Lively worked as a handyman in Portland, Oregon, prior to starting his own ministry. After marrying and having children, he continued his education, earning a law degree, and later, a doctorate in theology. While living in California, he served as director of that state’s chapter of the American Family Association.
He is perhaps best known for his advocacy against the LGBT (Lesbian, gay, bi, transgender) rights movement. Lively has traveled worldwide and appeared on numerous programs voicing vocal opposition to proposals to allow same-sex marriage, adoption by same-sex couples, and the repeal of anti-sodomy laws. His 2009 visit to Uganda, which passed a controversial law criminalizing homosexuality, led to a lawsuit being filed against him by the group Sexual Minorities Uganda. Lively has said that he opposes the harshness of the punishments outlined in the law (which could include the death penalty).
Lively is the co-author of the book “The Pink Swastika,” which contends that gays were behind the rise of Nazi Germany.
He moved to Springfield in 2008, where he settled in the inner-city and became a “full-time missionary pastor.”
Lively says that he is running for governor to “bring Biblical values back to the political arena here.” He adds that he wants the state Republican party to stop nominating pro-choice candidates he describes as being RINOs, or Republicans in Name Only.