Sexual Minorities Uganda versus Scott Lively

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Sexual Minorities Uganda v. Scott Lively

On March 14, 2012, the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) filed a federal lawsuit on behalf of Sexual Minorities Uganda (SMUG), a non-profit umbrella organization for LGBTI advocacy groups in Uganda, against Abiding Truth Ministries President Scott Lively, a U.S.-based attorney, author, and self-described world-leading expert on the “gay movement.” Filed in the United States District Court in Springfield, Massachusetts, the suit alleges that Lively’s involvement in anti-gay efforts in Uganda, including his active participation in the conspiracy to strip away fundamental rights from LGBTI persons, constitutes persecution.

This is the first known Alien Tort Statute (ATS) case seeking accountability for persecution on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. The United States Supreme Court has affirmed the use of the ATS as a remedy for serious violations of international law norms that are widely accepted and clearly defined. Persecution is defined in international law as the "intentional and severe deprivation of fundamental rights contrary to international law by reason of the identity of the group or collectivity."

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Current Status:
December 10, 2013: District Court denied Defendant’s motion for a stay, allowing the discovery phase to proceed.

December 5, 2013: Defendant filed a Petition requesting that the First Circuit appellate court issue a Writ of Mandamus directing the District Court to vacate its Order Denying Lively’s Motion to Dismiss. The next day, the Defendant also filed a Motion to Stay the case pending the First Circuit’s review of the writ petition.

November 20, 2013: Defendant filed his Answer to SMUG’s complaint.

November 6, 2013: Court held a scheduling conference to set the timeline for the pre-trial phase of the case.

October 9, 2013: Court promptly denies Defendant's Motion for Reconsideration.

October 8, 2013: Sexual Minorities Uganda files its Opposition to the Motion for Reconsideration.

September 24, 2013: Lively files a Motion for Reconsideration of the Order denying certification for interlocutory appeal.

September 23, 2013: Court promptly denies Defendant's Motion to Amend and Certify Non-Final Order for Interlocutory Appeal.

September 20, 2013: Sexual Minorities Uganda filed their Opposition to Defendant's Motion to Amend and Certify Non-Final Order for Interlocutory Appeal.

September 6, 2013: Lively filed Motion to Amend and Certify Non-Final
Order for Interlocutory Appeal.

August 14, 2013: The Court issued a Memorandum & Order, denying Defendant's Motion to Dismiss and referring the case for pretrial scheduling.

May 7, 2013: Sexual Minorities Uganda filed a Response to Defendant's April 17 Notice regarding Kiobel v. Royal Dutch Shell.

April 17, 2013: Lively filed a Notice of Supplemental Authority in support of his Motion to Dismiss.

January 7, 2013:Court heard oral arguments on Defendant's Motion to Dismiss.

September 20, 2012: Sexual Minorities Uganda filed its Opposition to Defendant's Motion to Dismiss.

August 10, 2012: Lively filed a Motion to Dismiss.

June 1, 2012: Court denied Lively's Motion to Stay and ordered him to answer or otherwise respond to the complaint.

May 25, 2012: Sexual Minorities Uganda filed its Opposition to Defendant's Motion to Stay.

May 11, 2012: Lively, represented by Liberty Counsel, filed a Motion to Stay the case pending the outcome of the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling in Kiobel v. Royal Dutch Shell, a case also brought under the Alien Tort Statute.

March 14, 2012: Sexual Minorities Uganda filed its complaint against Scott Lively in the Springfield Division of United States District Court, District of Massachusetts.