A controversial homophobic US preacher has become the first person to be banned from Ireland under a 20-year-old power.
Steven Anderson, a pastor from Arizona, runs the Faithful Word Baptist church and openly expresses anti-gay and anti-Semitic views.
Pastor Steven Anderson, who is based in Arizona, runs the Faithful Word Baptist Church which says that homosexuality is an abomination and should be punishable by death.
Pastor Steven Anderson is one of America’s most notorious hate preachers. He’s been banned from coming to the UK with the Home Secretary, Amber Rudd, branding him “unconducive to the public good”. But this doesn’t stop him from broadcasting to an international audience on YouTube, where his sermons have been viewed 29 million times.
In one of his sermons, filmed at his Fundamentalist Independent Baptist church, Steven said that the world could be AIDS-free by Christmas if only we “executed the homos like God recommends”.
Steven, who is in his mid-30s, married with nine children, also believes that women shouldn’t vote and has suggested that the victims of France’s Bataclan terror attack deserved to die (“Well, you went to a death metal concert,” he told his congregation. “You bought the ticket”).
His website claimed that he was due to preach in Dublin on 26 May.
However, an online petition calling for Mr Anderson to be banned from Ireland was created in response, and gained 14,000 signatures.
Mr Anderson has previously called for the death of former US President Barack Obama and praised the gunman who killed 49 people in an attack on a gay night club in Florida in 2016.
Mr Anderson has been barred from South Africa and deported from Botswana.
He was also banned from Jamaica. Officials said his statements were “not conducive to the current climate” .Jamaica has laws criminalising gay sex and rights groups have warned that LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) people face frequent discrimination.
In September 2016, Mr Anderson was deported from Botswana after he said on a local radio programme that homosexuals should be “stoned to death”. A week earlier, he had been banned from South Africa, and before that, from the UK.
Irish Minister for Justice Charlie Flanagan signed an exclusion order for Mr Anderson with immediate effect on 10 May under the Immigration Act 1999. It is the first time an exclusion order has been granted since the creation of the act 20 years ago.
Mr Anderson has been banned from a number of countries, including the UK. Mr Flanagan said he had signed the order “under my executive powers in the interests of public policy”.
A journalist from BBC 3 wrote, “Steven and his followers reject modern America. They feel persecuted by the liberal majority, and this persecution galvanizes them to keep up what they see as their righteous fight against evil. The more people attack their beliefs, the angrier and more determined they become.”