Springfield, MA – The Western New England University School of Law and its Center for Gender & Sexuality Studies will be presenting a talk ‘Using U.S. Courts to Protect Human Rights Abroad: A Community Discussion of Sexual Minorities Uganda v. Scott Lively’ this Tuesday, April 9th, at 6 p.m. at the Western New England School of Law Springfield MA in the Law School Common. The event will be a community discussion of using the Alien Tort Statute in U.S. courts to protect international human rights.
The U.S. District Court in Springfield is the venue for the lawsuit filed by Sexual Minorities Uganda (SMUG), a coalition of LGBT advocacy groups in Uganda, against Scott Lively, a local evangelical pastor. The plaintiffs, represented by the CCR, allege that Lively’s political activities in support of anti-gay legislation in Uganda constitutes persecution under international human rights law.
The SMUG v. Lively case is the first to rely on the federal Alien Tort Statute to seek accountability for persecution on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. Attorney Pam Spees, who will be introduced by Professor Matthew Charity, will discuss the pending case and the emerging role of U.S. courts as a venue for protecting human rights abroad.
Please join The Stop the Hate and Homophobia Coalition Springfield for discussion of this important international case and its potential impacts here and abroad. This event is free and open to the public.
The Stop the Hate and Homophobia Coalition was formed in January 2011 upon learning that Scott Lively was living and ministering in Springfield. Lively is president of the Abiding Truth Ministries, which has been classified as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center, and he has been running the Holy Grounds Coffee House. The coalition deplores hateful messages and actions, and calls for community education about the impact of homophobia on our communities, as well as calling for community leaders, neighbors, co-workers, family members, etc. to speak out against homophobia whenever it is perpetrated. The coalition involves a number of community-based organizations, local teachers and students, members of the faith community and individual community members GetEQUAL MA, the LGBT Coalition of Western Mass.
[From a News Release]