Lawsuit Against Anti-Gay Pastor Over Ugandan Activism May Proceed

By William Peacock, Esq. on December 08, 2014 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

Scott Lively has traveled the world speaking up against the "gay agenda." He has given speeches everywhere from Oregon, to Moscow, to Kampala. But it was his speeches in Uganda that had the greatest impact.

After giving a series of lectures on how homosexuals supposedly prey on children, Ugandan officials passed an extremely harsh anti-gay law that makes homosexuality a crime punishable by life in prison in some instances (earlier drafts included death as a penalty). After the bill was passed, waves of vigilante violence swept the country against suspected gay individuals.

Now, he'll face a crimes-against-humanity lawsuit over his contribution to the fervor after the First Circuit denied his request for a writ of mandamus to dismiss the lawsuit, reports The Republican.

Lively and Uganda's Legislation

Lively, the author of the Pink Swastika, a book that alleges that many leaders of the German Nazi party, including Adolf Hitler, were homosexuals and that homosexuality was to blame for the Nazis' actions, first traveled to Uganda in 2002, according to Mother Jones. In a series of lectures leading up the 2009 passage of Uganda's anti-gay legislation, he warned listeners that Western agitators were coming to spread homosexuality to the nation's children.

"They're looking for other people to be able to prey upon," Lively said, according to video footage posted on Mother Jones. "When they see a child that's from a broken home it's like they have a flashing neon sign over their head."

""These people had never heard of anything called the gay agenda," a priest who had attended the lectures recalls. "But Lively told them that these predators were coming for their children. As Africans hearing it for the first time, they believed it was true -- and they were burning with rage."

First Circuit Punts, For Now

After the district court refused to dismiss a crimes-against-humanity lawsuit against him, Lively petitioned the First Circuit for a writ of mandamus. Though the First Circuit denied Lively's request, the court did express skepticism over the merits of the lawsuit in its brief one-paragraph opinion:

This petition for a writ of mandamus raises a number of potentially difficult issues with respect to the Alien Tort Statute, 28 U.S.C. § 1350, and the First Amendment in cross-border application. Although it is debatable whether the district court has properly parsed the petitioner's protected speech from any unprotected speech or conduct, his right to extraordinary relief is not clear and indisputable. See Cheney v. U.S. Dist. Court for D.C., 542 U.S. 367, 380-81 (2004). Further development of the facts will aid in the ultimate disposition of this case. The petition is denied.

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