The Grotesque Persecution of Scott Lively

As I wrote recently, I do not believe Scott Lively has had any serious impact on the laws in Russia or Uganda with regard to those countries’ laws on homosexuality. I have argued that he is a “monster” created by the LGBT movement for their own purposes—to raise money and frighten their base.

In reality Scott Lively is the victim of what I call the Big Gay Hate Machine, an organized effort by rich gays in America to persecute anyone who may criticize their quick march to dominate the political and policy discourse in the United States and elsewhere.

Lively is currently the target of a grotesque lawsuit brought by these rich gays using bogus claims of international law in the court of a deeply biased gay-friendly Federal judge. What is happening to Lively is the grossest miscarriage of justice the purpose of which is to frighten any critic of the gay political agenda into the closet.

The charge against Scott Lively is that he perpetrated and led an organized attack on LGBTs in Uganda that resulted in their persecution and that in doing so he violated their human rights and specifically committed a crime against humanity under international human rights law.

The claim is being brought by an LGBT group in Uganda and it is being prosecuted in a U.S. court under something called the Alien Tort Statutes that allows foreigners to bring civil action in American courts for violations of international law that happened on foreign soil. The use of the Alien Tort Statute was expanded in recent decades to include violations of human rights. And this is where the mischief begins.

According to the left-wing Center for Justice and Accountability, “In order to sue for most violations, the abuses must have been committed by a government official or a member of the security forces (the military, police, etc.), or by a person acting on behalf of, or together with, such authorities [emphasis added].”

Plaintiffs in the case claim eight instances of persecution brought against them by various Ugandan authorities, including raids of a gay-rights conference, arrests of gay leaders, a crackdown on media and gay rights advocacy, and the public outings of gays and lesbians by Ugandan newspapers.

Plaintiffs do not claim that Lively perpetrated any of these actions, nor do they claim he even knew or even communicated with the perpetrators. They claim that over three visits to Uganda between 2002 and 2009 and in his U.S. work Lively said offensive things about gays and that he worked with four Ugandan nationals to enact national legislation to restrict gay conduct and advocacy.

At center stage is a piece of legislation dubbed the Kill the Gays Bill by hard-left US pundit Rachel Maddow that in one form never enacted would have required the death penalty for deliberately infecting another person with the HIV virus. It should be noted that Lively opposed that version of the bill which was never enacted and further noted that the Ugandan laws on homosexuality changed not a bit from the time before Lively’s first visit to Uganda down to the present day.

According to a document presented to the court by Lively’s attorneys “…[plaintiff’s] theory of liability against Lively for the eight unconnected acts of persecution boils down to a claim that Lively’s public speeches opposing the promotion of sexual behaviors, and his unsuccessful advocacy for the enactment of laws that restrict homosexual rights, created a hateful environment in which people that Lively has never met perpetrated crimes of ‘persecution,’ for which they have been duly punished in Ugandan courts….”

Lively’s persecutors are claiming that his speeches and writings constituted “crimes against humanity,” legal categories first enumerated and punished during the Nuremburg War Crimes Tribunal against those who carried out the Holocaust.

Crimes against humanity are defined as “certain acts that are committed as part of a widespread or systematic attack directed against any civilian population.” They can be perpetrated during war or peace but must be carried out by government officials or those in de facto authority. According to the Rome Statues of the International Criminal Court such actions include “murder, extermination, enslavement, deportation, imprisonment, torture, rape” and many other “odious offenses.”

The Rome Statutes also cite “persecution against any identifiable group or collectivity on political, racial, national, ethnic, cultural, religious, gender…or other grounds that are universally recognized as impermissible under international law.”

Plaintiffs claim that as gays they are an “identifiable group” and persecution against them as gays is universally recognized as impermissible under international law.

Any judge but a pure hard left ideologue would have laughed the plaintiffs out of court and kicked them in the keister as they retreated. Sadly, the judge is a gay-friendly lefty named Michael Ponsor who in his rulings ignores established international law and recent Supreme Court decisions.

First, international law, either by treaty or custom, does not recognize gays as an “identifiable group.” No human rights treaty mentions gays as a protected category. Not a single one. As for customary international law, almost half the countries in the world have laws regulating the kind of gay behavior and advocacy that plaintiffs in this case say violates international law. Custom therefore would support not the gays, but their opponents.

Second, the Supreme Court has recently held that the Alien Tort Statute can only be used for claims that “touch and concern” the United States with sufficient force.  This has led to the dismissal of well over a dozen cases which involved alleged conduct overseas.  Scott Lively’s case should have met the same fate, since it alleges conduct and speech in Uganda, not the United States.  However, the same rules and law do not apply when dealing with the homosexual juggernaut.

Some of the egregious comments by the judge in his decisions not to dismiss show a multiplication of offenses committed by this judge against fairness and justice.

The judge complains that Lively has said there is a connection between pornography and homosexuality.

The judge also complains that Lively has said the U.S. “has been brought low by the homosexual movement.”

Reasonable people may disagree with Lively’s statements but they would insist on his right to be wrong. Reasonable people might think the First Amendment, which is portable and follows Americans wherever they go, protects such statements. This radical judge says such statements are not protected as Lively has used then in the commission of a crime against humanity.

The judge also says, “The history and current existence of discrimination against LGBT people is precisely what qualifies them as a distinct targeted group eligible for protection under international law.” In this comment, Ponsor is trying to creating international law out of whole cloth and going far beyond his mandate as a Federal judge.

The judge says Lively is “analogously the head of a criminal enterprise” and that Lively’s statements in the U.S. are similar to someone making bombs in the U.S. and shipping them off to explode in a foreign country.

This is what Lively is up against.

The state of play now is that this dishonest judge has declined to dismiss the case even though it is clear the case cannot be brought under the Alien Tort Statute, even though gays are not a protected category under international law, and even though nothing Lively did or said rises to within a moonshot of crimes against humanity.

The plaintiffs have gotten exactly what they wanted. Scott Lively will be tied up in “discovery” for the next two years at a cost of millions of dollars. Over 30,000 pages of documents have already been exchanged and there have already been a dozen depositions. Plaintiffs have unlimited resources from their rich gay friends and have something like 14 attorneys working the case.

This is one of the more disgusting trends in the gay takeover of—well—everything. If you dare to step out of line they have high-priced lawyers who will destroy you; take your house, your business, your livelihood.

Lively’s more-than-capable attorneys are from Liberty Counsel, an Orlando-based public interest law firm specializing in defending Christians under attack that exists on a budget of less than $4 million per year. You can read more about the case at the Liberty Counsel website where I am certain you can find a donate button, too.

Editor’s note: In the image above appears Scott Lively (l) and U.S. District Judge Michael Posnor.

Austin Ruse

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Austin Ruse is president of C-FAM (Center for Family & Human Rights), a New York and Washington DC-based research institute. He is the author of Fake Science: Exposing the Left’s Skewed Statistics, Fuzzy Facts, and Dodgy Data published by Regnery. He is also the author of the new book Little Suffering Souls: Children Whose Short Lives Point Us to Christ published by Tan Books. The views expressed here are solely his own.

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