Extreme anti-gay Christian pastor Scott Lively, the American architect of Uganda’s notorious “kill the gays” legislation, is in federal court today facing charges of “crimes against humanity.”
According to a report issued by MassLive, lawyers for Lively will appear in U.S. District Court today to defend the controversial pastor against allegations of crimes against humanity leveled by a Ugandan civil rights group.
Late last year, the First Circuit Court of Appeals denied Lively’s petition to have the crimes against humanity lawsuit against him dropped, opening the way for the ground breaking case to proceed.
Lively is accused of violating international law by inciting the persecution of LGBT individuals in Uganda.
In 2009 a group of American evangelists led by Lively conducted national rallies, seminars and workshops in Uganda demonizing and dehumanizing homosexuals. The seminars made false and inflammatory claims about gay men sodomizing teenage boys and how “the gay movement is an evil institution” intended to “defeat the marriage-based society.”
Lively is accused of partnering with the key political and religious leaders of the anti-gay campaign in Uganda, advising anti-gay parliamentarians on legislation targeting the LGBT community and leading conferences about the supposed threats posed by the gay movement.
The Uganda Anti-Homosexuality Bill of 2009 (also know as the “Kill the Gays Bill”) was introduced in the Ugandan parliament a month after Lively held meetings and gave a series of lectures asserting that the gay movement in Uganda was “evil” and organized with the purpose of “homosexualizing” children.
Lively has also worked closely with anti-gay leaders and politicians in Russia, Latvia and Moldova, advising them on legislation intended to criminalize any form of LGBT advocacy.
The current lawsuit brought against Scott Lively of Massachusetts was filed by the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) on behalf of Sexual Minorities of Uganda (SMUG) in 2012. The lawsuit contends Lively was a major force behind Uganda’s infamous “kill the gays bill,” a bill that would imprison or even execute members of the gay and lesbian community.
In spite of the pending suit and near universal condemnation of his actions, Lively is not backing down from his extreme homophobia. Right Wing Watch reports that Lively continues to describe homosexuality as an “infection.”
Previously, Lively has claimed that homosexuality is worse than murder and the worst possible sin a person can commit.
Lively continues to be a leading figure in the global conservative Christian movement against LGBT people. Lively is the president of Abiding Truth Ministries, and author of The Pink Swastika, an ugly, anti-gay polemic that draws a false connection between homosexuality and the rise of Nazi Germany.
In 2014 Lively ran an unsuccessful election campaign to be governor of Massachusetts.
Today, lawyers for the civil rights group and Lively are expected to argue motions to determine how discovery in the case will proceed.
Watch this space for updates.
(Large portions of this post were previously published here.)