Over 150 people gathered at the United States District Courthouse in downtown Springfield, Massachusetts on Monday to hear arguments in the case Sexual Minorities Uganda v. Lively.
Brought by the advocacy group Sexual Minorities Uganda, the lawsuit “alleges that [Scott] Lively’s actions over the past decade, in collaboration with key Ugandan government officials and religious leaders, are responsible for depriving LGBTI people in Uganda of their fundamental human rights based solely on identity. This is the definition of persecution under international law and is deemed a crime against humanity. U.S. law allows foreign citizens to sue Americans for crimes against humanity under the Alien Tort Statute (ATS). The Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) filed the suit, the first such case brought to protect the rights of LGBTI people, on behalf Sexual Minorities Uganda.”
“This case is about making it clear to people who have exported their hate agenda to Uganda that their actions have a very real effect on us and they must stop,” said Pepe Julian Onziema, the Advocacy and Policy Officer at Sexual Minorities Uganda.
Pamela Spees, a senior attorney at CCR representing SMUG, said “Scott Lively’s role in orchestrating the deprivation of the rights of LGBTI people in Uganda has caused untold damage. Persecution – the deprivation of the rights of people solely because of their identity – is a crime, and he must be held accountable for it.”
Judge Michael A. Ponsor spent the better part of two hours questioning the attorneys on Lively’s motion to dismiss the lawsuit, which was the reason for the day’s hearing. Judge Ponsor “expressed skepticism about Lively’s request to dismiss the suit before trial, noting that federal law sets a high legal threshold for throwing out cases,” MassLive reported. “Ponsor said he would rule on the motion to dismiss in the near future, but gave no date.”
Lively has spent decades vilifying gays and lesbians, authoring such books as “The Pink Swastika: Homosexuality in the Nazi Party” and “Seven Steps to Recruit-Proof Your Child”. “Since 2002, he has traveled to Uganda, Latvia, Moldova, and other countries to consult with lawmakers and political leaders on anti-gay efforts and legislation, including the notorious the “Kill the Gays” bill in Uganda,” writes CCR.
I was curious to hear how Scott Lively’s supporters viewed the day’s proceedings, so I asked these ladies (right) if they’d like to share their thoughts with readers of a gay blog. After learning that I post on Pam’s House Blend, which their exclamations informed me they were familiar with, they demurred. The woman on the left stated a concern that I’d just twist what she said.
Well, they can’t say I didn’t give them to opportunity to provide their perspective on the day. Maybe next time. In the mean time, this sign brought to the courthouse by a Lively supporter will have to suffice. It reads:
“Dr. Lively has a GAY brother and a former lesbian sister. He does not hate – he HEALS. YOU ARE BEING LIED TO … you ARE THE HATERS.”
The flip side reads:
“Another sex partner can not fill your heart’s need for a Father’s Love. GOD CAN.”