Monday, August 19, 2013 • 7:27 AM Comments ()

Gay-rights Lawsuit Proceeds

posted by Maureen Turner

Stephanie Barry has an update in today’s Republican on the lawsuit against Scott Lively, the controversial anti-gay minister who moved into the city several years ago.

Lively is being sued by a coalition of gay-rights groups in Uganda for “the decade-long campaign he has waged, in coordination with his Ugandan counterparts, to persecute persons on the basis of their gender and/or sexual orientation and gender identity,” the federal suit alleges.

In 2009, Lively and other American ministers traveled to Uganda for an anti-gay conference shortly before a bill was drafted in that country that called for punishment, including death in some cases, for homosexual activity. Lively has said that while he supports the Uganda government’s efforts to stave off the “homosexualization” of its country, he doesn’t support the death penalty provision, which he calls “unacceptable harsh”; rather, he’s written, the law should “emphasize rehabilitation over punishment.”

Uganda lawmakers have since removed the death-penatly provision from the bill, which NPR recently reported could still become law.

Lively’s attorneys tried to have the lawsuit dismissed, arguing, among other things, that it amounts to violation of their client’s right to free speech. But U.S. District Court Judge Michael Ponsor rejected their motion, meaning the case will proceed.

Lively, who runs a Christian coffee shop on State Street, made headlines last year after suggesting, as Barry writes, “that God had a hand in blowing up a strip club on Worthington Street.

“The blast was actually due to a punctured natural gas line,” Barry adds, in admirable reporter’s deadpan.

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