Judge asked to dismiss case against U.S. pastor accused of ‘crimes against humanity’ for criticizing homosexuality
SPRINGFIELD, Mass., July 11, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) -- Lawyers representing the Massachusetts-based pro-family activist and pastor Scott Lively have asked a judge to throw out a lawsuit by a coalition of Ugandan homosexuals who accused the pastor four years ago of “crimes against humanity” for his overseas activism in opposing homosexuality.
Liberty Counsel argued in its 198 page motion for summary judgment filed last week that Sexual Minorities of Uganda (SMUG) has no legitimate legal standing on American soil to bring an accusation against an American citizen, and furthermore, it has no evidence to support the claims it made against the pastor.
The case goes back to 2012 when the George Soros-funded Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) sued Lively on behalf of SMUG for his preaching against homosexuality in Uganda during a 2009 visit.
SMUG claims that Lively's visit was part of a "conspiracy" to "persecute" the LGBTI (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex) population of Uganda, adding that the pastor orchestrated rampant "discrimination" and even violence against the LGBTI community, leading to the death of SMUG leader David Kato.
But the evidence shows the opposite.
“Four years, 100 hours of depositions, and 40,000 pages of documents later, SMUG failed to produce a shred of evidence of any conspiracy or persecution by Lively,” stated Liberty Counsel in a press release.
“The evidence shows that Lively, in a country where homosexuality has been illegal for decades, urged treatment of LGBTI people with respect and dignity, and the liberalization of Uganda's laws against homosexuality, even as he spoke in favor of biblical sexual morality and against the LGBTI political agenda. SMUG also admitted it knew all along that its leader, Kato, was murdered by a homosexual prostitute whom Kato refused to pay, and admitted that it was wrong to suggest otherwise in its lawsuit,” it added.
Liberty Counsel suggested to the judge that the SMUG lawsuit was nothing more than a bully tactic to punish Lively, and anyone like him, for speaking a message contrary to SMUG’s beliefs.
“The goal, according to SMUG, was never about the outcome but about the ‘advocacy’ along the way, meaning the sufficiently severe punishment of opposing viewpoints with expensive litigation so that no one else, including Lively, would dare speak their conscience ever again,” it stated in the motion.
In a December letter to the International Pro-Family Movement, Lively stated that he has been named “public enemy number one by the world’s largest homosexual organization, the Human Rights Campaign” for his “preaching a reasoned, factual and non-violent message against homosexuality in Uganda.”
“Why? Because I know nearly as much about their history, strategies and tactics as they do and my life’s work has been to empower and equip pro-family activists around the world with those facts,” he wrote.
Mat Staver, Founder and Chairman of Liberty Counsel, said that the case should worry every American who loves free speech.
"The suit is an attempt to silence Pastor Scott Lively because of his speech about homosexuality and pornography. The implications of this suit are frightening because SMUG is trying to punish a U.S. citizen for constitutionally protected speech under some vague and undefined international law," he said.
"From the beginning this case had no merit, but we have had to spend four years and countless hours defending an innocent pastor against a lawsuit designed only to intimidate. This case is a direct assault on the supremacy of the United States Constitution," he added.