There has been a lot of interest in the current “Crimes Against Humanity” lawsuit against me by Sexual Minorities Uganda (SMUG) and the so-called Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR), but this is not the first time the LGBT movement has tried to silence me by use of the courts. In fact, the SMUG lawsuit is the 5th such attack I have suffered in my career. Following is an excerpt from my privately published book of testimonial stories about the Miracles that God has done in my life, titled My Life in His Hands. This excerpt is from Chapter 8, “The Four Lawsuits.” As you read it you will see why I am confident that God will turn what SMUG and CCR have intended for evil into something good for me (Romans 8:28).
“The Four Lawsuits,” from My Life in His Hands (2006)
“[We] have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation works patience; And patience, experience; and experience, hope.” Romans 5:2-4
Few things in life are more intimidating than lawsuits, which is why they were a favorite tool of the Oregon “gay” movement to try to drive me out of the political process. God had made me an effective spokesman for His standard regarding homosexuality, so I was a primary target of their attacks.
The first lawsuit was for battery and stemmed from one of the earliest campaign events of the 1992 election cycle. OCA had prepared an educational video called The Gay Agenda, which featured film footage from various “Gay Pride” parades with commentary by pro-family leaders. It was quite a shocking film and very effectively contradicted the benign but false public image that the homosexual community had cultivated in Oregon. I had scheduled the inaugural showing of the film at my church, Portland Foursquare, and advertised it as an “invitation only” affair.
One of the Portland “gay” newspapers had managed to infiltrate our mailing list and was notified of the event in our newsletter. They sent one of their reporters, a lesbian activist, with instructions to sneak into the meeting. Unfortunately, our volunteers who had been stationed at the front door to check invitations left their posts just after the film started, and she was able to walk right in. However, looking quite obviously like a Portland lesbian, she was immediately confronted and admitted she was with the “gay” press. After she refused to leave, I was called over to deal with the problem.
To make a long story short, after trying to reason with her for several minutes, I physically picked her up and put her out of the building. I didn’t use any more force than was necessary to get her out the door, and did not in any way hurt her, nor would I have. In retrospect, I shouldn’t have done it, even though I was well within my legal rights. Having been raised with three little sisters (who were often just as stubborn and belligerent), I just didn’t think twice about it.
The entire incident lasted less than a minute, but it was to influence the course of my life from that day forward. Frankly, these remain some of my most unpleasant memories, and it is uncomfortable even now to relive them, but I want to show how once again, God brought good from evil.
The lesbian activist tried to have me arrested, but the police refused. She then went to the District Attorney, who also refused. They both told her that I had the legal right to eject her. She was guilty of criminal trespass from the moment I told her that she was not welcome at the event. The Assistant District Attorney who interviewed her even wrote as much in his report. However, the “gay” community recognized the propaganda value of the incident (as they spun it) and within a few weeks I was served with a civil lawsuit for battery. Lon Mabon and OCA were also named in the suit.
I was not terribly worried about the lawsuit. In fact, I had absolute confidence that it would come to nothing. I trusted the Lord that He would deliver us (I was still immature enough as a Christian to believe that God’s blessing always meant the fulfillment of my own perceived needs). I was so sure of the result that I made virtually no preparation for the trial, except what our attorney insisted upon. He, a brand new attorney fresh from law school, volunteered because he shared our Christian values. I believe that it was his very first trial. I do not fault him in any way for the result of our trial. He did his utmost for us in the face of what I believe was an inevitable result due to the political nature of the case and the power of our adversaries.
I am about to describe the circumstances surrounding the trial as I remember them, and as I believe they occurred. These are my personal perceptions and opinions, and I relate them from the perspective of a victim of what I believe was a carefully coordinated and orchestrated conspiracy. I cannot prove some of the things I believe about the actions or motives of my opponents during this time. Indeed, I cannot say that some of the things I will relate were not mere coincidence. I will simply tell the story as accurately as possible and let you decide for yourself.
The “gays” were very thorough in their preparation. First, they hired a veteran civil litigator. Second, they continually postponed the trial so that it was finally held in the last weeks of the 1992 election, when it offered the greatest propaganda value. Third, they coordinated their efforts with the liberal Portland media to gain the largest possible audience for what they had planned.
What should have been a half-day trial was staged over four full days in downtown Portland, the heart of the “gay” power base in Oregon. Our pro tem judge (a non-judge temporarily assigned to the bench to handle our case) was a corporate lawyer for Nike (well known to be a pro-“gay” company). Sitting in the back of the courtroom for the trial was an actual judge, a leader of the “Gay and Lesbian Law Association,” whose purpose (I believe) was to make sure the pro tem steered the trial toward our defeat. It was a jury trial, but as in all such trials, the judge holds most of the power.
The first two days were used by the plaintiff to put on her case. A lesbian chiropractor testified that she (the lesbian plaintiff) had required over a year of treatment for injuries suffered in the incident (a completely preposterous assertion). A psychiatrist testified that the plaintiff has been so emotionally traumatized in the incident that she could no longer work in her chosen field of photo journalism and had to take a menial job in a warehouse. The plaintiff’s mother was flown in to testify that her daughter had changed so much due to the trauma that she could hardly recognize her. The plaintiff herself, who had showed up to the OCA event dressed as a “butch” lesbian, appeared in court looking sweet, innocent and very feminine. In her own testimony she characterized her trespass at the OCA event as the equivalent of infiltrating the Ku Klux Klan, and painted me (and OCA) as comparable to the Nazis.
Despite the lies and distortions, I remained confident that we would prevail. Most of all, I trusted that the Lord would deliver us, but I also knew we had an evidentiary “ace-in-the-hole”: the written report of the Assistant District Attorney in which it was recorded that the lesbian activist had admitted to criminally trespassing at our event.
The real problems started when it came time for us to put on our case. The pro tem judge had been hostile to us from the start, but when we began to make points with the jury, he got angry. When we came to the place in our defense where we were to introduce the D.A.’s report, things went from bad to worse.
Under the laws of evidence, any statement made outside of the courtroom is hearsay if it is offered to prove the truth of the thing asserted. It is a law designed to preserve the reliability of testimony. You can overcome the hearsay objection by showing the trustworthiness of the statement in some other way, such as by referring to a previous written record of the statement.
Here’s how it’s supposed to work: You ask the witness on the stand to give direct testimony from memory. If he can’t remember, you get to show him a previous written record of what he said to help him refresh his memory and then ask the question again. If he still can’t remember, you can establish that the written record is authentic and that the witness’s record was truthful when he wrote it, then enter the document into the record under the “past recollection recorded” exception to the hearsay rule.
In our case, the Assistant District Attorney (under penalty of perjury on the witness stand) claimed he could not remember speaking with the lesbian activist. I was stunned. Call me naïve, but it had not occurred to me that the DA might “fail to recall” what he had written. Our attorney then proceeded to the next step in the process, and began to offer the record to the DA to refresh his memory. At this critical juncture the judge interrupted the trial and told our attorney that he was not going to allow it, but our attorney argued with him and the judge, visibly angry, backed down.
The D.A. then reviewed his notes, looked up and said that he still did not recall speaking with the plaintiff.
Our final option was the introduction of the document itself as a “past recollection recorded.” However, as our attorney started to introduce it into evidence, the judge stopped the trial. In a dramatic move, he had the bailiff clear all the jurors from the courtroom, and then turned to our attorney. As he stood there facing the judge, I could see sweat trickling down the side of his face. The judge leaned forward and, with unconcealed hostility, threatened to punish him with sanctions (a monetary “fine”) if our attorney dared to proceed to put the document into evidence. It was the critical turning point in the trial. Unfortunately, we capitulated to the judge. As I said, I do not blame the attorney. In my opinion, this judge would have found some other way to sabotage us if we had prevailed in this point, but since he had succeeded at keeping out this testimony, his purpose was mostly accomplished.
In the end, I was found liable for battery for ejecting the lesbian activist from our private meeting and assessed a judgment of $22,000. It could have been much worse (they had sued for $400,000) but in the end the jury limited the damages to the amount of lost wages she had supposedly suffered in leaving photo journalism due to psychological trauma. I didn’t believe it at first. I had been certain to the end that God would deliver us. I now know that He had other goals for me, and that this lawsuit would cause me to more easily follow His leading to become a lawyer.
The worst part of this incident, however, was not the trial, but the media coverage of it. Whenever there was a break in the trial, everyone would have to leave the courtroom and wait in the hallway until it was reopened. The media was always there in the hallway waiting for us. For four days they generated their own media circus about the trial, as if I were some major criminal on trial for a capital crime. The evening news, dominated by Measure 9 since the beginning of the campaign, became a regular hate-fest against OCA.
One of the low points of the trial occurred during such a break. I was sitting on a bench in the hallway when I was approached by a female reporter with one of the TV stations. She sat down next to me and started to make friendly conversation. I hadn’t yet met this reporter so I thought she might be a genuinely sympathetic person (hope springs eternal). Once I had warmed up to her, however, the conversation turned and she said, “You know there is this rumor going around that you were caught having ’gay’ sex in the bushes at Laurelhurst Park. Is that true?” As I started to respond with outrage, I could see the cameraman out of the corner of my eye and realized that I was being set up to be filmed in an angry outburst. Fortunately, I had the composure to check myself and just smiled. “No, that’s not true,” I said, and moved off down the hallway.
There was barely concealed exultation in the evening news on the day the decision against us was handed down. I learned a lot about humility on that day and in the following weeks.
Within a couple of days the No on 9 Committee began running a new television ad across the state. Three segments played over a soundtrack with an ominous tone. The center segment featured a picture of my face and a voiceover that said “A lesbian is beaten by an official of the OCA.” This was, of course an outrageous lie. She hadn’t even alleged this in her lawsuit. When I threatened to sue the television stations, the “gays” changed the advertisement. They left everything else the same, but replaced the word “beaten” with “battered.” They were technically correct, since battery is legal term that includes any “offensive touching” of another person. However, to non-lawyers, battery is synonymous with beating, and so they lost none of their propaganda value by the change of terms. However, I lost any chance of prevailing in a lawsuit against them.
The “gays” ran their advertisement throughout Oregon for the remaining weeks of the campaign. I believe they spent over a million dollars on it. Whatever good reputation I had earned through the earlier months of the campaign was destroyed by their slander. Overnight I became a figure of notoriety, and the object of hatred and ridicule of the Left. In my own neighborhood in Portland, the “gays” hung posters of me on telephone poles under the title “Hang Your Head In Shame, Scott Lively.” It became common for me to overhear people in supermarkets and other public places whispering things like “There’s that OCA guy.” Yet, God gave me a double measure of His grace throughout all of this and I never lost my sense of confidence that my service was pleasing to Him. That was all that really mattered.
The Second Lawsuit
The “gays” second lawsuit against me was for defamation, and it took place in Lane County, Oregon, home of the University of Oregon in the City of Eugene. In my opinion, Eugene, Oregon is one of the three most radically leftist cities in America, along with Berkeley, California and Madison, Wisconsin. Eugene is today one of the primary centers of the anarchist movement in the US (these anarchists are the black-garbed street thugs that frequently destroy property at international gatherings of world leaders). On my most recent stop in Eugene a few years ago, about 30 anarchist youths were hanging around outside the courthouse (the very site of this second lawsuit) wearing black masks and carrying signs saying “Kill the Police,” and the like. It was just a typical day in Eugene.
I’m only reporting this to give you the sense of what it was like to face a lawsuit in Lane County. Certainly not every resident was a liberal zealot, but there were enough of them for us to be concerned about the makeup of a local jury on a case against Scott Lively and OCA.
The case arose from a press release I had written about political mischief in the local Human Rights Commission. A Human Rights Commission is one of the “gay” movement’s key vehicles for advancing their political agenda in a local community. These commissions are normally formed as part of a strategy for homosexuals to link up with liberal members of ethnic minorities, who then promote the idea that opposition to homosexuality is the equivalent of racism and equally deserving of public condemnation and punishment. My press release was designed to expose the fact that the “gays” were really running the commission (this is nearly always true, but usually unknown to the public). I said in my press release that the new head of the human rights commission was a homosexual. Ironically, I did not name him in the press release, having read in the news that he was upset at all the publicity. I was trying to do him the courtesy of leaving his name out, since it only mattered for our purposes that the “gays” were calling the shots politically.
However, it was technically not yet true that this person was head of the commission, because he had been nominated but not ratified by the City Council. I didn’t know this, having gotten the story second-hand from an inside source who had omitted some of the facts.
The former head of the commission, a man named G. W., had vacated the post some months prior. Though it was clear from the facts in the press release that our accusation was not directed at W., there was enough ambiguity in it to hang a lawsuit on and so we were soon served with a summons and complaint for defamation of W. (in yet another ironic twist, this pro-“gay” advocate was claiming to have been defamed by being called homosexual). The request was for damages of one million dollars.
Eventually, Lon Mabon and I were back in the courtroom again, sitting side by side at the defense table. At the table with us was the same attorney who had defended us in Portland. By this time he was much more experienced and very competent. Against us was a team of three female lawyers who gave every indication of being lesbians (I don‘t recall if they publicly identified themselves as such).
There were few noteworthy moments in this trial until the final day, when both sides had completed their cases and the court had reconvened for the rendering of the jury’s verdict. W.’s attorneys were so confident of victory, that the lead counsel came into the courtroom literally rubbing her hands together and licking her lips as though she was about to sit down to a feast prepared in her honor. Minutes later she looked shell-shocked as the verdict came back in our favor: not liable. God gave us the victory in this case, against all odds.
The Third and Fourth Lawsuits
The final lawsuits resulted from the same incident, and were eventually consolidated into a single suit, but the fact that they were filed separately is important to the story.
One day at my OCA office I was visited by an elderly woman who was desperate for help for her daughter. The daughter was in a legal dispute with her husband over the custody of their three young children and the court had awarded custody to him. Unfortunately for the children, their father was a homosexual, now living with his boyfriend, and both of them reputedly had full-blown AIDS. The father’s condition was apparently so advanced that his driver’s license had been taken from him because he was having brain seizures (that did not stop him from driving the children around in his car).
The mom was a perfectly capable parent and there was no reason, other than political correctness, for the children to be taken from her.
The grandmother had come to me in the hopes that OCA could bring some public attention to this case and perhaps force a reversal of the court’s decision. We agreed, then held a press conference on the steps of the courthouse and passed out a flyer stating the facts of the case.
It wasn’t long before we were hit with two new lawsuits, one each from the father and the boyfriend. Each suit sought five million dollars in damages for invasion of privacy. To cause us greater expense (we surmised) the suits were filed in separate counties. This was a serious problem because OCA was by this time struggling financially, in large part due to the legal costs from the previous lawsuits.
For the first time we faced “legitimate” legal exposure. The flyer we passed out at the press conference might possibly (I now know) have been ruled an invasion of privacy. The “gays” had more to use against us than just the hope of political bias on the part of judge and jury. In fact, our political enemies apparently felt that case was so strong against us that they helped the plaintiffs to retain one of the top attorneys in the state, a former state appeals court judge. It looked like our goose was cooked.
Lawsuits take a very long time to run their course, and the anxiety that inevitably occurs increases as a trial nears. I had now lived under a cloud of legal uncertainty almost constantly for three or four years, but the emotional stress had grown much worse as the months wore on in this suit. Then, just a few weeks before trial, I had a visit from the husband of the woman who had solicited our help, the childrens‘ grandfather. He had an amazing story to tell.
It seems that early in the case the father and the boyfriend had broken up. (Allegedly, a physical altercation between the two of them had resulted in the hospitalization of the father.) When the father got out of the hospital, he brought a new boyfriend into the house, along with a young woman with a toddler, who was to serve as a nanny for the four children now living in the household.
One day, a neighbor spied the toddler running out of the side door of the house. He was covered with bruises. It seems that the child had refused to eat, and as punishment the men had put him in the basement and taken turns going down to beat him. The neighbor called the police and the men were arrested and charged with torture of the toddler.
Obviously, Children’s Protective Services is called in on a matter like this to remove the children. Acting quickly, the mom had hired an attorney and gotten back temporary custody of her kids. However, Oregon being the “gay”-influenced state that it is, Children’s Protective Services had apparently promised the father that custody would be returned to him. The District Attorney’s office had apparently also cut a deal with all three adults that they would get probation and no jail time.
I am reporting all of this second-hand, of course, as it was recounted to me by the grandfather, who was in the courtroom for the trials of the three adults. By God’s providence, the “gays’” strategy unraveled. For some reason the three defendants were separated in the process of sentencing. The new boyfriend and the young woman went first and received their “slap on the hand.” However, the father appeared later, and for some reason was assigned a different judge. This judge, after reviewing the file, including the photos of the little toddler, looked up at the district attorney and said “You’ve got a lot of nerve bringing this plea bargain into my courtroom.” He then turned to the father and said “You’re going to jail.”
Portland at this time had a major problem with overcrowding at the jails, and so the father was sent home with instructions to report to jail at a future date.
That night, the father and the new boyfriend committed double suicide.
We showed up at court on the day of our trial, and had a settlement conference in the hallway with the original boyfriend who filed one of the two invasion of privacy lawsuits against us. As soon as he learned that we knew what had happened, he decided to drop the case. As I pointed out to him, no jury in the world convict us for invading the privacy of this “family.” If we had succeeded in the original goal for which we had held the press conference, these children would not have suffered such terrible trauma.
In the end, the mom won permanent custody of her children, and there were no further repercussions to the incident. For the sake of the children OCA agreed not to publicize the circumstances I’ve described here, though such publication would surely have helped to rehabilitate our reputations.
The four lawsuits were tough to endure, but God used them for His purposes and my good. They are the reason I am a lawyer today. Looking back, I can see His hand through it all. Of the $11,400,000.00 potential damages I faced, the total judgment against me was just $22,000. And God provided every penny of that sum through the generosity of friends and supporters.
Even so, the thought of paying this money to the lesbian activist was at first very difficult emotionally. It seemed like giving her a reward for persecuting me. Yet, in prayer I was reminded of two things. First, that Jesus asks us to “turn the other cheek” when we personally are injured by others and to “love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you” (Matthew 5:39,44). Second, that every thing I have comes from and belongs to God. It was all his money, and if He wanted me to pay it to her, He must have had a very good reason.
What could have been emotionally and spiritually damaging to me (causing lasting bitterness and unforgiveness) instead became a blessing. I paid the judgment “as unto the Lord” as an act of submission to Him and received spiritual enrichment of far greater value — thank you, Jesus.