In a bizarre twist, a homophobic pastor who escaped ‘crime against humanity’ charges is appealing against a ruling in favour of himself – because he is upset that the judge was mean to him.
Massachusetts hate preacher Scott Lively has become one of the world’s most notorious homophobes, by helping ‘export’ anti-LGBT laws to suggestible countries around the world.
The pastor faced a ‘crimes against humanity’ lawsuit from LGBT activists for his role in securing Uganda’s 2014 Anti-Homosexuality Act, but a federal judge dismissed the lawsuit this week.
The judge in the case, Michael A Ponsor, described Lively as a “crackpot bigot” who has caused “immense harm” around the world, but ruled that there was no case to be heard as the actions did not take place on US soil.
In a surprise move, Lively has now confirmed he will appeal against that ruling, even though the court ruled in his favour.
In a release, the pastor’s lawyers expressed fury that the judge’s ruling, which noted Lively’s “ludicrously extreme animus against LGBTI people and his determination to assist in persecuting them wherever they are”.
His legal team from the Liberty Counsel, which is the same ultra-evangelical law firm that represented homophobic Kentucky clerk Kim Davis, accused the judge of pandering to an “LGBT agenda”.
They allege: “Judge Ponsor improperly littered his Order with a prolonged tirade against Lively, badly distorting his Christian views and activism, and insulting him with such unbecoming epithets as ‘crackpot bigot’, ‘pathetic’, ‘ludicrous’, ‘abhorrent’ and numerous others.
“Even more egregiously, and even though he admittedly lacked jurisdiction to rule on SMUG’s claims, Judge Ponsor purported to conclude, without even a pretense of legal or factual analysis, that Lively’s Christian beliefs and pro-family activism violated ‘international law’ and that Lively’s peaceful speaking on homosexuality in Uganda somehow ‘aided and abetted’ crimes supposedly committed by people Lively has never even spoken to or met.”
Judge Pryor had written: “Anyone reading this memorandum should make no mistake.
“The question before the court is not whether Defendant’s actions in aiding and abetting efforts to demonize, intimidate, and injure LGBTI people in Uganda constitute violations of international law. They do.
“The much narrower and more technical question posed by Defendant’s motion is whether the limited actions taken by Defendant on American soil in pursuit of his odious campaign are sufficient to give this court jurisdiction over Plaintiff’s claims. Since they are not sufficient, summary judgment is appropriate for this, and only this, reason.”
Though he dismissed the case, the judge took time to specifically condemn Lively’s work.
He wrote: “Discovery confirmed the nature of Defendant’s, on the one hand, vicious and, on the other hand, ludicrously extreme animus against LGBTI people and his determination to assist in persecuting them wherever they are, including Uganda.
“The evidence of record demonstrates that Defendant aided and abetted efforts (1) to restrict freedom of expression by members of the LBGTI community in Uganda, (2) to suppress their civil rights, and (3) to make the very existence of LGBTI people in Uganda a crime.
“The record also confirms that these efforts to intimidate and injure the LGBTI community in Uganda were, unfortunately, to some extent successful.
“This crackpot bigotry could be brushed aside as pathetic, except for the terrible harm it can cause. The record in this case demonstrates that Defendant has worked with elements in Uganda who share some of his views to try to repress freedom of expression by LGBTI people in Uganda, deprive them of the protection of the law, and render their very existence illegal.
“He has, for example, proposed twenty-year prison sentences for gay couples in Uganda who simply lead open, law-abiding lives.”