Pro-family activism that makes a difference!

Fighting back: Scott Lively's lawyers file 109-page response to international "gay" lawsuit against him by Soros-backed group.

Confronting latest round of vicious tactics against pro-family activists

POSTED: July 6, 2012

Scott Lively is fighting back.

On Friday, June 22, Scott Lively and the pro-family law firm Liberty Counsel filed a 109-page response to the bizarre and frightening international "human rights" lawsuit filed against him last March, as well as a motion to dismiss the case.

On March 14, 2012, a Soros-funded New York-based far-left advocacy organization called the "Center for Constitutional Rights" (CCR) filed a 47-page lawsuit in Federal District Court in Springfield, Massachusetts against Pastor Scott Lively.

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.

Latest round of vicious tactics against pro-family activists

Pastor Lively is a well-known pro-family writer and speaker who runs Redemption Gate Ministry and the Holy Grounds Coffee House in Springfield. The lawsuit is clearly part of the recent tactic by the Left in general and the homosexual movement in particular to intimidate, harass, and silence conservative writers and speakers through threats, "SWAT" hits, and expensive legal actions.

Pastor Lively greets visitors outside of his Holy Grounds Coffee House in inner-city Springfield, Mass. His ministry has already made a big impact in that troubled area.

CCR filed the suit on behalf of a fringe homosexual group in Uganda, "Sexual Minorities Uganda" (SMUG). They are charging Pastor Lively with "violating the law of nations" and crimes "crimes against humanity." Thus, they are using a US court to attempt to prosecute him for crimes unconnected to him in Uganda, because of speeches and discussions he had there a few years ago.

The suit is asking for compensatory damages, punitive damages, exemplary damages, attorneys' 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.

Pastor Scott Lively gives a talk at a church in California.

Using obscure "Alien Torts Act"

As a legal vehicle, CCR is using the "Alien Torts Act," an obscure U.S. law dating back to the late 1700s. Through a strange interpretation of that law that has never been attempted before, CCR is claiming that residents of Uganda can come to the U.S. and sue Scott Lively, an American, for activity (speech) which was perfectly legal in both Uganda and the U.S.

CCR admits that this is the first time the statute has been used to attempt to punish "speech" by a U.S. 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.

Major points in Lively's legal response

In our original report in March, MassResistance wrote that we had considered doing a point-by-point refutation of the charges against Lively -- but that it would be too big a project because almost every line contained some kind of ridiculous assertion or twisted logic attempting to connect Lively to real or imagined horrors in Uganda!

Fortunately, Liberty Counsel attorney Horatio Mahet did a very good job of summarizing and refuting all the charges -- and it took 109 pages to do it! That's how absurd the allegations against Lively are.

The major points in the refutation are:

  • The plaintiff lacks standing. The plaintiff, SMUG, does not allege a concrete injury to itself, but to homosexuals in Uganda in general.

  • The court lacks subject-matter jurisdiction. SMUG is asking a United States court to punish an American, Scott Lively, for "crimes against humanity." To support this, they refer to an international treaty (the so-called "Rome Statute") that the United States expressly rejected. And furthermore, these "crimes against humanity" are actually simply political discourse in the public square, having no relation whatsoever to actual crimes. Lively's First Amendment right to engage in non-violent political speech is protected. In addition, the Alien Tort Law, which is a major part of their argument, has never been construed to address issues regarding "sexual orientation and gender identity."
  • The complaint fails to state a claim upon which relief can be granted. The complaint cannot objectively connect Lively with any actual crimes. Nor has he been accused of or charged with any crimes. In fact, SMUG does not allege that Lively ever incited anyone to imminent violence. SMUG is instead alleging that Lively is somehow responsible for certain crimes committed in Uganda by other individuals not connected with him in any way.

In addition, nothing in the Alien Tort Act allows a US citizen to be prosecuted for alleged crimes in other countries.

The 109-page response also addresses a long list of other absurd accusations including conspiracy, persecution, joint criminal enterprise, and more.

For all these reasons, the defendants are asking for the case to be dismissed, or else for an oral hearing on the request for dismissal.

The far-left Center for Constitutional Rights even made a special logo for their crusade to attack Scott Lively.

What happens next

The plaintiffs have until August 3 to file their response. They will either (1) respond to the Motion to Dismiss with their counter-arguments, or (2) submit an amended complaint fixing the defects in the current one, which would then be responded to by the defendant.

What about the judge?

Federal Judge Michael A. Posner is considered moderately liberal (i.e., not a raving leftist) but one who respects the First Amendment. By any objective measure, he should throw out this absurd case. But as we've seen in the recent Supreme Court case regarding ObamaCare, sometimes politics gets in the way. We'll see what happens.

Homosexual movement overplayed their hand?

Our belief is that the homosexual movement overplayed their hand in this and will suffer a defeat, either immediately or eventually. It appears that their arrogance got the better of them this time. Even with the lavish financial backing of George Soros, their charges and their legal strategy is so patently absurd and unusual that if properly and aggressively defended, not even a liberal court could allow this. This could represent a fairly high-profile -- and well-deserved -- defeat in their crusade to harass and intimidate conservatives using the legal system.

This also shows that it's necessary for us to fight back in every one of these situations, and not take anything for granted.

We'll keep you informed.