By Trudy Ring
Originally published on Advocate.com August 08 2014 2:30 PM ET
Antigay American minister Scott Lively claims he’s not upset that Uganda’s Constitutional Court has struck down that nation’s Anti-Homosexuality Act, saying the decision shows that Ugandans were not his “puppets in a nefarious scheme to persecute homosexuals there.”
Lively, who is facing a lawsuit over his role in spreading homophobia in Uganda, says in a column published this week that he is “waiting for calls of apology” from media outlets that have connected him to the antigay law. He says the ruling also undermines the grounds for the lawsuit, in which LGBT group Sexual Minorities Uganda contends he violated international law by preaching hatred of gays, ultimately leading to the introduction of the legislation as well as widespread antigay violence.
“The SMUG lawsuit claims that my preaching against homosexuality in Uganda overpowered the weak-minded African natives and turned them into rampaging bloodthirsty savages bent on ‘gay’ genocide,” Lively writes in the piece, published on his own website as well as the right-wing site BarbWire. He accuses “the so-called mainstream media” of buying into these “paternalistic” and “racist” beliefs.
He also argues that there has been little antigay violence in Uganda and even says that gay activist David Kato’s murder in 2011 came at the hands of “his ‘gay’ lover” — an assertion not supported by accounts of the case. In the past he has said the murderer, now convicted, was a prostitute Kato failed to pay, another unsupported claim.
“I am not unhappy that the Ugandan law as written has been nullified,” Lively concludes. “I have always said it was too harsh and did not emphasize prevention and therapy for homosexual disorder. The law’s enactment and quick repeal conclusively demonstrate that Ugandans can think for themselves, are capable of self-governance, and do not need ‘enlightened’ Marxists and homosexual militants from the West to shape their public policy and uphold the rule of law.”
Actually, the Constitutional Court struck down the law last week because Parliament did not follow procedural rules in adopting it, not because of any of its content, which includes a provision for life imprisonment in some instances.
Lively, based in Massachusetts, has made several trips to Uganda, during which he described homosexuality as “genocidal” and “pedophilic” and quoted Bible passages that called for death for gays; an earlier version of the Anti-Homosexuality Act included the death penalty for certain violations, but Lively says he always opposed this. The minister, who is an independent candidate for governor of Massachusetts, has also written a book contending that many gay people were involved in Germany’s Nazi Party.