Pastor Lively Requests Removal of Judge’s Language

Oct 3, 2017

Liberty Counsel filed its opening brief today in the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit to defend Pastor Scott Lively’s name and strike federal Judge Michael A. Ponsor’s unnecessary and prejudicial language from the case brought against Lively by Sexual Minorities Uganda (SMUG).

Since the district court lacked jurisdiction to decide SMUG’s claims, Judge Ponsor had no choice but to follow clear U.S. Supreme Court precedent and dismiss the case. Judge Ponsor correctly found that Lively “supplied no financial backing, directed no physical violence, hired no employees and he provided no supplies or other material support” to alleged “crimes against humanity” allegedly committed by various people in Uganda. 

However, due to the judge’s known support for the LGBT agenda, he improperly littered his Order with a prolonged tirade against Lively, badly distorting Lively’s Christian views and ministry, and insulting him with such unbecoming epithets as “crackpot bigot[],” “pathetic,” “ludicrous,” “abhorrent” and numerous others. Judge Ponsor also purported to conclude, without even a pretense of legal or factual analysis, that Lively’s Christian beliefs and pro-family ministry 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.

As a result, Liberty Counsel is asking the First Circuit to strike Judge Ponsor’s prejudicial and unnecessary statements from the court’s opinion.

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