When Scott Lively, the founder of Christian Evangelical group Abiding Truth Ministries journeyed to Uganda to incite the persecution of gays, he had no idea that his mission would lead to a lawsuit by Ugandans, on U.S. soil, charging that he had committed crimes against humanity.
Now Lively is about to face a Massachusetts court, where he will try to argue his First Amendment rights in the hope that the case against him is dismissed.
However what Lively may not have bargained for is the extent to which he has now become connected to other and more recent messengers of hate in Uganda and how the collective persecution of gays has reached an all time high in Uganda, all of which may be directly linked to Lively and his court case.
It is also possible that the current spate of arrest and persecution in Uganda is a direct attempt to keep the Ugandan Plaintiffs unable to travel to the U.S.A. to attend Monday’s trial.
With the representation of The Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR), Lively is being sued by Sexual Minorities Uganda (SMUG) under the Alien Tort Act, which allows foreigners to sue in American courts in situations alleging the violation of international law.
The suit claims that Lively’s actions resulted in the persecution, arrest, torture and murder of homosexuals in Uganda. Arguments will commence on January 07, 2013, at 11.00 a.m. at Hampden Courtroom, Federal Courthouse, 300 State St., Springfield, Mass.
It was Pastor Scott Lively and his cohorts who had an agenda, and is no coincidence that Scott Lively attempted to rewrite history in his book The Pink Swastika, first published in 1995, which he used in his preaching in Uganda, accusing Gays of being responsible for the holocaust:
“Welcome to The Pink Swastika 5th (internet) Edition.
It has been several years since we published the fourth edition of this book. In that time we have accumulated a substantial amount of new documentation supporting our thesis that the Nazi Party was conceived, organized and controlled throughout its short history by masculine-oriented male homosexuals who hid their sexual proclivities from the public, in part by publicly persecuting one group of their political enemies: out-of-the-closet effeminate-oriented homosexuals aligned with the German Communist Party.”
Lively and his fellow preachers have had an explicit goal and it is “Hitleresque” to say the least.
If driving all homosexuals into gas chamber-like solution could not succeed in the U.S.,, then finding a country where it could happen, and where conditions were ripe for scapegoating, became the imperative alternative.
Uganda, plagued with corruption and poverty and a 2o plus year dictatorship would be fertile soil to fuel the hate through such scapegoating and so the mission was established.
In March 2009, Lively, with Don Schmierer and Caleb Lee Brundidge, American evangelical Christians, arrived in Kampala to give a series of talks.
The theme of the event, according to Stephen Langa, its Ugandan organizer, was “the gay agenda — that whole hidden and dark agenda” — and the threat homosexuals posed to Bible-based values and the traditional African family.
As you recall, it was the early 1990’s when Jerry Falwell issued his Declaration of War on the mythological “Gay Agenda” in the United States.
It was in 1995/6 that the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) and “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” were enacted — as 2009 approached it started to become clear that Americans were not buying the rhetoric en mass and the tide in America was changing, moving away from gay is sin toward gays ought to have equality.
Ridding the world of gays as their mission with Uganda the perfect starting point, emboldened those following in Lively’s footsteps and it became common belief and an ongoing preach amongst the core group of Evangelicals, that Uganda could serve as a prototype of a country to show other countries how to rid themselves of gays.
The sinister attack on gays was orchestrated and clandestine discussions with Parliamentarians such as David Bahati were held to ensure that a Bill would be introduced with legislation that would drive gays underground, to their deaths, or to spend their lives in prison.
The teachings led to the Anti-Homosexuality Bill, which called for the death penalty and other harsh punishments for homosexuality. It called to criminalize the so called “promotion” of homosexuality and also to punish those who failed to report “known” homosexuals.
Homosexuality was already thought by many to be criminal in Uganda, through a law seeking to deter “crimes against nature.” However the latter law, if truly tested, will be seen to be difficult to define and acts of homosexual sex may be difficult to prove under its remote definition.
The Anti-Homosexuality Bill languished in Parliament through several introductions and was reintroduced in this current 9th Parliamentary Session.
After speaker Rebecca Kadaga failed to deliver her promise to the Ugandans to have the Bill passed in time to present it as a 2012 Christmas gift to Uganda, the Pastoral rhetoric in Uganda began to escalate, with the likes of Pastor Martin Ssempa resurrecting his anti-gay attacks on Twitter, Ugandan TV and his own radio show.
On New years Eve, a myriad of pastors around Uganda exemplified the initial teaching of Lively calling for the immediate passage of the Anti-Homosexuality Bill and one such pastor Shinner from the United Kingdom went so far as to note the very mission applied to Uganda:
Sources have reported that Ssempa and Lively are in recent constant and direct dialogue.
Now as Liveley’s case is about to be heard next week, one can only wonder whether the following facts and circumstances are coincidental or if in fact orchestrated by the Evangelical catalysts to push the Ugandan Government to quell frustration because the promised Bill has yet to pass:
- Martin Ssempa attacks activist Pepe Onziema on NBS Uganda TV;
- Martin Ssempa starts stalking LGBT activists in Uganda and abroad via Twitter, successfully inciting other Ugandans to up the rhetoric and incite further hate;
- The SMUG offices are broken into and computers containing sensitive information including the identities of LGBTI associates of the Plaintiff’s SMUG are stolen. Mere days later, two young youth workers who work under the SMUG umbrella are arrested by Ugandan police and are still being held in prison without formal charges or bail and police are attempting to arrest a third man;
- Unconfirmed reports have come in from two separate sources who have informed me that warrants may have been issued for the arrest of Frank Mugisha, the Plaintiff against Lively and Director of SMUG and award winning LGBTI human rights defender;
- Another arrest warrant may have been issued for SMUG plaintiff Pepe Onziema who is already made it to the U.S.A. to attend the opening arguments on Monday.
While Lively, who is being defended pro-bono by the anti-gay legal Liberty Counsel, may now purport to distance himself from the death penalty in the Bill, he cannot distance himself from the rhetoric and conspiracy that brought it to fruition and seem to continue to play out in day to day persecution of the Ugandan LGBTI community.
The hate against gays has been successfully implemented and the facts show that if Scott Lively was removed from the genesis of this picture, many a persecution and the hate infused climate would not exist.
While we in the U.S. and western world fight for equality, Ugandans are fighting for their lives.
While we fight for our happiness, they fight to exist, and because we remain in relative privilege, we as a world community must support this case which in essence could be the pivotal one to bring an end to the religious fervor that stampedes its way across, not only the boundaries of our borders to cause hate and harm, but the very boundaries that ought to protect Constitutions from religious fanaticism.