Pro-family activism that makes a difference!

Soros-funded "civil rights" group in NY files huge 47-page lawsuit in federal court accusing Pastor Scott Lively of "crimes against humanity" — for pro-family speeches in Uganda!

High-profile attack on religious expression begins.

POSTED: March 18, 2012

The homosexual movement has enormously stepped up its attack on free speech and religious expression. What you are about to read is the most outrageous legal assault we have ever encountered.

On Wednesday, March 14, 2012 a Soros-funded New York-based far-left advocacy organization filed a 47-page lawsuit in Federal District Court in Springfield, Massachusetts against Pastor Scott Lively, a well-known pro-family writer and speaker who runs Redemption Gate Ministry and the Holy Grounds Coffee House in Springfield.

The lawsuit was filed on behalf of homosexual activists in Uganda. They are charging Pastor Lively with "violating the law of nations" and a "crime against humanity," using a U.S. law dating back to the late 1700s.

[Right: Pastor Scott Lively greets visitors outside of the Holy Grounds Coffee House in inner-city Springfield, Massachusetts.
MassResistance photo]

Outrageous accusations

Lively is accused of inciting murder, torture, and other civil rights violations in Uganda. They claim that Lively's meetings and conversations with church leaders and public officials on pro-family issues in 2009 caused the Ugandan Parliament to introduce a harsh anti-homosexuality law. Though the bill was never passed, they claim it led to a attacks on the homosexual community in Uganda.

The suit is asking for compensatory damages, punitive damages, exemplary damages, attorney's fees, and a "declaratory judgment that the Defendant's conduct is in violation of the law of nations" as well as "all such other and further relief that the court may deem just and proper." Essentially, they want to bankrupt him and make him an example for others.

The lawsuit was prepared and filed by the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) on behalf of "Sexual Minorities Uganda," a homosexual activist group. CCR describes itself as "advancing and protecting the rights guaranteed by the U.S. constitution and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights."

This is likely the most comprehensive and well-funded campaign by the homosexual movement against a single individual since the movement to destroy the career of singer Anita Bryant in the 1970s. And it is likely the forerunner of more.

Immediate harassment

Shortly after the lawsuit was filed in Springfield District Court, a group of costumed homosexual activists — over 100, according to press reports — marched from the courthouse to Lively's Holy Grounds Coffee House to harass and intimidate him and the people there, screaming, chanting, and beating a drum. They apparently timed it to coincide with the local high school being let out. Lively wasn't there, but we are told that the patrons bravely stood up to the activists and refused to be intimidated.

Harassing Pastor Lively's coffee house minutes after the suit was filed. They even posed for a photo for the media.
[New York Times photo]

Well-funded "left-wing attack dog" organization

CCR is definitely a darling of the radical left. The group raises in over $7 million per year for its activities. One of CCR's major funders is George Soros' Open Society Foundations. Other funders include The Tides Foundation, The Ford Foundation, The Vanguard Charitable Endowment Program, Fidelity Charitable Gift Fund, the Rockefeller Family Fund, Bright Horizons Foundation, and Microsoft Matching Donors program.

It seems that CCR began as a legitimate group. It was founded in 1966 by attorneys representing the civil rights movement in the South. But since then it has become a hardcore radical left organization — and has become wealthy in the process.

Recent CCR activities include:

  • Defending ACORN against federal lawsuits and "right wing accusations."
  • Legalizing prostitution in Louisiana
  • Rights for illegal immigrants vs. US laws
  • Rights for Muslim prisoners in Guantanamo
  • Defending Bradley Manning, the homosexual activist behind "Wiki-leaks" - who gave thousands of classified US documents to the foreign website.
  • Suing US companies doing business in Israel

The "Alien Tort Statute"

In an unusual move, Lively is being sued in a US court for alleged acts (in this case, speeches) that took place in a foreign country. CCR is attempting to use the Alien Tort Statute to prosecute him.

The Alien Tort Statute started out as the Judiciary Act of 1789. It was originally meant to deal with piracy and violations of US treaties. Over the years was expanded to allow for non-US citizens to sue in US courts to prosecute foreign officials for human rights violations. In 1991 Congress expanded it by passing the Torture Victim Protection Act to allow both US and non-US victims of torture and similar crimes to seek redress in US courts. In 1993 CCR persuaded a federal court to allow it to be used to prosecute foreign individuals. Later another court allowed it to include multinational corporations.

In recent years CCR has used the Alien Tort Statute to sue US companies doing business in Israel (such as Caterpillar, for "abetting war crimes") and also to file suit against public officials in Israel as war criminals.

CCR admits that this is the first time the statute has been used to attempt to punish "speech" by a US citizen who has First Amendment rights here for speaking in a foreign country — but who has not broken any laws in that country. It's also the first time that the statute been used in regard to "sexual orientation and gender identity" according to CCR literature.

CCR's major project of 2012: Destroy Scott Lively

The Scott Lively lawsuit appears to be CCR's biggest current project. According to CCR's literature, they have been meeting with homosexual activists in Uganda and working on this since 2010. It is the prominent article on their web site. They have posted considerable supporting literature along with their press release. They want to convict him and ultimately destroy him financially, and (like with Anita Bryant in the 1970s) make him an example for everyone else.

A bit over the top. They even put together a high-tech "timeline" of Lively's "activity" on their website.

Scott Lively is not only a pastor, but is an attorney with a PhD in theology. He is also the author of several books on pro-family issues and homosexuality and an internationally known pro-family activist. He is a very good public speaker and is very knowledgeable about the homosexual movement and its effect on society. That's a major reason why the homosexual movement is targeting him.

Demonizing Scott Lively. Pam Spees, senior CCR staff attorney, has written on the CCR website: "Lively has been the man with the plan in this enterprise. He long ago set out a very specific and detailed methodology for stripping away the most basic human rights protections and to silence LGBT people. Unfortunately, he found willing accomplices and fertile ground in Uganda."

The accusation: What really happened when Scott Lively was in Uganda?

The contortions being used against Lively — versus what really happened - are quite astounding.

In 2009, Lively was invited to Uganda to speak at a pro-family conference on the destructive nature of homosexuality and the aggressive nature of the homosexual movement. (He had also been there in 2002.) At least one member of the Uganda Parliament attended the conference and also spoke personally with Lively and others there about the issue. He was then invited to briefly address the Ugandan Parliament. Of particular concern to the officials was the issue of homosexuals targeting children.

About a month after the conference, that member of Parliament introduced a bill that would criminalize homosexual acts with various punishments depending on the situation. The bill included the death penalty for someone with AIDS who has homosexual sex with a minor or a disabled person, or if the perpetrator is a "serial offender." (In practice, the death penalty is rarely administered in Uganda, though it is prevalent in the the various Ugandan statutes.)

Lively has repeatedly said that he has never advocated violence against homosexuals and advised the Ugandans against the death penalty in particular. He said he has preached against homosexuality, but that he advised the members of the Ugandan parliament "to focus on rehabilitation and not punishment." This is consistent with what he has said over the last few decades, and no one in Uganda who heard him has claimed otherwise.

The bill was brought up twice, but never passed. Nevertheless, homosexual activists are claiming that the very fact that a member of Parliament brought it up for debate has caused "a climate of hatred and persecution" throughout the country. Much of that is disputed by public officials. But the homosexual movement is now attempting to hold Scott Lively directly responsible.

Lively's 2010 letter to Ugandan Parliament - and their reply

A few months later, in March, 2010, Scott Lively wrote a letter to the Ugandan Parliament reiterating his desire that the death penalty and other penalties in the bill lessened and that reparative therapy be considered. A few days later Lively received a reply from Parliament, stating that the proponents of the bill felt it was necessary to impose stiff punishments to deal effectively with the situation in Uganda now, before it becomes as bad as the US. You can see both letters on Scott Lively's website.

The murder of homosexual activist David Kato

To add to the outrage, Scott Lively continues to be accused of causing the death of David Kato.

In January, 2011, the well-known homosexual activist in Uganda, David Kato, was found beaten to death outside his home. Kato was the leader of "Sexual Minorities Uganda," the homosexual group now suing Lively. The murder was immediately labeled a homophobic hate crime in newspapers around the world and the articles implicated Scott Lively. "David's death is a result of the hatred planted in Uganda by U.S. evangelicals in 2009," a Ugandan activist told the New York Times.

Less than a week later a homosexual prostitute — whom Kato had bailed out of jail and was Kato's houseboy and live-in lover — publicly confessed to the crime. He said that Kato owed him money for services, and had refused to pay. He was subsequently convicted of murder and sentenced to 30 years in prison.

The arrest and confession was covered in the Uganda press but ignored everywhere else, although a few weeks after the arrest the far-left Human Rights Watch acknowledged that "The police arrested a suspect whom they say confessed to killing Kato because he failed to pay for consensual sex." (3/29/2011)

But homosexual activists have simply ignored that and continue to attempt to implicate Lively as a "cause" of Kato's murder. Kato is named in CCR's lawsuit against Lively in the list "homophobic" incidents. And last year a pro-homosexual group published an ad in the local newspaper attacking Lively and connecting him to that murder.

GREAT RADIO INTERVIEW: Hear Scott Lively - in his own words — describe what he actually said and did in Uganda — versus the contrived charges against him.
Interviewed by Peter LaBarbera of Americans for Truth on Oct. 15, 2011

Lively Interview with Peter LaBarbera

Lively credentialed in Human Rights by UN program

Ironically, Scott Lively has credentials in Human Rights from the well-known International Institute of Human Rights in Strasbourg, France, a United Nations-administered program. He is probably more knowledgeable and qualified on the subject than his vast army of accusers!

The absurd "legal" case against Lively

We had planned to do a point-by-point refutation of the charges against Lively in the 47-page lawsuit. But that would be too big a project. Almost every line contains some kind of ridiculous assertion or twisted logic attempting to connect Lively to real or imagined horrors in Uganda. In particular, they take statements he made completely out of context (if he made those statements at all) and try to create a powerful monster who upended the country out of a minor pastor from the US who simply came and spoke at a pro-family conference and before the Parliament. We've never seen anything quite like it.

Logo on CCR's web-

CCR is using other very questionable tactics:

  • CCR is attempting use an anti-torture law to punish an American citizen - again, for simply speaking at a conference where he was invited.
  • CCR is attempting to use the legal concept of "proximate cause" to claim that people who didn't even hear (or read) anything Lively said were nevertheless driven to commit violence because of a law that was proposed by public officials who had heard him speak.
  • CCR knows that Lively would never be convicted - or even charged with any crime - in a Uganda court. He broke no laws in Uganda. So they're trying to get a "progressive" US court to do it.

Disturbing racist element to accusations

There is a disturbing racist element in these charges by both CCR and the American media. The strong rhetoric condemning Lively implies that the black Ugandan officials and citizens would not have acted out in certain ways unless a white man from America (supposedly) led them to it. In the opposite situation — if a Ugandan minister were to come to the US and meet with a Congressman — would he be held responsible for a bill the Congressman filed and any reaction from American citizens to it? Of course not.

Start of new legal assault on free speech and religious expression

This clearly appears to be the beginning of a new assault by the homosexual movement and the Left in general. To use the power of the courts to severely punish and silence religious expression and free speech that they don't like.

And with the backing of Soros and other left-wing heavyweights, they are geared for battle.

Allies in the US media: Helping the attack on Scott Lively

Though it was a minor bill in a foreign country that never passed, this lit a fire in the American media. Since 2009, the coverage in the US mainstream media has been absurdly biased — even by their low standards — and hostile to Lively in particular.

Just a few examples:

ABC World News with Diane Sawyer - October 15, 2010 - Video below: Report portrays Lively as an evil "homophobe" whose talk in Uganda caused an "extroardinary wave of homophobia" there even a year later!

Scott Lively on ABC News

The Boston Globe
- January 2011 - Vicious article against Scott Lively - as reported in MassResistance.

National Public Radio interview with Scott Lively - December 2009. Lively is able to defend himself quite well in this one.

And finally, on Wednesday, March 14, literally minutes after CCR's filing of the Lively lawsuit, the mainstream media was lapping it up and posting it: (The Associated press was instantaneous, and many used their report.)

New York Times: Uganda gay rights group sues US evangelist

Wall Street Journal: US Pastor runs anti-gay effort in Uganda

CBS News: U.S. pastor sued for anti-gay effort in Uganda

Miami Herald: Lawsuit: US Pastor runs anti-gay effort in Ugand

Local Springfield Republican newspaper: Springfield minister Scott Lively sued for persecution in federal court by gay activists in Uganda

This shows how the left can immediately get a story planted through the mainstream press, while conservatives are lucky if Fox News ever picks up on a conservative-viewpoint story. (It's a little shameful that even the Wall Street Journal fell for this.)

Pro-family law groups step up to defend Scott Lively in lawsuit!

The national pro-family movement came to the rescue!

Within 24 hours of the filing of the lawsuit, Liberty Counsel and two other national pro-family legal groups offered to represent him at no charge. Given our experience with Liberty Counsel, we feel confident that he'll be in good hands.

This is a MAJOR lawsuit for the homosexual movement. It needs to be defeated. We will keep you informed of everything that happens.

Inside of Scott Lively's Holy Grounds Coffee House — a parton and supporter with her message to the world.
[MassResistance photo]