An African gay rights group filed a lawsuit in Massachusetts on Wednesday against a US evangelist over allegations that he has waged a decade-long campaign to persecute homosexuals in Uganda.
The suit was filed in federal court in Springfield against minister Scott Lively under a statute that Sexual Ministries Uganda (SMU) says allows non-citizens to file US court actions for violations of international law.
The complaint claims Mr Lively issued a call in Uganda to fight against a "genocidal" and "paedophilic" gay movement, which he reportedly likened to "the nazis and Rwandan murderers."
The suit asks for a judgement that his alleged incitement is illegal and violates international law and human rights.
Senior SMU activist Frank Mugisha said the group was targeting Mr Lively for "helping spread propaganda and violence" against Uganda's gay community, which endures widespread discrimination and legal restrictions. "We hope that he will be held accountable for what he did in Uganda," said Mr Mugisha. "We want to send out a clear message to him and to others."
Mr Lively of Abiding Truth Ministries is one of a handful of US pastors whom Ugandan gay activists accuse of having helped draft the original version of the African country's draconian anti-homosexuality Bill.
The Bill called for the death penalty for Aids sufferers convicted of having had sex with a member of the same sex. It has since been revamped to replace the death penalty with life imprisonment as a maximum sentence.
About 70 protesters marched about half a mile from the US District Court in Springfield to Mr Lively's business, the Holy Grounds Coffee House.
They dressed in black and beat drums, carrying signs with the names of persecuted Ugandans and coffins to symbolise the scores of gay people who have been killed by bigots in the developing country.
Mr Lively said in an email that his words have been taken out of context. "Most of the ostensibly inflammatory comments attributed to me are from selectively edited video clips of my 2009 seminars in Kampala," he said.
"I challenge the plaintiffs and their allies to publish the complete footage of the seminar on the internet."
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