lively, where something went suspiciously awry with the invitation to Lively to debate the issue of Gay parenting. In a nutshell, Oxford Union’s debate topic ‘This house would be glad to have gay parents’, was scheduled and debated on January 17, 2013.  The previous month Lively had noted on his website that he was scheduled to appear at Oxford Union for a debate on January 31, 2013.  We thought the discrepancy was odd.  Lively was reported as a “no show” on the date of the event.

The Oxford Union Student’s News, reported:

“Lively, author of The Pink Swastika, a book which claims that homosexuals are the “true inventors” of Nazism, was initially invited to speak in opposition to last Thursday’s motion, ‘This house would be glad to have gay parents’, but appeared to withdraw from the debate at the last moment.”

The debate, which was won for the side of  gay parenting, went ahead without Lively.  We then heard from Lively that there had been a mistake and that because he had already purchased his air ticket,  the Oxford Union organizers had given him a special event which was to occur on February 1. But now this statement is in contention.

A  week later Oxford Student News reported:

“The controversial pastor, Scott Lively is “frankly appalled” after a Union miscommunication denied him the chance to speak at the debating society; “this report was not true.”  He said: “I was asked by Joseph D’Urso to go along with that mischaracterization of events after he and Maria Rioumine promised to make things right by setting up a special event for me on the 1st February or rescheduling me for a new debate during his term of office. In point of fact, the Oxford Union completely botched my part in the debate by inviting me for January 31st and not the 17th, and failed to correct their error in subsequent email exchanges referencing the 31st as the date of my appearance. He added:  “Indeed, their letter confirming my role in the debate clearly identified the 31st as the date of the debate.”

I interviewed Lively and asked  for the e-mail, and he sent me his consent form (see screen shots below) for the debate, which notes: “Thank you for agreeing to speak in a debate at the Union on January 31st 2013.” Now the latter may be true, however the subsequent events and the motive behind the mess up is still controversial.

According to Lively the special event he thought had been substituted seems not to be happening at all. He told the Oxford Student News:

“Yesterday I received a joint telephone call from Mr D’Urso and someone named Tina, informing me that the Union has no intention of making good on its promise. I advised the two of them that I cannot change my travel schedule at this time.”

According to the Oxford Student News :

“Both D’Urso and the Union declined to comment on any of Lively’s claims about being asked to go along with a mischaracterised version of events and being led to believe that he could speak at a different event. However a Union spokesperson did say: “There was a scheduling issue with Dr Lively’s appearance at the Union on January 17th, and we have apologised for our part in this miscommunication.””

I asked Scott Lively to explain the events from his perspective and here is his written response to me:

“I dealt primarily with Joseph D’Urso, whose error it seems to have been.  Both he and Maria Rioumine agreed to provide an alternative event for me.  Tina seems to have been brought in at the end as the “hatchet man” to cancel and breech the agreement, first in a joint phone call with Joseph and then on her own in one or two final calls. I now suspect the “error” was intentional so that they could use my name to generate interest in the debate, but that the error was calculated to cause me no real harm.  By confirming me for the 31st, they could say “oops we messed up.  But no harm done, just cancel your flight since it is still two weeks away.”  However, it was not possible for me to cancel since it was part of a 4 city travel package.

I think their true manipulative intentions were revealed when they refused to organize an alternative event, even after I told them a simple Q&A with a handful of students would have been sufficient, just so long as I could report to my donors who contributed to the trip that I had a speaking event at Oxford.”

I also asked Lively to comment on this statement which appeared in the Oxford Union News:

“Members of Oxford?s LGBTQ community were critical of the decision to invite Lively in the first place. Matthew Wigens, LGBTQ rep for St Catherine?s JCR said: “The Union should seek to invite credible speakers on a subject. “To invite a speaker whose views are so blatantly founded in hatred and whose irresponsible dissemination of falsehoods in Uganda may result in the murder of homosexual people is outrageous. The Union has a responsibility to maintain their credibility as a forum for intellectual debate, which this invite flouted.”

He responded:

“As for the opinions of the LGBT agitators, I suggest the media should ask them a few hard questions for a change, such as challenging them to provide a list of their opponents whom they consider “credible.”  In my experience they consider any disagreement with their agenda to be a form of mental illness (“homophobia”), and never concede that any opposition to their views has credibility.   You might ask them for example if Pope Benedict is credible (and then watch them shuck and jive to avoid answering.)  For my part, re response their malicious misrepresentations about my role in Uganda, I have asked and answered every question multiple times and these are now in the public record.”

Members the international LGBT community were also horrified at the Lively invitation.  LGBT activists from the United kingdom and the United States wrote to Oxford Union in protest of the invitation because of his extreme anti-gay rhetoric and his actions in Uganda, where it is believed he directly impacted the persecution of gay Ugandans. Currently Lively is being sued in the United States under the Alien Tort Act for his deeds that amounted to crimes against humanity, leading to the persecution of Ugandan LGBTI people.

COMMENTARY as Cathy Kristofferson,  notes:

“Scott Lively says ‘malicious misrepresentations about my role in Uganda’- He seems to forget that the world can see the video, which shows his malice very clearly for all the world to see: “The gay movement is an evil institution. The goal of the gay movement is to defeat the marriage-based society and replace it with a culture of sexual promiscuity”… and more “they are so far from normalcy” … and then his assertion to the Ugandans that the American and Europeans coming for your children.

Scott Lively cannot escape his documented ranting– and so he has painted his own picture for the world to see.

Read some of the other quotes here:

Lively waged a campaign against gays and what has been said about him relates to it all, his lectures, his talks, and most clearly his vicious CAMPAIGN, which he spoke of himself with his infamous brag about what he accomplished in Uganda, which cannot escape the pages of sordid inequity, forever memorialized: “Our campaign was like a nuclear bomb against the gay agenda.”

But lie is Scott Lively’s craft. And how can we believe anything he says, given his history of lying.

Here in just this one little incident where he admits he has agreed to lie publicly, which at first he did: He agrees to lie to cover up the date ‘mishap’, he pleads with Oxford to give him a special event – a Q&A with a handful of students would suffice – so he can lie to his donors who paid for his trip to ‘a speaking engagement’, or maybe since he is the only one with that story (as reported by the Oxford Student) that too is a lie, it seems difficult to find any truth among the lies. So, once again I will not have pity on poor Pastor Scott. Always playing the victim.

To Uganda he brought along his Seven Steps to Recruit-Proof Your Child. We need our own book – Seven Steps to Recruit-Proof Your Uninformed. Because the only one promoting and recruiting is Scott Lively, and he’s going at it with full force – for as long as he hides himself under the pretense of victim, he may fool a few into thinking that he is not really the mastermind and purveyor of the persecution he seeks to promote.

As an aside indicative of his long convenient ostrich neck so deeply rooted in the ground – is his thinking that Pope Benedict has any credibility at all on these issues. They are two peas in a pod!”


By Melanie Nathan, and Cathy Kristofferson contributed to this article.
[email protected]

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4 Comments on “Scott Lively accuses Oxford Union of disingenuous invite to use his name to attract interest for debate”

  1. Anna Hayward February 1, 2013 at 3:24 PM #

    Lively arrogantly assumes anyone in UK has actually heard of him. We haven’t. Had I not been involved in another campaign about human rights in Uganda, and therefore contacted you (Melanie Nathan) I also would have been ignorant of the man. I suspect part of the problem (for him) is that no one has heard of him. He assumes he’s important (as in respected). He isn’t. Put Aung San Su Kyi on the bill, or Desmond Tutu, then you get interest. We’ve heard of them. But a pathetic hate monger? Sorry. Adolf who?

    Anna Hayward

    • Melanie Nathan February 1, 2013 at 6:45 PM #

      Anna you make an interesting point. Scott Lively had an awful childhood. And he remains unhealed from his childhood trauma. He has a deep need to fill the void with external validation. So he has a heightened sense of self importance. Most Americans have not heard of him either. he is fringe even in Christian circles. Unfamous, if you will. He wants to run for Governor in MA – because he so desperately needs center stage – so now he wants the national stage. Not even his hate bought him attention…… I am starting to feel compassion – then I remind myself that the Bible in his hand is like a gun in the hand of a maniac and he has his finger on the trigger. This gun only works in poverty stricken corrupt cultures – where the opportunity to scapegoat is like a target the size of Uganda!

      • CKinMA February 1, 2013 at 7:43 PM #

        Or the size of Springfield MA…


  1. Oxford Union fiasco robs hate-monger Scott Lively of an opportunity to spread his venom - January 31, 2013

    […] on this debacle on Melanie Nathan’s blog. She got to interview […]

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