While most people probably have probably never heard of anti-gay activist Scott Lively, I’m certain many who have been continually fighting for equal rights for the LGBT community have heard about the strict laws against homosexuals that have been passed in countries like Uganda and Russia. The Constitutional Court of Uganda did deem that country’s law invalid back in August, but lawmakers have begun drafting a new anti-gay law that’s expected to be introduced next year.
Well, Lively has been one of the leading activists who’s been traveling the globe promoting his anti-gay agenda in many of these countries that have passed anti-gay legislation stripping homosexuals of their humanity and basic human rights. And since our Constitution continues to grant members of the LGBT community in the United States their rightful freedoms, Lively decided to take his special brand of hate abroad in an attempt to spread his anti-gay propaganda in countries where the rights of citizens are not as clearly defined.
But these laws haven’t just been simply aimed at keeping same-sex couples from being allowed to wed, like many conservatives continue to try to do here in the United States. Initially Uganda tried to make a same-sex relationship punishable by death (though it was later reduced to life in prison before the law was invalidated), and Russia has also passed laws so pathetically written that they have essentially banned any and all expression of LGBT culture and flat-out criminalized talking to minors about “nontraditional relationships.”
All of this eventually led to LGBT rights organizations Sexual Minorities of Uganda and the Center for Constitutional Rights to file a lawsuit against Lively in 2012 for “crimes against humanity.” A lawsuit that a federal appeals court just upheld after Lively’s attempt to get it dismissed was rejected by a three-judge panel. The lawsuit claims that Lively has been a key figure in promoting government-backed acts of intolerance, hatred and violence towards homosexuals in places like Uganda, which has seen attacks against homosexuals skyrocket in recent years.
How will this story ultimately end? That’s anybody’s guess. Though this does mark a fairly significant move for gay rights to see someone who’s traveled the globe trying to encourage violence against the LGBT community facing charges for willfully trying to encourage other nations to strip homosexuals of their basic human rights and dignity.
And while I’m sure this battle still has a long way to go, this is a huge win for the LGBT community and anyone who proudly stands for equal rights for homosexuals all around the world.