By Sunnivie Brydum
Originally published on Advocate.com January 04 2013 8:32 PM ET
On Monday, January 7, lawyers representing Sexual Minorities Uganda will make oral arguments in a landmark case that aims to hold the American founder of Abiding Truth Ministries, Scott Lively, responsible for inciting persecution of LGBT people in Uganda. SMUG v. Scott Lively was filed in federal district court in March 2012, and alleges that the Evangelical pastor's efforts in Uganda to equate homosexuality with the Nazis, Rwandan genocide, pedophilia and more, violate international human rights law.
The Center for Constitutional Rights is representing SMUG, and will offer oral arguments at 11 a.m. on Monday at the Federal Courthouse in Springfield, Mass. The arguments will address Lively's motion to dismiss the case, and LGBT advocates are asking any and all supporters to attend the hearing in a show of solidarity with Uganda's LGBT community.
The case is the first of its kind, and relies on a 200-year-old law known as the Alien Tort Statute, which gives "survivors of egregious human rights abuses, wherever committed, the right to sue the perpetrators in the United States," according to the Center for Justice and Accountability.
Following the arguments, expected to last for two hours, CCR will hold a press conference with legal counsel and Frank Mugisha, Executive Director of SMUG. The Advocate will offer follow-up coverage on the hearing.