Judge: Uganda gay rights suit can continueAP , Associated Press
Aug. 14, 2013 7:32 PM ET
SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (AP) — A federal judge won't dismiss a Ugandan gay rights group's lawsuit against a Massachusetts evangelical minister.
Sexual Minorities Uganda's claim alleged Scott Lively conspired to persecute gays in the East African country.
The plaintiff called Wednesday's ruling by U.S. District Judge Michael Ponsor a significant victory for human rights.
Lively sought dismissal of the 2012 claim, with his lawyer claiming it attacked his free speech right.
The plaintiff says Lively met with Ugandan leaders and headlined a 2009 conference from which an anti-gay bill emerged.
The bill's first proposal called for the death penalty to punish some homosexual acts.
Lively has said he never advocated violence against gays, instead calling for therapy and not punishment for them.
Lively's attorney Horatio Mihet says they'll continue to fight the lawsuit and are confident Lively will be vindicated.