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to Section One | to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, August 23 2013 - Volume 41 Issue 34
Scott Lively in the dock - Anti-Gay pastor to stand trial for crimes against humanity
Section One
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Scott Lively in the dock - Anti-Gay pastor to stand trial for crimes against humanity

by Mike Andrew - SGN Staff Writer

A U.S. district judge ruled on August 15 that American pastor Scott Lively may be tried for crimes against humanity because of his global anti-Gay activities.

The suit against Lively was brought by Sexual Minorities Uganda (SMUG), the leading LGBT rights group in that country. It alleges that Lively collaborated with key Ugandan government officials and religious leaders to write and introduce the notorious 'Kill the Gays' bill, which is still pending in Uganda's parliament.

U.S. law allows foreign nationals to sue for violations of international law in U.S. federal courts under the Alien Tort Statute.

In his ruling, U.S. District Judge Michael Ponsor wrote, 'Widespread, systematic persecution of LGBTI people constitutes a crime against humanity that unquestionably violates international norms.

'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.'

UGANDANS HAIL RULING
Frank Mugisha, director of SMUG, said that Ponsor's ruling would help LGBT Ugandans get justice for Lively's crimes against their community.

'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,' Mugisha said.

Lively had asked that SMUG's suit be dismissed in deference to his First Amendment right of free speech.

PROFESSIONAL BIGOT
Lively has made a career of stirring up anti-Gay sentiment in the U.S. and internationally. His organization, Abiding Truth Ministries, has been named an anti-Gay hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center.

Lively co-authored The Pink Swastika, a 1995 book which suggests that 'homosexuals were the truth inventors of Nazism and the guiding force behind many Nazi atrocities,' and that the rainbow flag is a symbol of the 'end times.'

In 2007, Lively toured 50 cities in Russia and other former Soviet countries. On this tour he helped found Watchmen on the Walls, a particularly violent anti-Gay organization now headquartered in Riga, Latvia. He is also accused of recommending that Russia institute a ban on 'Gay propaganda.'

In 2009 Lively was one of several American right-wing evangelical figures who attended a conference in Kampala, Uganda, at which anti-Gay strategies were discussed, including what later became the 'Kill the Gays' bill.

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