MA court declares evangelical pastor Lively must stand trial for Crimes Against Humanity

Evangelical homophobia spread in Uganda same as done in Russia and worldwide

By Cathy Kristofferson, August 14, 2013

smugvlivelyWe are rejoicing today in Massachusetts. The Springfield Federal Court has ruled favorably, denying the motion to dismiss, in the Crimes Against Humanity case brought against the Commonwealth’s most anti-gay resident Scott Lively. The Sexual Minorities Uganda (SMUG) v. Lively case will go forward. The discovery phase will commence.

bildeThose of us in The Stop The Hate and Homophobia Coalition Springfield are jumping for joy along with The Center for Constitutional Rights who brought the case on behalf of SMUG. The coalition has been raising awareness and fighting Lively in the U.S. and worldwide not only in Uganda, but in places like Russia, Moldova, and Lithuania,

OBLOGDEE will cover the decision in more depth once we have fully digested the 79 page decision. For now here is the Center for Constitutional Rights’ press release:

Historic Ruling Confirms LGBTI Rights as Internationally Recognized

August 14, 2013, Springfield, MA – Today, in a first-of-its kind case brought by a Ugandan LGBTI advocacy organization against a prominent U.S. anti-gay extremist, a federal judge ruled that persecution on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity is a crime against humanity and that the fundamental human rights of LGBTI people are protected under international law. The ruling means that the case brought by the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) on behalf of Sexual Minorities of Uganda (SMUG), a Uganda-based coalition of LGBTI rights and advocacy groups, can move forward over defendant Scott Lively’s request to dismiss the lawsuit.

“Widespread, systematic persecution of LGBTI people constitutes a crime against humanity that unquestionably violates international norms,” said Judge Michael Ponsor. “The history and current existence of discrimination against LGBTI people is precisely what qualifies them as a distinct targeted group eligible for protection under international law. The fact that a group continues to be vulnerable to widespread, systematic persecution in some parts of the world simply cannot shield one who commits a crime against humanity from liability.”

The lawsuit alleges that Lively’s actions over the past decade, in collaboration with key Ugandan government officials and religious leaders, are responsible for depriving LGBTI Ugandans of their fundamental human rights based solely on their identity, which is the definition of persecution under international law and is deemed a crime against humanity. This effort bore fruit most notably in the introduction of the notorious Anti-Homosexuality Bill (aka the Kill the Gays bill), which Lively helped engineer.

Lively has also been active in countries like Russia where a new law criminalizing gay rights advocacy was recently passed. In 2007, Lively toured 50 cities in Russia recommending some of the measures that are now law.

“Today’s ruling is a significant victory for human rights everywhere but most especially for LGBTI Ugandans who are seeking accountability from those orchestrating our persecution,” said Frank Mugisha, the director of SMUG.

Said CCR Attorney Pam Spees, “We are gratified that the court recognized the persecution and the gravity of the danger faced by our clients as a result of Scott Lively’s actions. Lively’s single-minded campaign has worked to criminalize their very existence, strip away their fundamental rights and threaten their physical safety.”

U.S. law allows foreign citizens to sue for violations of international law in U.S. federal courts under the Alien Tort Statute (ATS). The case, Sexual Minorities Uganda v. Lively, was originally filed in federal court in Springfield, MA, in March 2012. Today’s ruling ishere. For more information, visit CCR’s case page

The Center for Constitutional Rights is dedicated to advancing and protecting the rights guaranteed by the United States Constitution and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Founded in 1966 by attorneys who represented civil rights movements in the South, CCR is a non-profit legal and educational organization committed to the creative use of law as a positive force for social change.

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10 thoughts on “MA court declares evangelical pastor Lively must stand trial for Crimes Against Humanity

  1. With all the new anti gay hate legislation popping up around the globe and shocking the world, this article gives me a sense of hope and relief.

  2. WOW – About time these hate-mongers are called to answer for their sins. This is one case I will be following.

  3. I rejoice here in Canada! I have been following the hate-mongering Lively for some time and blogging about him . Justice will prevail. My last blog was about the lies Lively told in the selling of his book “Pink Triangle.” So often hatred is the bed-fellow of lies.
    The problem is that the seeds he has sown in Uganda/Russia and other places are still growing. Yet, optimistically, we fight injustice whenever it raises its ugly head.
    paulakey
    stories4hotbloodedlesbians.com

  4. This is good. However Melanie, I should tell you that Rebecca Kadaga is being considered for president of the International Commonwealth Women Parliamentarians; whether she gains this position or not will be decided Sept. 4. This is apparently a group of women in Commonwealth countries who are heralded for their work for women’s rights or being groundbreaking women politicians I believe. Commonwealth countries as we know consist of countries that are either accepting (Canada) or horrible (Uganda) to LGBTI people. This is hypocritical since Kadaga clearly does not consider lesbians to be women, as with her preaching of women’s rights in South Africa some time ago.

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