Acronyms are critically important, right? I remember when the name ‘City University of Newcastle-upon-Tyne’ was dropped because of the acronym. Yet when Richard Nixon ran for re-election in 1972, the organising body was called the Committee to Re-Elect the President, and it used the acronym CREEP. On purpose. The Ugandan LGBT rights group Sexual Minorities Uganda uses the acronym SMUG. And I hope they shall be.
The Ugandan government has declared war on LGBT people – first it wanted to introduce the death penalty for homosexuality, and when that didn’t work it settled for life imprisonment. There’s been a raft of US preachers supporting the Ugandan government’s cause and now SMUG has filed a case against evangelical Christian preacher Scott Lively on the grounds that he has incited the persecution of homosexuals.
Lively has said that he preached nothing but the Gospel when he was in Uganda. Nevertheless, he is being sued under the “Alien Tort Statute”. This enables non-US citizens to sue Americans in US courts if they are accused of breaking international laws.
Lively is part of the ex-gay movement and believes, of course, that homosexuality is a choice, and something of which the sinner can be “cured”. He works for Abiding Truth Ministries, which is classified as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center. He is also the author of, among other fruity titles, a book called The Pink Swastika (1996). This argues that a certain amount of Nazis were gay, and that the gay man is a natural fascist who would take away your rights if you give him half a chance, that sort of thing. Actual historians have dismissed it as nothing more than hot air. Nevertheless, Lively aims to take away LGBT rights before the gay man takes away everyone else’s. Or something like that.
Lively is accused of conspiring with religious and political leaders in Uganda to promote anti-gay hysteria based on the ideas put forward in his writings. It is an important case because it sends a signal about how to legally oppose the increasing amount of US Right Wing Christians who are taking their sideshow on the road and poisoning the rest of the world.