WorldNetDaily has long been an apologist for anti-gay activist Scott Lively, pretending he really doesn't viciously despise gays. That includes whitewashing the facts about the lawsuit filed against him by Sexual Minorities Uganda accusing Lively of fostering an atmosphere that led to the creation of a proposed law in Uganda that would permit the death penalty for mere homosexuality.
WND keeps up the whitewashing in an unbylined April 17 article that again uncritically repeats Lively's defense against the lawsuit while misrepresenting the claims SMUG has made.
The unknown WND writer claimed that "SMUG alleged Lively criticized homosexuality and that constituted 'crimes against humanity' in violation of 'international law' and his speech must be punished." In response, according to WND, Lively's attorneys at the right-wing Liberty Counsel "explained that SMUG would allow people to express an opinion against homosexuality, but they would not be allowed to take any action."
But the issue is not Lively merely having "criticized homosexuality." As SMUG's response to Lively's request to dismiss the lawsuit states, Lively, "through his coordinated campaign tosilence, criminalize and eradicate the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex ('LGBTI') community in Uganda, who violates fundamental constitutional and human rights norms, bydenying to this group one of the most sublime benefits of free and equal speech – the right tochange people’s minds."
SMUG's response also points out that Lively's defense is disingenuous in portraying Lively as an ordinary citizen merely expressing his personal opinion:
Far from merely contributing fairly and honestly to the marketplace of ideas, Defendant has actively sought to implement a concrete and coordinated strategy via real legislation, policy and practice to deprive LGBTI persons of their elementary human right to equal coexistence. His protestations are also ironic in light of his leadership role in implementing this long-term, multi-faceted strategy to criminalize the expression of viewpoints because they are contrary to his own, and to strive for a regime of de jure or de facto forms of discrimination and oppression of a disfavored group.
Further, according to SMUG, Lively is on record denouncing homosexuality as "'evil,' pedophilic, fascist, genocidal and as a 'highly organized army," continuing: "These theories are not merely the ravings of an idiosyncratic editorialist – they are deployed specifically as part of a broader campaign to repress LGBTI persons – a central premise in his push for concrete mechanisms to deprive LGBTI persons of their right to equality and equal expression.
Unsurprisingly, WND mentions none of this. Also unmentioned by WND is Lively's relationship with Martin Ssempa, who has played a key role in whipping up anti-gay sentiment in Uganda and a supporter of the proposed "kill the gays" law. Lively considers Ssempa a friend -- so much so that Ssempa delivered a letter from Lively to the Ugandan parliament. In that letter, ironically, Lively makes clear that he opposes the capital punishment provision of the bill not out of personal beliefs but because it will make Uganda look bad: "Advocating the 'death penalty' for 'mere' sexual crimes evokes such a severe negative reaction in most Western nations that all other aspects of the law, and the rationale for drafting it is ignored, and very 'gay' movement we seek to oppose is strengthened by public sympathy they would not otherwise enjoy."
WND, of course, won't tell you that either -- it would rather have you buy a copy of Lively's discredited anti-gay screed "The Pink Swastika," a link to which WND helpfully embeds in the article.