The crimes against humanity lawsuit against Scott Lively began today with his Liberty Counsel lawyers demanding more information from the plaintiffs, Sexual Minorities Uganda (SMUG). Via MassLive:
Lively is being represented by the Liberty Counsel, based in Orlando, Florida, which bills itself on its website as “an international nonprofit litigation, education, and policy organization dedicated to advancing religious freedom, the sanctity of life, and the family.” It has provided pro bono legal assistance on these and related topics since 1989. Attorney Roger Gannam on Tuesday argued that lawyers for the plaintiffs were being so surreptitious in turning over documents – already subject to an “attorney’s eyes only” restriction – that it was hindering Lively’s ability to wage an effective defense.
“Scott Lively has no desire for the information except for this lawsuit,” Gannam argued to U.S. Magistrate Judge Katherine Robertson. “SMUG has not proved that it’s reliable in deciding what Scott Lively should see and shouldn’t see.” In particular, the lawyer cited an email relating to a SMUG fund-raiser geared toward paying fees in the Lively case, which he said was so heavily redacted even the subject line was blacked out. Gannam also referred to images the plaintiffs have withheld of participants at the 2009 workshop in Uganda, which he argued Lively couldn’t confirm were there if he can’t see their faces. Gannam also suggested the plaintiffs’ representation of the significance of the 2009 workshop in Uganda was overstated.
Lively did not attend today’s hearing. According to the above-linked report, he is planning to move his ministry from Springfield to Riverside, California in order to “expand the brand.”
RELATED: On May 11th SMUG issued a subpoena which demands that notoriously anti-gay Ugandan Pastor Martin “Eat Da Poo Poo” Ssempa appear to testify at the trial. The subpoena included a $1900 check to cover Ssempa’s travel costs from Uganda. Normally a prolific many-times-per-day Twitter user, Ssempa has not tweeted since the subpoena was issued.