The human rights and LGBT advocacy group Sexual Minorities Uganda is suing American pastor Scott Lively in U.S. District Court, alleging that he was involved in a conspiracy to deprive LGBT Ugandans of their fundamental human rights. Lively is a prominent and vocal opponent of LGBT rights both domestically and internationally, and ran as an independent candidate for Governor of Massachusetts in 2014 on a largely anti-LGBT platform.
The suit is being brought under the Alien Tort Statute, which allows foreign nationals to bring cases to U.S. District Court when their rights have been infringed upon in violation of public international law or a U.S. treaty. Sexual Minorities Uganda states that Lively’s anti-LGBT activities in the East African country constitute persecution under international law. The pastor has described the gay rights movement as “an evil institution,” and allegedly referred to LGBT people as “brutal and savage.”
A federal judge recently declined to dismiss the suit, which was filed in 2012, until further proceedings can occur. He is expected to rule next year on whether or not the case will proceed to trial.