A minister and pro-family activist has won a five-year legal battled despite a federal judge who complained about his biblical beliefs.
U.S. District Court Judge Michael Ponsor denounced Scott Lively’s “crackpot bigotry” against homosexuals but acknowledged in his ruling that the Massachusetts court lacked jurisdiction in the case.
Liveley was represented by Liberty Counsel attorneys in a case dating back to 2012, when a Uganda-based homosexual group sued in federal court under the Alien Tort Statute (ATS) that allows foreigners to sue American citizens.
Lively’s legal fight was helped by a 2013 U.S. Supreme Court ruling that limited the scope of the ATS, which meant Posnor’s courtroom lacked jurisdiction, the judge acknowledged.
The group that sued Lively is Sexual Minorities Uganda, or SMUG, which was represented by the George Soros-funded Center for Constitutional Rights.
A vocal critic of homosexuality and its activists, Lively leads Abiding Truth Ministries. He visited Uganda numerous times to encourage church leaders there to promote traditional families and fight pro-homosexual activism in the African country.
Homosexual acts remains illegal throughout most of Africa, including Uganda, where a controversial law was struck down that included life imprisonment.
Lively told The Daily Best, a left-wing news website, that he supports “basic human rights” for Uganda’s homosexuals but not laws that normalize homosexuality.
“I don’t support invasion of privacy. I have never advocated hatred or violence against anyone,” he told the website.
Liberty Counsel attorney Mat Staver tells OneNewsNow that Judge Ponsor should have dismissed the case in 2013 after the Supreme Court ruling, which Staver calls a “death knell” to Lively’s case and others similar to it.
Instead of dismissing it then, says Staver, Ponsor chose to use the opinion to hurl insults as Pastor Lively that are completely devoid in the record.”
“Even though Judge Ponsor engaged in a lot of nasty rhetoric about my beliefs and writings,” Liveley told The Daily Beast, “he followed the rule of law and dismissed the case when he could have kept it going to proceed on to trial.”
After a reporter read passages of the ruling, Lively called the judge’s words “hyperbole” and compared it to a “gay editorial” rather than a standard legal argument in a judge’s order.
It’s troubling to imagine what action the judge would have taken, Staver observes, if the Supreme Court ruling had not scrapped the lawsuit.