Wednesday, December 23, 2015

His Day In Court

There is a little known law here in the US that lets a person from another country to sue a US citizen in federal court for human rights violation. The law is Alien Tort Statute and it is not a new law it was part of Judiciary Act of 1789.
The Alien Tort Statute ("ATS"; also known as the Alien Tort Claims Act) refers to 28 U.S.C. § 1350, granting jurisdiction to federal district courts "of all causes where an alien sues for a tort only in violation of the law of nation or of a treaty of the United States." Broadly speaking, it serves as a statutory instrument for gaining universal jurisdiction over violations of international law.
This leads us to Abiding Truth Ministries President Scott Lively, he went to Uganda to urge their legislature to pass anti-LGBT legislation and he is now being sued by LGBT people from there. I wrote earlier about the court case (here, here, here, and here), now the case is proceeding in Springfield MA. Georgiboi reported that, “This week, the First Circuit Court of Appeals denied Lively’s final request to have it dismissed because, well, the whole genocide thing.” The Religion News Service in an October article wrote,
A lawsuit by Sexual Minorities Uganda, an LGBT advocacy group, alleges that Lively conspired with Ugandan religious and political leaders since 2002 to strip gays of their rights in that country that has resulted in housing and employment discrimination, arrest, torture and the murder of gays and lesbians. The case, filed in 2012, is expected to go to trial early next year in a U.S. district court in Massachusetts. If convicted, Lively could face a fine.
Sexual Minorities Uganda and the Center for Constitutional Rights contend that Lively’s presentations in workshops in 2009 and 2012 influenced a 2013 Uganda law, which initially called for life in prison for people who engage in same-sex relations. Later the law was revised to also punish individuals or groups that support gays. After international outrage, the constitutional court in Uganda overturned the law in August 2014 on a technicality, but lawmakers have said they will revive the bill.
Uganda wasn’t the only place that Lively preached his hate, he also went to Russia,
After a 2007 visit to Russia, Lively urged that country to “criminalize the public advocacy of homosexuality.” Russia’s parliament unanimously passed a federal law banning the spreading of “propaganda of non-traditional sexual relations” to minors in June 2013. The law makes it illegal to distribute material on gay rights and calls for fines for individuals and media groups found guilty of breaking the law. It has spurred international outrage, especially during the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia.
Now is only someone from Russia would sue him.

Hmm... I wonder if it might be interesting to sit in on the trial one day.

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