A Federal Judge has ruled in favour of permitting a homosexual activist group to sue American evangelist Scott Lively after claiming that he was partly responsible for inciting “persecution” against Uganda’s homosexual community, reports Christian concern for our Nation.
In 2009, Pastor Lively was invited to speak at a number of conferences in Uganda where he commented that the goal of the homosexual movement was “to defeat the marriage-based society and replace it with a culture of sexual promiscuity.”
The Massachussettes evangelist, who is founder and president of pro-family group Abiding Truth Ministries, discussed the teachings of the Bible on homosexuality and voiced his support for ministers who are working to discourage the practice of homosexuality in the region.
He allegedly spoke on the issue during a number of visits to Uganda in the past ten years, and said that the practice of homosexuality had adversely affected American society.
Earlier this year, New York homosexual group, Centre for Constitutional Rights (CCR) filed a lawsuit against the minister, claiming that his views were the direct cause of a dozen minor incidents of persecution against homosexuals in Uganda over the last decade.
CCR accused the pastor of “crimes against humanity of persecution”, but were unable to provide evidence that the perpetrators involved in the incidents were aware of his views on the issue.
Pastor Lively sought to have the lawsuit dismissed, stating that the allegations were “ridiculous” and that he had “never done anything in Uganda except preach the Gospel and speak my opinion about the homosexual issue.”
But District Judge Michael A. Ponsor refused to dismiss the lawsuit, describing the pastor’s activities as a “distasteful” use of the First Amendment.
Mat Staver, founder of Liberty Council (LC) which is representing the minister, said: “Like all American citizens, Lively enjoys a fundamental First Amendment right to engage in nonviolent political discourse anywhere in the world.”
Pastor Lively’s attorney, Horatio Mihet described the decision as“disappointing” and said: “We are still reviewing the court’s ruling, and will continue to vigorously defend Mr. Lively’s constitutional rights, with confidence that he will ultimately be vindicated.”