Kim Davis’ lawyer defends antigay pastor accused of crimes against humanity

Kim Davis and attorney Mat Staver
Kim Davis and attorney Mat StaverPhoto: Associated Press

An American Christian pastor who helped introduce laws criminalising homosexuality in third-world countries and has voiced support for anti-LGBT laws in Russia has retained the most well-known homophobic lawyer on the planet: Mat Staver, head of the right-wing Christian law firm that represented antigay Kentucky clerk Kim Davis.

Scott Lively
Scott Lively

Scott Lively, like Staver, is identified by the Southern Poverty Law Center. as the head of a hate group , is linked to antigay laws in a number of countries around the world, particularly Africa. The Massachusetts preacher and founder of Abiding Truth Ministries is the target of a crimes against humanity lawsuit filed by the group, Sexual Minorities Uganda.

SMUG claims his promotion of Uganda‘s “Kill the Gays” bill, which originally called for the death penalty for homosexuality, is a violation of international law.

According to Staver’s firm, Liberty Counsel, Lively was using his freedom of speech as an American citizen. But as The New Civil Rights Movement reported, inciting violence is speech that is not protected by U.S. law.

“I am an American citizen [being targeted] over the persecution of homosexuals as they define it as a crime against humanity – for speaking the truth of the Bible in a foreign country,” said Lively in a 2012 interview. 

Staver outlined his plan of defense by citing Lively’s religious freedom, according to PinkNews. “The plaintiffs are seeking to have an obscure international law override our constitutional protection of free speech — and also seeks a huge financial windfall! This lawsuit has the potential of creating an extremely dangerous precedent.

“The implications of this suit are truly alarming because SMUG is trying to punish a U.S. citizen for constitutionally protected speech under some vague and undefined international law.”

“SMUG has now made it clear that it wants to put Pastor Scott Lively’s Christian faith on trial,” chimed in Liberty Counsel VP Harry Mihet. “Every American should be concerned about this unprecedented attempt to subjugate US citizens and our Constitution to the new ‘morality’ of the international left and we should pray for a just and decisive ruling from the court preserving our most cherished constitutional freedoms of thought and expression.”

Read more about Uganda’s antigay law and Lively’s role in this report by the Human Rights CampaignThe Export of Hate.




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