Court upholds ruling calling anti-gay preacher Scott Lively a ‘crackpot bigot’

A court ruling describing homophobic pastor Scott Lively as a “crackpot bigot” has been upheld.

Massachusetts hate preacher Scott Lively has become one of the world’s most reviled homophobes, helping ‘oto export’ anti-LGBT laws to suggestible countries around the world.

The pastor was previously sued for ‘crimes against humanity’ for his role in securing Uganda’s 2014 Anti-Homosexuality Act.

The case was dismissed for lack of standing, but Lively was incensed that judge Michael A. Ponsor described him in his official judgment as a “crackpot bigot” who has caused “immense harm” around the world.

In a surreal move, Lively attempted to appeal the ruling despite the fact it was ultimately in his favour, seeking a way to revoke the judge’s remark about him.

This week the First Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the judge’s ruling – and his remarks about Lively.

The three-judge panel headed by Judge Bruce Selya explained: “Lively chiefly faults the district court for including a series of unflattering statements in its dispositive opinion.

“In his most loudly bruited claim of error, Lively beseeches us to purge certain unflattering statements from the district court’s dispositive opinion.

“None of these statements, though, have any bearing on the analytical foundations of the dispositive order or impact the result. The statements are, therefore, dicta and, as such, they lack any binding or preclusive effect.

“Because they are not ‘in any sense necessary to the district court’s judgment,’ we lack jurisdiction to entertain Lively’s request that we excise them.”

The court disassembles Lively’s many legal attempts to have the comments purged from the record, saying: “Searching for traction, Lively complains that the challenged statements damaged his reputation… [but] Lively’s embarrassment in the face of the district court’s unflattering comments, without more, cannot suffice to manufacture appellate jurisdiction where none exists.”

Scott Lively

Judge Pryor had originally written: “Anyone reading this memorandum should make no mistake.

“The question before the court is not whether Defendant’s actions in aiding and abetting efforts to demonize, intimidate, and injure LGBTI people in Uganda constitute violations of international law. They do.

“The much narrower and more technical question posed by Defendant’s motion is whether the limited actions taken by Defendant on American soil in pursuit of his odious campaign are sufficient to give this court jurisdiction over Plaintiff’s claims. Since they are not sufficient, summary judgment is appropriate for this, and only this, reason.”

The judge took time in his ruling to specifically condemn Lively’s work.

He wrote: “Discovery confirmed the nature of Defendant’s, on the one hand, vicious and, on the other hand, ludicrously extreme animus against LGBTI people and his determination to assist in persecuting them wherever they are, including Uganda.

“The evidence of record demonstrates that Defendant aided and abetted efforts (1) to restrict freedom of expression by members of the LBGTI community in Uganda, (2) to suppress their civil rights, and (3) to make the very existence of LGBTI people in Uganda a crime.

“The record also confirms that these efforts to intimidate and injure the LGBTI community in Uganda were, unfortunately, to some extent successful.

“This crackpot bigotry could be brushed aside as pathetic, except for the terrible harm it can cause. The record in this case demonstrates that Defendant has worked with elements in Uganda who share some of his views to try to repress freedom of expression by LGBTI people in Uganda, deprive them of the protection of the law, and render their very existence illegal.

“He has, for example, proposed twenty-year prison sentences for gay couples in Uganda who simply lead open, law-abiding lives.”

Lively is currently running for Governor of Massachusetts as a Republican. Despite his extreme views he received enough votes at the state GOP Convention to make the September 4 primary against incumbent Charlie Baker.