Appeals Court Bats Away Anti-Gay Extremist Scott Lively’s Attempt to Censor Judge

August 10, 2018, New York – Today, the First Circuit Court of Appeals dismissed Scott Lively’s attempt to appeal a ruling from the district court to remove language that harshly criticized his role in the persecution of the LGBTI community in Uganda in the case Sexual Minorities Uganda v. Lively.

In June 2017, the district court granted Lively’s Motion for Summary Judgment and dismissed the case, but Lively appealed in an effort to strike “unflattering statements” about him from the decision. Lively also sought to prevent Sexual Minorities Uganda (SMUG) from being able to bring its state law claims related to a conspiracy to harm the Ugandan LGBTI community in a Massachusetts court.

“We welcome this ruling. For us, this case has always been about doing everything we can to stop the export of hatred into Uganda and to protect our community against the persecution,” said Frank Mugisha, SMUG’s executive director. “At the end of the day, we have made the record of Lively’s persecution clear through this case.”

“Lively has spent decades trying to deprive LGBTI people of their rights to expression, even seeking to have them imprisoned for it in Uganda, so it’s no wonder he would try to censor a judicial opinion he finds objectionable,” said Pam Spees, a Center for Constitutional Rights senior staff attorney. “This ruling also calls out the fact that Lively made one set of arguments to this court that directly contradicted what he argued in the lower court. We are glad the court did not allow him to get away with it.”

Read today’s ruling here and more about SMUG v. Lively here.

The Center for Constitutional Rights works with communities under threat to fight for justice and liberation through litigation, advocacy, and strategic communications. Since 1966, the Center for Constitutional Rights has taken on oppressive systems of power, including structural racism, gender oppression, economic inequity, and governmental overreach. Learn more at


Last modified 

August 13, 2018