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3:12-cv-30051 #116

3:12-cv-30051 #116

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Published by Equality Case Files
Doc 116 - Lively's Response to SMUG counsel's letter
Doc 116 - Lively's Response to SMUG counsel's letter

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Published by: Equality Case Files on Mar 07, 2014
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07/23/2014

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UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE DISTRICT OF MASSACHUSETTS SPRINGFIELD DIVISION SEXUAL MINORITIES UGANDA, : CIVIL ACTION : Plaintiff, : 3:12-CV-30051-MAP : v. : JUDGE MICHAEL A. PONSOR : SCOTT LIVELY, individually and as : MAGISTRATE JUDGE NEIMAN president of Abiding Truth Ministries, : : Defendant. : DEFENDANT SCOTT LIVELY’S RESPONSE TO PLAINTIFF’S LETTER TO MAGISTRATE JUDGE NEIMAN
The March 5, 2014 letter (dkt. 108) filed by Plaintiff Sexual Minorities Uganda (“SMUG”) is nothing more than a transparent attempt to sway these proceedings with inadmissible hearsay and rank speculation. SMUG’s chosen mechanism to “caution” the Court about the hearsay gossip of media bloggers is a procedural nullity that admittedly does not ask the Court to do anything. Having spent much effort and paper in the debate leading up to the Protective Order speculating about the would-be contents of the yet-unsigned Ugandan law, SMUG now advises the Court that the debated provisions never made it into the actual law. Nevertheless, SMUG asserts that a law was indeed signed by Uganda’s President on February 24, 2014, and provides a version of it for the Court’s review. SMUG’s version, however, is unsourced, unsigned, unauthenticated, and, as obvious from the missing dates on page 3, still in draft form. At this  point, these deficiencies are more academic than material because SMUG is not asking the Court to do anything with its filing.
Case 3:12-cv-30051-MAP Document 116 Filed 03/06/14 Page 1 of 3
 
2 SMUG apparently does want the Court to be aware of out-of-court statements made about Uganda’s law. SMUG does not point the Court to Scott Lively’s public statements denouncing the law as unduly harsh, nor to his statements condemning the outing of homosexuals by Ugandan tabloids and praising Ugandan courts for punishing those publications. Instead, SMUG submits for the Court’s reading some rank and unadulterated speculation about how this law will impact Ugandans, published by such highly respected Internet bloggers as one “Mother Jones.” These articles contain yet more hearsay about what the authors have read in other secondary sources. SMUG’s strategy remains transparently clear. SMUG has no hope of ever proving with admissible evidence that, during his brief visit to Uganda in 2009, Scott Lively so overpowered the people, the legislature and the President of that sovereign nation, that the law they just enacted now, five years later, over his stated objections, was actually the product of his criminal will. Instead, SMUG will pepper the record with unsubstantiated hearsay from “Mother Jones” and others, in the hope that its evidentiary problems will be overlooked. And, since SMUG cannot find in the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure or the local rules of this Court any procedural mechanism for bringing its non-motion hearsay to the Court’s attention, SMUG settles for a letter, addressed personally to the Court. SMUG’s letter is procedurally and substantively improper. The Court’s docket should be reserved for pleadings and motions, filed by parties who are actually asking the Court to take action, on the basis of admissible evidence. It should not be used by SMUG to provide the  parties and the Court with light afternoon reading of Mother Jones’ musings. The Federal Rules of Civil Procedure provide a mechanism for SMUG to “reserve its rights” as to this Court’s rulings, and it does not include writing letters to the Court.
Case 3:12-cv-30051-MAP Document 116 Filed 03/06/14 Page 2 of 3

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