Abiding Truth Ministries
PO Box 2373, Springfield, MA 01101, www.defendthefamily.com, www.scottlively.net
June 6, 2017
For Immediate Release
Contact: Pastor Scott Lively
Judge Dismisses Bogus SMUG v Lively
“Crimes Against Humanity” Federal Lawsuit
Statement by Pastor Lively:
After five long years, the case of Sexual Minorities Uganda (SMUG) v Scott Lively has been dismissed. I thank God for His deliverance from this outrageous and malicious litigation, designed solely to silence my voice for Biblical truth on LGBT issues and to cause me pain and suffering for daring to speak against the “gay” agenda. I also thank Mat Staver and my Christian attorneys at Liberty Counsel, especially Harry Mihet and Roger Gannam, who took on and defeated SMUG’s team of 14 lawyers with exemplary skill and fortitude.
I thank Judge Michael Ponsor, as well, for overcoming his clear ideological bias enough to acknowledge the legal deficiency of SMUG’s case and bring it to a close – even though he had the option four years ago to dismiss this case following a U.S. Supreme Court ruling that slammed the door shut on SMUG’S specious legal reasoning.
To be clear, the SMUG case was utterly fraudulent in law and in fact – from the premise that a handful of minor civil rights violations by government officials over a decade in Uganda constituted a “Crime Against Humanity” akin to Hitler’s atrocities, to the ridiculous claim that I masterminded the Ugandan officials actions, unsupported by even a shred of evidence. What I did was tell the documented truth about the history and tactics of the “gay” political movement, and urge a compassionate Biblical response, emphasizing rehabilitation and prevention for LGBT sufferers. That is all I have ever done in almost 30 years as a missionary to the global pro-family movement. No hatred. No advocacy of violence. No invasions of personal privacy. Just an insistence that homosexuality be denied normalization in the mainstream of society in favor of the natural family.
The enormity of Judge Ponsor’s decision to now grant my Motion for Summary Judgment is reflected in the excessive and inflammatory language he used to condemn my beliefs and writings in his ruling. I forgive him for that, especially since he knows it is merely conclusory rhetoric, without any supporting analysis or binding legal authority. There wasn’t any of the systematic prove-up of a serious District Court ruling. Instead he gave the left fodder for propaganda as a consolation prize – the sort of red-meat hyperbole one finds in a college newspaper editorial by a “gay” student activist — but he gave me the legal victory.
Indeed, given the expectation of his fellow travelers that he would put the “gay” agenda above the law, the vast amount of money and legal man-hours they invested to ensnare and harass me, and the extent to which they punish those whom they perceive as traitors to their cause, Judge Ponsor’s decision to finally release me from their trap may bear a personal cost at the hands of his LGBT “friends.” Granted, he could have avoided all the pain and pressure by simply recusing himself from the case at the outset by acknowledging that he has long been a vocal supporter of the “gay” cause, a past financial supporter of an organization that funds the plaintiff’s legal team, and that his former law clerk was a key part of that legal team. Still, what matters most is that he did the right thing in the end, and I am grateful.
Lastly, I thank the many thousands of friends and allies who have been praying for me and sending supportive messages since this bogus lawsuit began. My pledge to you is to redouble my efforts to speak the truth in love and to support and equip the pro-family movement around the world. Our vision for a family-centered society that tolerates but does not condone or normalize homosexuality and related disorders is a little clearer and brighter today.
Press Release by the attorneys of Liberty Counsel, whose extraordinarily generous investment of time and money made this victory possible:
Victory for American Pastor Falsely Accused of ‘Crimes Against Humanity’
Jun 6, 2017
SPRINGFIELD, MA – Late yesterday, Liberty Counsel client and American pastor Scott Lively won summary judgment against the foreign LGBT activists, Sexual Minorities Uganda (SMUG), which sued Lively for sharing his biblical views on homosexuality during three visits to Uganda in 2002 and 2009. The summary judgment order, entered by U.S. District Judge Michael A. Ponsor, puts an end to SMUG’s attempt to silence Lively and others who speak internationally about the LGBT agenda.
SMUG is represented by the Center for Constitutional Rights, which has received funding from George Soros. CCR is located at 666 Broadway in New York, an apt address for such an organization that attempts to use international law to silence people of faith and attack Israeli government officials.
In a direct challenge to the U.S. Constitution and the rule of law, SMUG tried to create new and dangerous precedent using international “crimes against humanity”—akin to genocide and war crimes—by relying on the obscure Alien Tort Statute (ATS). In 2013, the U.S. Supreme Court issued the deathblow to SMUG’s lawsuit by ruling that the ATS was never intended to allow a foreign citizen to sue a U.S. citizen in America alleging violation of some supposed international law. Scores of pending cases around the country were dismissed following the 2013 Supreme Court ruling in Kiobel, but the one not dismissed was the SMUG case. Judge Ponsor has a long history of support for the LGBT agenda and said he considers judges “the unappointed legislators of mankind.” Instead of dismissing the case in 2013, as it should have been, Ponsor opened the door for extensive and needless discovery.
Although Judge Ponsor’s order dismissed the case in 2017, for the same reasons he should have dismissed it in 2013 based on the Supreme Court precedent, he let his personal bias against pro-family values and support of the LGBT agenda slip into what should otherwise have been a straight legal opinion. Legally, Judge Ponsor had no choice on the law. The Supreme Court had clearly spoken. But what he did in his opinion is unbecoming by hurling names at Pastor Lively. None of the evidence supports any of the allegations.
After Judge Ponsor refused to dismiss the case in 2013, thousands of hours later, including 100 hours of depositions, and 40,000 pages of documents, SMUG failed to produce a shred of evidence of any conspiracy or persecution by Lively. Rather, the evidence showed that Lively, in a country where homosexuality has been illegal for decades, urged treatment of LGBT people with respect and dignity, and the liberalization of Uganda’s laws against homosexuality, even as he spoke in favor of biblical sexual morality and against the LGBT political agenda.
“This is a victory for the Constitution and the rule of law,” said Mat Staver, Founder and Chairman of Liberty Counsel, “and all Christians should celebrate the end of a lawsuit intended only to intimidate an innocent pastor into silence. But the court’s open display of activism in deriding Lively’s beliefs reminds us of the threats American Christians continue to face from a judiciary that is increasingly hostile to any expression of biblical truth to a decaying culture,” said Staver.
“Once Judge Ponsor properly concluded that he had no jurisdiction over SMUG’s concocted claims, his only duty was to dismiss the case and send SMUG back to Uganda the same way it came—empty- handed,” added Horatio Mihet, Liberty Counsel’s Vice President of Legal Affairs and Chief Litigation Counsel. “Judge Ponsor was without any authority—constitutional, legal, or otherwise—to showcase his contempt for the family values advocated by Scott Lively. Judge Ponsor’s misinformed opinions about Scott Lively are not worth the paper they are written on,” said Mihet.
Pastor Lively commented: “I thank God for His deliverance from this outrageous and malicious litigation, designed solely to silence my voice for biblical truth on LGBT issues and to cause me pain and suffering for daring to speak against the ‘gay’ agenda. I also thank Mat Staver and my Christian attorneys at Liberty Counsel, especially Horatio Mihet and Roger Gannam, who took on and defeated SMUG’s team of 14 lawyers with exemplary skill and fortitude.” And, he continued, “I thank Judge Michael Ponsor, as well, for overcoming his clear ideological bias enough to acknowledge the legal deficiency of SMUG’s case and bring it to a close – even though he had the option four years ago to dismiss this case following a U.S. Supreme Court ruling that slammed the door shut on SMUG’S specious legal reasoning.”
Liberty Counsel is an international nonprofit, litigation, education, and policy organization dedicated to advancing religious freedom, the sanctity of life, and the family since 1989, by providing pro bono assistance and representation on these and related topics.