Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Stop the Hate and Homophobia Coalition in Springfield continues to organize locally as a historic lawsuit seeking accountability from local Evangelical Preacher Scott Lively moves forward

Photo Courtesy Boston Magazine
SMUG v. Lively:

On March 14, 2012, the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) filed a federal lawsuit on behalf of Sexual Minorities Uganda, a non-profit umbrella organization for LGBT advocacy groups in Uganda, against Abiding Truth Ministries President Scott Lively. Filed in the United States District Court in Springfield, Massachusetts, the suit alleges that Lively’s involvement in anti-gay efforts in Uganda, including his active participation in the conspiracy to strip away fundamental rights from LGBT persons, constitutes persecution. This is the first known Alien Tort Statute (ATS) case seeking accountability for persecution on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.

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On August 14, 2013 the Court denied Defendant's Motion to Dismiss, and the case has been referred for pretrial scheduling!


Sexual Minorities Uganda, an umbrella organization located in Kampala, Uganda, which represents the interests of its constituent member organizations in advocating for the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex people (“LGBTI”) in Uganda, brought this case against against defendant Scott LIVELY, a U.S.-based attorney, author, and self-described world-leading expert on the “gay movement,” for the decade-long campaign he has waged, in agreement and coordination with his Ugandan counterparts, to persecute persons on the basis of their gender and/or sexual orientation and gender identity.  

The case is brought under the Alien Tort Statute (“ATS”), 28 U.S.C. §1350, which provides federal jurisdiction for “any civil action by an alien, for a tort only, committed in violation of the law of nations or a treaty of the United States.”  United States Supreme Court has affirmed the use of the ATS as a remedy for serious violations of international law norms that are widely accepted and clearly defined.  Persecution, as a crime against humanity that is universally proscribed and clearly defined in international law, is such a violation.   Persecution is defined in international law as the “intentional and severe deprivation of fundamental rights contrary to international law by reason of the identity of the group or collectivity.”  


March 14, 2012: Sexual Minorities Uganda filed its complaint  against Scott Lively in the Springfield Division of United States District Court, District of Massachusetts.

May 11, 2012: Lively, represented by Liberty Counsel, filed a Motion to Stay    the case pending the outcome of the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling in Kiobel v. Royal Dutch Shell, a case also brought under the Alien Tort Statute.

May 25, 2012: Sexual Minorities Uganda filed its Opposition to Defendant's Motion to Stay.    

June 1, 2012: Court denied Lively's Motion to Stay and ordered him to answer or otherwise respond to the complaint.

August 10, 2012: Lively filed a Motion to Dismiss.

September 20, 2012: Sexual Minorities Uganda filed its Opposition to Defendant's Motion to Dismiss.

January 7, 2013: Court heard oral arguments on Defendant's Motion to Dismiss. 

April 17, 2013: Lively filed a Notice of Supplemental Authority in support of his Motion to Dismiss. 

May 7, 2013: Sexual Minorities Uganda filed a Response to Defendant's April 17 Notice regarding Kiobel v. Royal Dutch Shell.

August 14, 2013: The Court issued a Memorandum & Order, denying Defendant's Motion to Dismiss and referring the case for pretrial scheduling.

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