U.S. conservatives praise Russia’s anti-gay laws

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Anti-gay activist Scott Lively

Two longtime opponents of the U.S. gay-rights movement on Friday announced formation of a coalition that will seek to persuade more countries around the world to follow Russia’s example in passing laws that restrict gay rights, the Associated Press reported.

The activists, Massachusetts-based evangelical lawyer Scott Lively and Peter LaBarbera of Americans for Truth About Homosexuality, praised two recently enacted Russian laws that have been assailed by gay-rights supporters worldwide. The protests have intensified amid Russia’s hosting of the Winter Olympics in Sochi.

One law seeks to prevent gays and lesbians from adopting children, while the other — a ban on so-called gay “propaganda” accessible by minors — is seen as a deterrent to public expressions of gay-rights sentiment.

“By taking these steps in the face of intense criticism and hostility … the Russians have demonstrated the high value that they place on their children and the natural family model of society,” the newly formed Coalition for Family Values said. “We believe that God will bless the Russian people for their faith and courage.”

Lively and LaBarbera said the new coalition will encourage allies abroad to lobby their own governments to follow Russia’s example.

“While the LGBT agenda has seemed like an unstoppable political juggernaut in North America and Europe, the vast majority of the people of the world do not accept the notion that sexual deviance should be normalized,” their statement said.

The formation of the coalition was assailed by the Human Rights Campaign, the largest U.S. lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender civil rights organization.

“Americans aren’t buying the hate these anti-LGBT extremists are selling, so they’ve been forced to take their take their dangerous rhetoric abroad,” said HRC president Chad Griffin. “These radicals are now traveling from country to country advocating for the persecution of LGBT people under the guise that they’re saving children.”

Among the groups joining the coalition were Lively’s Defend the Family International, the American Family Association of Pennsylvania and Mission:America.

Lively conducted a 50-city speaking tour of Russia in 2007, and says the gay propaganda bill — enacted last year — reflects policies that he advocated at the time.

Lively is being sued in U.S. federal court by a Uganda-based gay-rights group, accusing him of persecuting gays in that East African country.

The suit contends that he was a key figure in consultations in Uganda that produced tough anti-gay legislation in 2009. A version of that bill is expected to be signed soon by Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni.

—  Steve Ramos

Former Redskins player calls Aikman ‘a queer’ during radio interview

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Troy Aikman

WASHINGTON — Radio show hosts immediately challenged a former Redskins player Monday after he used an anti-gay slur to describe a one-time rival, the Washington Blade reported.

“I think Troy Aikman is a queer,” former defensive end Dexter Manley said during an interview with WTOP hosts Mike Moss and Bruce Alan.

Moss asked Manley if he was going to apologize, pointing out it is “really not an arena that we want to go in.”

Manley apologized, but WTOP Vice President of News Programming Jim Farley criticized his comments.

“We were shocked and stunned, and we apologize to our listeners that this happened on WTOP,” Farley told the Blade.

Farley also said WTOP will no longer invite Manley to appear in the radio station’s programming.

—  Steve Ramos

Charges dropped against gay man who claims he was fleeing hate crime

Justin York’s arm a few days after the Oct. 6 incident at Southwest Auto Tow. He said he suffered a concussion and a dislocated jaw.

Dallas police have dropped charges against a gay man who was arrested for robbery after fleeing what he alleged was an anti-gay hate crime.

Justin York was arrested Oct. 6 after he ran his vehicle into a metal gate trying to leave Southwest Auto Tow. York told Instant Tea he was trying to run from being assaulted by two men at the towing company.

Police arrested York for robbery and later changed the charges to criminal mischief because the company dropped the assault charges.

York told Instant Tea that all of the charges have now been dropped because the company’s insurance is paying for the damage to the gate.

However, York said he still plans to file a police report and press charges against the two men at the towing company, who he said assaulted him and called him anti-gay slurs, prompting him to run to his car and drive through the gate.

—  Anna Waugh