CONTACT: Cole Parke, firstname.lastname@example.org
WHAT: Oral argument on motions for summary judgment in Sexual Minorities Uganda v. Lively, a federal lawsuit in which Sexual Minorities Uganda (SMUG), represented by the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR), is suing Scott Lively, a U.S.-based anti-LGBTQI activist and conservative evangelical pastor, for his role in the persecution of LGBTQI people in Uganda. The lawsuit alleges Lively’s active participation in a conspiracy to deprive Ugandan sexual minorities of their fundamental human rights. This is the first known case using Alien Tort Statute (ATS) to seek accountability for persecution on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity, and sets a critical legal precedent that persecution on that basis is a “crime against humanity”—a serious crime under international law.
WHERE: U.S. District Court of Massachusetts, 300 State Street, Suite 120, Springfield, MA 01105
WHEN: Wednesday, November 9, 2016, 11:00am
WHO: Rev. Dr. Kapya Kaoma, Senior Religion & Sexuality Researcher at Political Research Associates, will be available for interviews before and after the hearing. Kaoma created video documentation of Lively’s 2009 presentations in Kampala, Uganda at a series of now-notorious anti-homosexuality conferences, and was the first to break the story of Lively’s instrumental role in Uganda’s Anti-Homosexuality Law. Owing to his role as witness to Mr. Lively’s part in fomenting politicized homophobia in Uganda, Kaoma was deposed for these proceedings by defense counsel. Kaoma is the author of several reports and a book about the role of U.S. religious conservatives in Africa. A sought-after media commentator, Kaoma is a leading expert on the role of American conservatives in global evangelicalism, and especially in expanding attacks on LGBTQI people, reproductive health and rights, and human rights. Kaoma, who is Zambian, is an ordained Anglican priest, and is currently the Rector of Christ Church in Hyde Park, MA and a Visiting Researcher at Boston University’s Center for Global Christianity and Mission. He received his doctorate in Ethics from Boston University in 2010.
BACKGROUND: In 2009, Rev. Dr. Kaoma documented Scott Lively’s role as a key instigator of the Anti-Homosexuality Bill in Uganda (commonly referred to as the “Kill the Gays” Bill). Later that year, he published a ground breaking report entitled Globalizing the Culture Wars: U.S. Conservatives, African Churches, and Homophobia, which revealed the role of the U.S. Christian Right in growing attacks on LGBTQI people in Africa. In 2012, Kaoma followed up this research into the U.S. Christian Right’s exportation of American culture wars with another report, Colonizing African Values, and he appears as an expert voice in the 2013 documentary “God Loves Uganda.” Kaoma is also the author of American Culture Warriors in Africa: A Guide to the Exporters of Homophobia and Sexism, published in 2014. His commentaries have appeared in the Los Angeles Times, Global Post, Religion Dispatches and other media outlets. He is most recently the co-editor of a special human sexuality issue of the prestigious Journal of Theology in Southern Africa.