International LGBT lawsuit against US pastor Scott Lively reveals radical strategy to criminalize all criticism of LGBT behavior around the world
Christian teaching about LGBT behavior would become a "crime against humanity"
Battle over Pastor Lively's Motion to Dismiss this outrageous case
(Part 2 of 2)
November 16 2016
The intensely fought international lawsuit against Pastor Scott Lively has much bigger implications than most people realize. It represents a major strategy push for the LGBT movement.
The international LGBT movement has faced stiff resistance to their attempts to force their agenda into many parts of the world, particularly Africa and Eastern Europe, and Muslim countries. They are also facing challenges in the US and other places from the pro-family movement and articulate activists such as Pastor Lively.
They want to make speaking out against homosexuality – even the health dangers of the LGBT lifestyle – anywhere in the world not just a “hate crime” but a “crime against humanity” similar to the Nazi crimes in WWII.
The point of this lawsuit is to set that precedent internationally. If you are an American they want it to overpower your First Amendment rights.
Such a ruling would be used to ruthlessly pursue pro-family people in courts around the world using Nuremberg-like trials, not only for “damages” but also punishments fitting for “crimes against humanity.” This would obviously extend to churches.
A big legal battle
This is why the Soros machine has funded the New York-based radical Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) bringing this case. A fringe LGBT group, Sexual Minorities of Uganda (SMUG), is their plaintiff.
The pro-bono group Liberty Counsel recognizes the worldwide importance of this case and has devoted enormous time and effort defending Lively’s cause.
Scott Lively made three visits to Uganda between 2002 and 2009. He made a few speeches at pro-family events warning people about the homosexual agenda. CCR and SMUG are claiming that those speeches and other discussions and emails constitute a "conspiracy" that years later caused "persecution" of homosexuals. But none of the perpetrators of any harassment or criminal acts in Uganda knew anything about Lively, had heard his speeches, or read anything he wrote.
Nevertheless, CCR is attempting to sue Lively in a United States courtroom using a an obscure law from the 1700s called the Alien Tort Act. The case has been going on since 2012. Over the past four years of there have been hundreds of hours of hearings, depositions, and briefs.
On July 6, Liberty Counsel filed a 198-page Motion to Dismiss brief. CCR responded with a 152-page opposition brief accompanied with a 116-page “statement of facts. After that, Liberty Counsel filed a 150-page rebuttal to the opposition brief. The hearing finally took place on Nov. 9 after having been postponed twice by the judge.
As we reported in Part 1, LGBT activists were flown from Uganda and bussed from Manhattan to jam the Springfield, Mass. Federal Courtroom. They hoped to stop Pastor Lively’s efforts to get the case dismissed. (Even though Federal Judge Ponsor is demonstrably pro-“gay,” they are taking no chances.)
What happened at the hearing
The two-hour hearing on Lively’s Motion to Dismiss revealed a great deal.
On its face, this is a baseless case that should never have seen the light of day, and should have been immediately dismissed. The fact that it’s gone on this long a testament to the twisted state of American jurisprudence.
Judge Michael Ponsor appears to have been cherry-picked for this case. He has a pro-“gay” history and has been clearly sympathetic to the plaintiffs from the beginning. One of the attorneys for the plaintiffs clerked for Ponsor. On occasions Ponsor has described Lively’s comments in Uganda as “odious” and “speech we hate,” and has referred to Lively as “a kind of minister of propaganda.”
It got off to a strange start. As the hearing began, Judge Ponsor announced that he accepts the main premise of the plaintiffs. He said,
“Persecution of LGBTI people, if it reaches a certain level, can constitute a crime against humanity recognized under the law of nations.”
(Maybe this shouldn’t surprise anyone. Years ago the mainstream pro-family movement caved in to the LGBT dogma that homosexuality is an inborn “identity” – not a self-destructive behavior. This is a logical result of that concession.)
Next, Ponsor said that he wanted the plaintiff’s attorneys to answer two questions during the hearing:
(1) What did Lively do in the United States that had a direct causal link to injuries suffered by SMUG or its members in Uganda? (2) What specific speech or conduct by Lively falls outside the protection of the First Amendment?
The CCR lawyers would not answer either of those questions specifically. They simply parroted versions of the general charge against Lively listed in their brief:
“For years he has carried out a comprehensive and premeditated campaign to deprive a vulnerable minority population of their own rights to speech, assembly and association – under sanction of dehumanization, imprisonment and violence.”
But despite challenges by Lively’s Liberty Counsel attorneys and repeated questioning by Judge Ponsor, the CCR lawyers wouldn’t give any actual details.
Much of the other legal discussion revolved around, "Does encouraging criminal behavior make one liable for that behavior?" The judge brought up the historic “Dr. Spock” ruling by the US Federal Court of Appeals in 1969. During the Vietnam War, Dr. Benjamin Spock and others had published a pamphlet encouraging young men to burn their draft cards, a federal crime. The Court eventually ruled that Spock was not liable because he did not personally commit the crimes and was also protected by the First Amendment.
Thus, this question was debated at length by the Judge and attorneys: Was Scott Lively similarly protected by the First Amendment for encouraging people to commit crimes in Uganda, to persecute gay people?
But it was a ridiculous debate. Despite having over 10,000 of Lively’s emails, speeches, and other writings, CCR could never show that Lively encouraged anybody to persecute anyone or commit any crime. Besides that, nothing Lively did or said was illegal either in Uganda or in the United States.
As mentioned above, the people who did commit crimes in Uganda had never heard of Lively, or heard his speeches, or read anything he had written. Moreover, homosexuality has always been against the law in Uganda, and it’s most likely that the perpetrators were acting with that in mind.
Finally, Ponsor asked the CCR lawyers: If they were to win the case, what should Lively be ordered not to do in Uganda? Not distribute his books? Not give lectures? Not email people? Not lobby public officials? Again, despite repeated requests by Judge Ponsor they would not answer the question specifically. They would only talk in generalities, such as “not conspiring against LGBT people” or “not exporting hate.”
The Supreme Court Kiobel ruling
Looming over this case is also the 2013 US Supreme Court ruling in the Kiobel case in which the Court struck down a large portion of the Alien Tort Act (which was the basis for suing Lively in a US court for alleged actions overseas). That ruling would appear to have a direct bearing on this case.
As Lively’s lawyers said in their brief about the Kiobel ruling:
The Supreme Court held that the Alien Tort Statute does not “reach conduct occurring in the territory of a foreign sovereign.” Because “the Alien Tort Statute … is strictly jurisdictional,” the Court held that it does not provide federal courts with jurisdiction over international law claims in which “all of the relevant conduct took place outside the United States.” The Supreme Court made clear that “even where the claims touch and concern the territory of the United States, they must do so with sufficient force to displace the presumption against extraterritorial application.”
However, Judge Ponsor did not allow discussion of the Kiobel ruling at this hearing. But it would appear to substantially weaken the plaintiff’s case.
What will happen?
Ponsor said he will issue a decision “soon.”
On one hand, Ponsor clearly wants this case to be successful for the plaintiffs. His hard questions of the plaintiffs were probably to dig for reasons not to dismiss it. On the other hand, if this were to go to a jury and the plaintiffs actually win, it has such weak legal grounding that it could be overturned on appeal, which would look bad for Ponsor.
We think his left-wing pro-LGBT passion will win out on this, as it has with federal judges around the country. We hope we’re wrong. We’ll let you know when the ruling is announced.
In the meantime, Pastor Scott Lively is not the least bit intimidated or deterred from speaking the truth about this critical moral issue. He is continuing his ministry in the US and around the world.