June 27, 2012

Liberty Counsel Asks Court to Dismiss International Lawsuit Against U.S. Pastor


Springfield, MA – Liberty Counsel has filed a 109-page motion to dismiss a lawsuit filed by Sexual Minorities Uganda (“SMUG”) against Rev. Scott Lively, a United States citizen, in a United States district court. In the suit, SMUG alleges that Rev. Lively committed “crimes against humanity” in violation of “international law,” simply by sharing his Biblical views on homosexuality during a 2009 visit to Uganda. “There are at least nine independent grounds that require a dismissal of this lawsuit,” Liberty Counsel told the court in its written legal argument.

Represented by a George Soros-funded, radical “civil rights” group, SMUG attempts to sue Rev. Lively in a United States court under the Alien Tort Statute (ATS), which allows certain aliens to sue in the United States for torts committed against them in the United States. Liberty Counsel told the court that the ATS is not a blanket delegation of lawmaking to the democratically unaccountable international community. Like all American citizens, Rev. Lively enjoys a fundamental First Amendment right to engage in nonviolent political discourse anywhere in the world. What SMUG cavalierly labels as “crimes against humanity” – the most heinous of all crimes – is actually nothing more than civil, peaceful, political discourse in the public square on a subject of great public concern.

“When SMUG sued Rev. Lively in a Massachusetts federal court, it launched a direct assault on the supremacy of the United States Constitution,” said Mat Staver, Founder and Chairman of Liberty Counsel. “SMUG is seeking to render the bedrock protections of the First Amendment subservient to the vague and fluid dictates of international law,” Staver continued.

In the lawsuit, SMUG exploits the murder of Ugandan homosexual activist David Kato as evidence of “persecution,” supposedly incited by Rev. Lively’s speech. What SMUG fails to tell the court is that David Kato was killed by a homosexual prostitute, who confessed to the killing over a failed prostitution transaction and who is now serving a thirty-year sentence for his crime.

“Rev. Lively did not check his First Amendment rights at the airport before departing for Uganda,” Staver said.



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