Good news out of Massachusetts: in the lawsuit against anti-gay extremist Scott Lively (who has exported anti-gay hatred to Uganda and Russia), a federal judge has refused to dismiss the case and ruled that a federal judge ruled that persecution on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity is a crime against humanity and that the fundamental human rights of LGBT individuals are protected under international law. Expect the Christofascists to shriek and whine that their "religious freedom" is under attack. Their agenda is all about inflicting their poisonous beliefs on all and punishing those who do not conform to their ugly, bigoted beliefs. Here are details from the Center For Constitutional Rights which has joined in to bring the lawsuit (a copy of the Court's ruing is here):
Today, in a first-of-its kind case brought by a Ugandan LGBTI advocacy organization against a prominent U.S. anti-gay extremist, a federal judge ruled that persecution on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity is a crime against humanity and that the fundamental human rights of LGBTI people are protected under international law. The ruling means that the case brought by the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) on behalf of Sexual Minorities of Uganda (SMUG), a Uganda-based coalition of LGBTI rights and advocacy groups, can move forward over defendant Scott Lively’s request to dismiss the lawsuit.
“Widespread, systematic persecution of LGBTI people constitutes a crime against humanity that unquestionably violates international norms,” said Judge Michael Ponsor. “The history and current existence of discrimination against LGBTI people is precisely what qualifies them as a distinct targeted group eligible for protection under international law. The fact that a group continues to be vulnerable to widespread, systematic persecution in some parts of the world simply cannot shield one who commits a crime against humanity from liability.”The lawsuit alleges that Lively’s actions over the past decade, in collaboration with key Ugandan government officials and religious leaders, are responsible for depriving LGBTI Ugandans of their fundamental human rights based solely on their identity, which is the definition of persecution under international law and is deemed a crime against humanity. This effort bore fruit most notably in the introduction of the notorious Anti-Homosexuality Bill (aka the Kill the Gays bill), which Lively helped engineer.Lively has also been active in countries like Russia where a new law criminalizing gay rights advocacy was recently passed. In 2007, Lively toured 50 cities in Russia recommending some of the measures that are now law.Said CCR Attorney Pam Spees, “We are gratified that the court recognized the persecution and the gravity of the danger faced by our clients as a result of Scott Lively’s actions. Lively’s single-minded campaign has worked to criminalize their very existence, strip away their fundamental rights and threaten their physical safety.”
I hope Lively is ultimately found guilty and that at a minimum, Lively deserves a lengthy prison sentence. Personally, an even harsher sentence would be most welcome.