US pastor asks court to dismiss Uganda gay hate charges

Scott Lively

Scott Lively (Pic: Tim Pierce)

A Massachusetts court will this week consider a request by hate pastor Scott Lively to dismiss charges against him of crimes against humanity in Uganda.

Lively is being sued by the Center for Constitutional Rights in the US on behalf of Ugandan LGBT rights group SMUG in a first-of-its-kind case.

He has been charged with crimes against humanity for his role in stirring up anti-gay vitriol in the African country.

The charges were first filed in 2012 and claim that he also helped engineer Uganda’s notorious 2013 Anti-Homosexuality Act, which has since been annulled.

In July, Lively filed a motion for summary judgment, asking the judge to dismiss the case, which the evangelist has previously described as “completely frivolous”.

The motion will be heard by Judge Ponsor in Springfield, Massachusetts on Wednesday.

Despite claiming to be a victim of “Marxists and homosexual militants from the West”, there is evidence that Lively propagated dangerous and false beliefs about gays and lesbians in Uganda.

In March 2009, Lively, along with two other American evangelical leaders, headlined a three-day conference in Uganda intended to expose the “gay movement” as an “evil institution” and a danger to children.

By his own admission, in March 2010 he addressed members of the Ugandan Parliament on the Anti-Homosexuality Bill, advising them to see homosexuality as equivalent to “alcoholism and drug abuse”.

Liveley has told Ugandans that gay people have taken over the UN and America, that they are planning to “recruit” children in Uganda and are out to destroy society. He has painted the issue of LGBT equality as being “a war between Christians and homosexuals”.

Today, there appears to be growing intolerance for American evangelists travelling to Africa to spread their hate views. Pastor Steven Anderson, who calls for the execution of gay people, recently attempted to start a branch of his Arizona-based church in southern Africa, but was blocked by the governments of South Africa, Botswana and Malawi from doing so.

Liveley is being sued under the Alien Tort Statute law, which allows foreign citizens to sue Americans for crimes against humanity. This is the first-ever such action regarding the rights of LGBTI people.

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