Human Rights group sues Scott Lively over persecution of gays in Uganda

Today, the Center for Constitutional Rights filed a federal lawsuit against Scott Lively on behalf of Sexual Minorities Uganda over Lively’s activities in fostering persecution against gays.

You can find the filing and more background at CCR’s website.

CCR is basing the suit on accusations of violating the Alien Tort Statute (28 USC 1350) which states in sum: “The district courts shall have original jurisdiction of any civil action by an alien for a tort only, committed in violation of the law of nations or a treaty of the United States.”

The filing makes a strong case that Lively’s work in Uganda has systematically, since 2002, led to persecution of LGBT people in Uganda. Lively, according to this New York Times article, thinks the suit is ridiculous, adding, “I’ve never done anything in Uganda except preach the Gospel and speak my opinion about the homosexual issue. There’s actually no grounds for litigation on this.”

This will be an interesting case to watch. I can imagine other suits based on advocacy of persecution of other minorities, e.g., religious minorities, coming forward if this is successful. For instance, if there are people in the U.S. who support or work with foreign entities to limit religious freedom in other nations, perhaps religious minorities would bring suit here.

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  • Dave

    Uh, oh. The complaint uses this blog as a source on page 26.

    Your Christian bretheren are not going to like this one bit. Get ready for a barrage of “Christian love.” Duck and cover!

  • stephen

    Where can I donate?

  • Ducking and covering…

  • Michael Bussee

    I know Lively is the major focus here, but since other American groups went to Uganda to speak at the same conference alongside Lively (even cheerfully posing for photos with him after his speeches) I wonder why they weren’t included in the lawsuit? Didn’t they also help to pour gasoline on the flames?

  • Richard Willmer

    Warren ducking and covering? Then I’m a homophobe!

  • Richard Willmer

    But, seriously, his could be a very good thing. If successful, Lively will pay damages which could then be used to help human humans rights defenders and those minded to continue showing/giving support for/to the Bahati mob could be deterred from so doing.

  • StraightGrandmother

    The statute they are complaining under is pretty complicated. I think I am right, not positive, but I think I am right.

    The Statute is the Alien Tort Statute (ATS) from the website of the organization that filed the lawsuit

    The Supreme Court, SCOTUS, already has a case they are hearing under that same Tort Law. And according to SCOTUS Blog, the court after Oral Arguments, the Court decided to push this back and re-hear it again next term, “It is quite unusual for the Court, after briefing and argument on a case, to put it over until its next Term. ” This article on SCOTUS blog explains it

  • Maazi NCO

    This litigation against Mr. Scott Lively is the very definition of a frivolous lawsuit. Why are the Kampala-based puppets of the Euro-American Gay Lobby suing Scott Lively rather than David Bahati?? It is simple—GAY PROPAGANDA !!!

    Suing Scott Lively is likely to attract the heightened attention of the Western media much more than if the puppets were to sue David Bahati. In any case, gay propaganda thrives on Western media coverage where as in Africa, gay propaganda faces a hostile African press. So it makes complete sense not to risk provocative lawsuit against Bahati in Uganda and makes good sense to bring up the frivolous litigation against Mr. Lively in a Western nation were gayism is celebrated and fetished as the “eight wonder of the world”.

    In any case, I care little about this foreign lawsuit because it will have zero impact on capacity of MPs of the Parliament of Uganda to pass the anti-gayism law for the good of our nation and society. I doubt this frivolous lawsuit will prevent Nigerians, Liberians, Ghanaians, Cameroonians from passing fresh legislation against gayism—- in effect raising the middle finger up to Western government blackmailers led by David “Baby-Face” Cameron of UK and the “Clinton-Obama” duo of USA

  • Richard Willmer

    “Gay propaganda! Gay propaganda! Gay propaganda!”

    Anyone got some baize to put over his cage?

    (Anyway, this would be an internal matter for a US court. If it were to get good publicity, and other benefits, for humans rights defenders, then that would be great. If it helps to stop misguided westerners from supporting Bahati & Co., then better still.)

  • Richard Willmer

    By the way, the 45 days period for the LPAC to report on the Bahati Bill is drawing to its close. What’s happening, I wonder?!

  • StraightGrandmother

    My previous comment is in moderation, prolly becasue I had 2 links. So here is a copy and paste of the second half of my comment, with one link.

    The Supreme Court, SCOTUS, already has a case they are hearing under that same Tort Law. And according to SCOTUS Blog, the court after Oral Arguments, the Court decided to push this back and re-hear it again next term, “It is quite unusual for the Court, after briefing and argument on a case, to put it over until its next Term. ” This article on SCOTUS blog explains it

  • Richard Willmer

    (It is interesting to see again that our resident parrot seems more concerned to ‘raise a middle finger’ to Cameron and Obama than devote time and effort to things that might benefit his own constituents.)

  • Lynn David

    Despite Lively’s lies, I doubt if they have a case.

  • Richard Willmer

    That is true: a case will not be easy to construct.

    But widespread ‘publicity’ has already been achieved … and, in the attached article, Lively sounds rather ‘defensive’:

    He (Lively) is quoted as saying, “Most of the ostensibly inflammatory comments attributed to me are from selectively edited video clips of my 2009 seminars in Kampala. I challenge the plaintiffs and their allies to publish the complete footage of the seminar on the Internet. They will not do this or their duplicity would be exposed.”

    The ‘ostensibly inflammatory comments’ (I’ll say!) allegedly include such ‘gems’ as comparing these human rights activists and other LGBT people to paedophiles, Nazis and those who perpetrated the genocide in Rwanda. His reported comments seem to amount to an admission that he DID say such things (and if he said them, he said them, regardless of whatever else he might have said). Getting such behaviour firmly into the public domain is, of itself, useful.

    Another useful ‘signal’ from all this is that it reminds these religious extremists that they are not above the law. (I think they often see themselves that way, despite Saint Paul’s ‘reminders’ to the contrary.)

    (The article has also got it wrong about the death penalty provision; the Bill has not [yet] been amended, so the death penalty for consensual sex still remains in place – something we should not forget as we continue our campaign against it.)

  • Patrocles


    I don’t think that it’s “frivolous”.

    It’s only part of a movement to abolish first amendment rights, one step at a time, in favour of special groups.

    It contains all the usual vaguenesses and pretensions, not to speak about self-contradictions (people reproaching Lively for “silencing” them, but trying to “silence” him themselves).

    In the end, First amendment will be rotten. The United States will become a lot more like Uganda (as it was). And a few people will understand what they’ve destroyed.

    But of course, there’s some hope: Countries like Uganda might become more like the United States (as they were, in those golden times).

  • Richard Willmer

    The point is that Lively has allegedly been telling lies about people in order to serve his own agenda. This has nothing to do with ‘First Amendment rights’.

    Of course, telling lies about people is not a ‘frivolous’ matter.

  • Richard Willmer

    Of course, Bahati himself has, according to the New York Times, admitted a ‘US connection’ re. ‘his’ Bill.

    Let’s look again at what was reported in this regard last month:-

    ” It was in the United States, Mr. Bahati contended, that he first became close with a group of influential social conservatives, including politicians, known as The Fellowship, which would later become a base of inspiration and technical support for the anti-homosexuality bill.

    ” Mr. Bahati said the idea for the bill first sprang from a conversation with members of The Fellowship in 2008, because it was “too late” in America to propose such legislation. Now, he said, he feels abandoned. ”

    (Another useful feature of this lawsuit could be to highlight afresh the ‘western interference’ that helped to bring about the Bahati Bill.)

  • Richard Willmer

    By the way, a violent mob have been ‘gay-bashing’ in Ghana just recently:

    Further manifestations of hatred are threatened:

    (A friend in the human rights community in UG alerted me to this, although reports of this violence ‘went viral’ overnight.)

    I’m not suggesting that Scott Lively personally has anything to do with this, of course!

  • Maazi NCO

    I’m not suggesting that Scott Lively personally has anything to do with this, of course!

    You don’t say !!! Anyways, I am sure the African puppets of the Euro-American Gay Lobby will add the Ghanaian people’s protests against the gay-imperialism of the West to the rapsheet of Scott Lively in what remains a very frivolous case aimed to putting gayism on the forefront of Western media reports for purely propagandistic purposes

  • Richard Willmer

    Notice how ‘Maazi’ seems far more concerned about legal, peaceful human rights advocacy than he is about mob violence or other similar, criminal and/or disorderly, behaviour.

    Perhaps the root of many social problems in many places can be detected in this kind of completely absurd attitude.

    As for Lively: essentially the contention is that has lied in such a way that could reasonably be deemed to incite hatred and violence. I would like to see this contention (which I and many others believe has merit) tested by ‘due process’ under law.

  • Maazi NCO

    By the way, a violent mob have been ‘gay-bashing’ in Ghana just recently:Further manifestations of hatred are threatened:

    I am astonished that you lot in Europe and America expect Africans to roll over and accept lucid attempts by Western hedonists—supported by their compromised Western governments—to forcefully impose gayism on us. Contrary to gay propaganda, Scott Lively is not the problem. The problem is the frenzied attempts by Euro-American Gay Lobby to blackmail African nations into accepting gayism or be damned. What we have seen over the last 5 years is the springing up of puppet gay rights NGOs whose membership is beholden to their Western sponsors. A considerable number of these puppets start off by going to Europe or America where their rich White sponsors bankroll their tutorials in the act of creating and disseminating gay propaganda. As I am writing, I am aware that there are some Ugandans in America being trained in the act of creating and disseminating gay propaganda. For the sake of their sponsors, I wish these puppets good luck when they return to Uganda to spread the gospel of gayism. In other words, I wish them good luck selling the unsellable to the Ugandan people.

    From international news reports, Liberia is another nation under attack by Euro-American Gay Lobby. In January, a non-governmental organization called “Movement in Defence of Gay and Lesbian Rights in Liberia” magically came into existence and started demanding legalization of not just sodomy, but so-called “gay marriage”. The Liberian gay propagandists went to University campuses and other public places to harangue and harass people going about their business. It is no shock that Liberians still smarting from the humiliating condenscending “accept-gayism-or-be-damned” speeches of the Western blackmailers reacted disproportionately to the pro-gay puppets. t surprisingly, newspapers, radio, TV stations, politicians, society commentators and religious leaders in Liberia condemned Western obssession with gayism. The anti-gay law being debated in the Liberian legislature is a direct response and consequence of Western blackmail. But gay propagandists in America and Europe will have none of it. As far as their deluded minds are concerned, it was Rick Warren and Scott Lively that barked out an order for Africans to reject gayism and Africans promptly obeyed the White Masters without question

  • Richard Willmer

    ‘Maazi’ misses the point (he’s so obsessed with sex, you see): we are talking about lies and violence on the one hand versus due process under law on the other.

  • I’ve ignored you mostly since our initial exchange in 2009 but I wanted to see how you would react to this lawsuit, since your very first posting about me was to accuse me of trying to subject homosexuals in Uganda to forced therapy. That (the “forced” aspect) wasn’t accurate, of course, since you got your information from “gay” activists instead of asking me yourself, my dear “Christian brother.” However, you knew at least that my focus in Uganda was on rehabilitation, not advocacy for a “kill the gays” bill. Now that this foolishness has escalated to the point of an actual lawsuit defining me as the mastermind of that bill, I wondered if your interest in truth would trump your allegiance to the homosexual cause. I see that it does not.

    I also see that you are citing (without attribution) your vile chum Jim Burroway’s maliciously deceitful edits of my Uganda seminar videos instead of my actual comments in context. And, that you are letting stand without challenge the implication that David Kato’s murder was related to my activities rather than a “gay on gay” crime of passion (for which the confessed killer is now serving 30 years).

    One expects this level of dishonesty from the homosexuals, but not from a faculty member of a distinguished Christian college. You truly are a snake.

    • Mr. Lively, Please feel free to offer the entire transcript of your remarks in Uganda. I have seen the footage in context and it doesn’t change anything. But if you think it does, you should post the video and transcript somewhere.

      I have never stated that David Kato’s murder had anything directly due to you, and I addressed your recommendations about forced therapy back when you made them. To my knowledge, you have never addressed what would happen to people in your paradigm who did not take the “offer” of government sponsored ex-gay therapy.

  • ken

    Pastor Scott Lively# ~ Mar 19, 2012 at 6:31 am

    “One expects this level of dishonesty from the homosexuals, but not from a faculty member of a distinguished Christian college. You truly are a snake.”

    I’ve been following Warren’s blog for quite some time. To my knowledge Warren has never prevented anyone from responding to his posts about that person.

    If you feel Warren (or anyone who posts on this blog) has quoted you out of context (or otherwise, mis-interpreted you), you are free to post the full context or what you actually meant by your words. However, I notice rather than actually doing that, you instead resort to childish name-calling and claims of mis-representation, but no actual proof of it.

  • Dave

    @Scott Lively … Yes by all means post the entire transcript / video of your talk in Uganda. Then we can see for ourselves if that context changes anything or not. But until (or unless) you do please stop accusing others of lying about you. My experience with people like yourself is that you won’t do this .. but you could always prove me wrong on this one.


  • Richard Willmer

    I see Lively is stooping to his usual sewer tactics (saying that he ‘expects … dishonesty’ from gays and calling people ‘snakes’). Typical, just typical.

  • Richard Willmer

    According to this report, Lively has a ‘violent streak’ in his character:

    From the report: “According to an article published by the Portland Mercury on October 5, 2000, Lively threw documentary film maker Catherine Stauffer against the wall of a church in Portland, Oregon before dragging her across the floor during her attempt to film efforts by the Oregon Citizens Alliance to promote anti-homosexuality legislation in the state.”

  • Richard Willmer

    Perhaps Mr. Lively could clear up a small matter for us. He is reported* to have said, back in late ’09 or early ’10, that he would endorse the Bahati Bill were the death penalty to be dropped. (This would mean that he would endorse the following: life imprisonment for consensual relations; imprisonment and/or fines for those who advocated for human rights for LGBT persons; imprisonment and/or fines for those who failed who ‘turn in’ LGBT persons to the authorities.)

    Perhaps he could tell us, here and now, if this is indeed the case.

    *by ABC News

  • I also see that you are citing (without attribution) your vile chum Jim Burroway’s maliciously deceitful edits of my Uganda seminar videos instead of my actual comments in context.

    I’ve seen the full video in context, it only gets worse.  By all means, however, post a full record.  I  hear there is some video we didn’t get, I would love to see it.  If you truly believe seeing it all unedited will exonerate you, why haven’t you already posted it?

    One expects this level of dishonesty from the homosexuals

    You don’t even bother to try to hide your bigotry.

  • StraightGrandmoher

    Hey Lively,

    Bring It!

    Come on big guy,

    Bring It.

    The only thing I want to know is, what the hell kind of denomination was ignorant enough to give you the honorarium of Pastor? Or is it like Napoleon, who crowned himself Emperor?


  • Don’t expect him to return. People like that don’t do dialog.

  • Richard Willmer

    Agreed, David Roberts.

    It was ‘one shot thing’ for him!

  • “One expects this level of dishonesty from the homosexuals, but not from a faculty member of a distinguished Christian college. You truly are a snake.”

    This from an alleged “christian.”

    And he believes, no doubt, he is worthy of being called a follower of Christ, the Prince of Peace, the one whose love ethic stretches far beyond what the religious right of His day (and ours) was, and is, apparently capable.

    Shame on you, Mr. Lively! I see no love in you …only vitriol.

    But, glory to God, Christ can redeem you! …even if you are straight AND NARROW!

  • Stephen Hallett

    Scott Lively has said that if the death penalty is taken out of this bill, he would support it. This means that he supports imprisoning, for life, the LGBT population of Uganda unless the ascribe to his bogus “therapy.” He is a bad man in the legacy of Bull Connor and George Wallace. He is a bigot who is out to destroy people.

  • Richard Willmer

    @ Stephen

    That is indeed what I have heard. I was hoping that Lively would either confirm or deny this here on this blog, but he seems to have chosen to remain silent (which is perhaps understandable, given that he is now the object of legal action).

    We should not forget the other atrocious aspects of the draft ‘Bahati’ Bill that do not involve the hangman’s noose (at least for the first so-called ‘offence’): prison and/or fines for those who speak up for the rights of LGBT people (a vicious attack on freedom of speech and assembly); prison and/or fines for those who do ‘shop’ LGBT persons to the authorities; prison for those who are deemed to ‘aid or abet homosexuality’ (this could mean friends, family, landlords, lawyers, … linked with LGBT persons being sent to prison); etc.

    (It appears that the Bill may have ‘stalled’ yet again; the 45 days for the relevant parliamentary committee to produce its report is almost up, although perhaps there could be another ‘push’ in the next few days …)

  • Richard Willmer

    Whoops! Should have said “prison and/or fines for those who do NOT ‘shop’ LGBT persons to the authorities” above.

    (The ‘you must be an informant’ clause was recommended for dumping by the Tashobya committee last May, but has not yet been dropped by the Ugandan Parliament. The same committee KEPT death by hanging for some consensual acts, but just changed the words – probably in an effort to ‘trick’ waverers who were not conversant with the implications of the wording proposed.)

    As I have pointed out on this blog before (but think it is worth pointing again and again), Bahati himself has now allegedly admitted (to the New York Times) that he was ‘inspired’ by white extremists in the USA (Bahati allegedly spoke of having been ‘abandoned’ by many of them, having received encouragement and support in the early days of his slaughter project).

  • StraightGrandmother

    Stephen H =

    Bull Connor and George Wallace

    StraightGrandmother = Bull Connor is an excellent analogy. George Wallace did repent and change in his old age.

    Here read some Wiki on Wallace-

    In the late 1970s, Wallace announced that he was a born-again Christian and apologized to black civil rights leaders for his earlier segregationist positions. He said that while he had once sought power and glory, he realized he needed to seek love and forgiveness.[note 3] In 1979, Wallace said of his stand in the schoolhouse door: “I was wrong. Those days are over, and they ought to be over.”[4] His final term as governor (1983–1987) saw a record number of black appointments to state positions.[52] In his fourth term, Wallace became the first governor to appoint two black members in the same cabinet, a number that has been equaled but never surpassed.

  • Sandra Stewart

    Scott Lively has been charged with Crimes Against Humanity and a federal judge has decided the suit can go forward

    The complaint alleges that (Scott) Lively (Pastor & Head of Abiding Truth Ministries) specifically sought out Uganda to further his agenda, knowing that Uganda was fertile ground to “meaningfully provoke and bring about the persecution of the LGBT community.” It connects his actions, beginning with his 2002 visit to Uganda, to the escalation of anti-gay propaganda and persecution in Uganda, culminating with the Kill the Gays bill.

    It is the first known sexual identity and gender discrimination suit under the Alien Tort Statute (ATS), which allows foreign victims to sue corporations, governments and individuals for human rights violations.

    Lively’s attorneys sought to get the case dismissed on a variety of claims, including that the plaintiffs had no standing, the Alien Tort Statute did not apply, and everything he said was protected by the First Amendment.

    In a ruling last week, a federal judge disagreed, saying that because his activities occurred both in the United States and Uganda, the plaintiffs had standing, including jurisdictional. Furthermore, Lively’s actions went beyond speech and noted deliberate activity to deny LGBT people basic individual rights.

    From Care 2

    • ken

      And since this is a civil case, Lively will have to give a deposition and be required to testify under oath. It will be interesting to see how he responds when he can’t simply ignore the questions he is asked.

      • Richard Willmer

        I’m quite surprised (but pleased) that the case is being allowed to proceed. That in itself is perhaps something of a ‘victory’.

        In advance of the ruling, Lively has set out something of a ‘stall’ in a ‘rebuttal’ of ‘leftist propagand’ that is full of factual errors about the Bahati Bill – errors that will be easy to highlight by reference to the text of the Bill. At least he admits that the death penalty is still there, which is something, I suppose.

        I wrote to him to point out his errors (as well as to say that the fact a particular law might not be consistently applied – Lively talks in his ‘rebuttal’ of laws not being applied as harshly as they might be – is irrelevant).

        To add further further ‘obfuscation’, he claims not to support the Bill while suggesting that it might be necessary – by citing ‘sex tourism’ (why then is the Bill so clearly aimed at UGANDANS?).

        It’s a very muddled document; if it indicates how he intends to defend himself, he could be in real trouble.

        Here it is:

        (Another piece of hokum is the suggestion that ‘the people of Uganda’ have been ‘slandered’ by opponents of the Bill. Not so: the guilty ones have been carefully targeted and generalizations about Ugandans avoided. In any event, the case against him was brought by Ugandans.)

      • Richard Willmer

        To be absolutely honest, what I would like to see now is repentance on the part of Lively and forgiveness on the part of SMUG, as part of an out-of-court settlement.

        • stephen

          The man’s insane and dangerous. Why on earth should the Ugandan group forgive him? I hope for a ruling that cripples his foul enterprise.

          • Richard Willmer

            Only if he (publically) ‘repents’ (which would imply a promise never again to do such things) and ensures that SMUG is not out-of-pocket in any conceivable way as a result of bringing this case … of course.

          • Richard Willmer

            Of course, Lively is only one of the ‘Uganda Three’ who has yet make a suitable response to his own behaviour. Don Schmierer has ‘beaten his breast’ and said “some of nicest people I know are gay” (which I’m sure is true), and his organization has closed; on the issue of ‘homosexuality’, Caleb Brundridge seems to have slipped away into well-earned obscurity. Only Lively remains.

        • Richard Willmer

          Report just in:

          As far as this thread is concerned, the significance of this horrible attack is that this is the kind of thing Lively & Co. often like to say is NOT happening.

        • Richard Willmer

          In today’s Observer (UK) newspaper: more on homophobic abuse from an award-winning UG journalist: