Queer Voices

Scott Lively, 'Kill The Gays' Supporter, Deserves Charges: Plaintiff's Attorney (VIDEO)

Anti-gay activist Scott Lively had a day in court on Monday, in a pre-trial hearing over charges filed against him for his rhetoric and activism against the rights of LGBT people in Uganda. The suit, brought by the Center for Constitutional Rights on behalf of the LGBT organization Sexual Minorities of Uganda, uses the Alien Tort Statute to charge Lively with crimes against humanity. CCR attorney Pam Spees spoke to HuffPost Live host Ahmed Shihab-Eldin on Tuesday.

"He goes beyond just preaching his belief against their existence," Spees said. "He's actively calling and instructing and helping them figure out ways of silencing."

Spees pointed to Lively's support of the so-called "Kill The Gays" bill, which was first submitted to Ugandan lawmakers by a contact of Lively's in 2009. The bill may be taken up in this year's new parliamentary session, and would impose the death sentence or life imprisonment for the "offense of homosexuality."

"We're already seeing the oppression, even without the bill coming into effect," Spees said. "And that's something that Lively himself has specifically contributed to this project of persecution."

Also contributing to the discussion was Roger Ross Williams, director of 'God Loves Uganda', a documentary that traces the influence of U.S. evangelicals in the country. The film, which will premiere later this month at Sundance, includes footage of Lively's preaching and encouragement of anti-LGBT legislation. However, Williams was careful not to paint all preachers with the same brush.

"The religious community in America needs to understand that all evangelicals aren't bad, and all evangelicals aren't exporting hate, but we need to take some responsibility for the extremists and their rhetoric, and we need to hold them accountable," he said.

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