U.S. Court Dismisses LGBT Group’s Lawsuit Against Pastor Who Advocated Against Homosexuality in Uganda

Scott Lively

A federal court has dismissed an LGBT group’s lawsuit against pastor and activist Scott Lively, who was accused of engaging in a “decade-long campaign” of persecution against LGBT people in Uganda because he voiced his biblical opposition to homosexuality.

On Monday, Judge Michael Ponsor of the United States District Court of Massachusetts dismissed a lawsuit filed by the Kampala-based advocacy group Sexual Minorities Uganda in 2012 that accused Lively of engaging in “crimes against humanity” for his advocacy against homosexuality in Uganda that dates back to 2002.

Some have accused Lively, president of Abiding Truth Ministries, of playing “an unparalleled role in fostering the climate of hate that gave rise to Uganda’s anti-gay law,” which briefly made homosexuality punishable by life in prison in the African nation and was later struck down in the judiciary.

Using the Alien Tort Statute, SMUG, which was represented by the Center for Constitutional Rights, sued Lively on grounds that he contributed to “the conspiracy to persecute LGBTI persons in Uganda.” The lawsuit contends that because of Lively’s actions, many SMUG staff members and the community it represents “have suffered severe deprivations of fundamental rights.”

“Spurred to action to counter the prospect of basic legal protections for LGBTI individuals, Lively and his co-conspirators, [Stephen] Langa, [Martin] Ssempa, Minister of Ethics and Integrity James Buturo and member of Parliament David Bahati, coordinated a dramatic, far-reaching response, which Lively and Langa would later boast had the ‘effect of a nuclear bomb,'” the lawsuit claimed.

“Lively’s 2009 work in Uganda and his call to arms to fight against an ‘evil’ and ‘genocidal,’ ‘pedophilic’ ‘gay movement,’ which he likened to the Nazis and Rwandan murderers, ignited a cultural panic and atmosphere of terror that radically intensified the climate of hatred in which Lively’s goals of persecution could advance,” the lawsuit continued. “Shortly after Lively’s pivotal 2009 work in Uganda, one member of Parliament expressed, ‘We must exterminate homosexuals before they exterminate society.'”

Although Ponsor is an LGBT supporter and expressed sympathy with SMUG’s accusations, he had no choice but to grant Lively a motion for summary judgment and dismiss the case because “the record reveals that Defendant supplied no financial backing to the detestable campaign in Uganda, he directed no physical violence, he hired no employees, and he provided no supplies or other material support.”

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SOURCE: Christian Post, Samuel Smith