Dr. Scott Lively, president of Abiding Truth Ministries, an evangelist and anti-homosexual activist, has been sued by a Ugandan gay advocacy group for allegedly inciting the persecution of homosexuals in the African country.
Sexual Minorities Uganda (SMUG) is suing Lively under the alien tort statute, which allows people from other countries to sue in American courts when they claim international law has been violated.
The lawsuit claims that Lively has worked with religious and political leaders to spread negative propaganda about homosexuals within the country.
Among the claims, the plaintiffs argue that Lively has claimed that homosexuals have an "irrepressible predilection to commit rape and child abuse."
According to a paper written by Dr. Lively for the Pro-Family Resource Center of Abiding Truth Ministries, the purpose of his work in Uganda was to prevent the spread of homosexuality.
"In my view," Dr. Lively writes, "homosexuality (indeed all sex outside of marriage) should be actively discouraged by society -- but only as aggressively as necessary to prevent the mainstreaming of alternative sexual lifestyles, and with concern for the preservation of the liberties of those who desire to keep their personal lifestyles private."
Additionally, SMUG argues that Dr. Lively helped influence a 2009 bill that would have imposed the death penalty for the "offense of homosexuality."
However, according to a press release in January of 2010, the first draft of the Ugandan bill did not fit Dr. Lively's recommendations, because it focused on punishment rather than rehabilitation.
"Frankly, when I learned that bill included the death penalty I was mortified," said Dr. Lively. "I publicly rejected it as written, and privately expressed my strong disapproval through my pro-family allies in Kampala, asking them to pass my concerns along to the MPs. Thank God the sponsors did in fact agree to change the bill. I can't say that I necessarily agree with every element of the revised bill, but I believe this revision is an acceptable compromise under the circumstances and well within the prerogative of a civilized sovereign nation."
Under the revised version, which Dr. Lively endorsed, the death penalty was removed and a provision for the rehabilitation of homosexuals was added. The bill initially failed to pass, but was reintroduced last month.
On Wednesday, more than 70 people marched down the street in front of Dr. Lively's Holy Grounds Coffee Shop in Springfield, Mass., carrying drums and wearing white masks to commemorate those killed in Uganda.
Dr. Lively, who has also authored a book entitled The Pink Swastika: Homosexuality in the Nazi Party, which argues in its preface that "homosexuals [are] the true inventors of Nazism and the guiding force behind many Nazi atrocities," told The New York Times he did not know about the lawsuit.
"That's about as ridiculous as it gets," Dr. Lively said. "I've never done anything in Uganda except preach the Gospel and speak my opinion about the homosexual issue."
Lively also said in an email to The Associated Press that he has never advocated violence against homosexuals.
"Most of the ostensibly inflammatory comments attributed to me are from selectively edited video clips of my 2009 seminars in Kampala," Dr. Lively added. "I challenge the plaintiffs and their allies to publish the complete footage of the seminar on the Internet. They will not do this or their duplicity would be exposed."
Dr. Lively, who calls himself "one of the most knowledgeable and articulate opponents of the homosexual agenda in America," also heads The Pro-Family Law Center and is the former state director of the American Family Association of California.