Tempe, Arizona-based pastor Steven Anderson is known for having a slew of regressive, homophobic, sexist, anti-Semitic, and all-around offensive opinions. So when Jamaican officials heard that the pastor was on his way to visit the tropical island — literally, he was waiting to board his flight — they barred him from getting on the plane and from entering the country.
The ban followed a petition urging the Jamaican government to stop the “hate preacher” from entering Jamaican soil. More than 38,000 people signed the petition, which activist Jay John created. “This is a positive outcome in which I am very pleased,” John told The Guardian. “I am glad that leadership was shown in protecting LGBTQ Jamaicans, women and other minority groups which Steven Anderson has attacked over the past.” As John notes, Anderson has been banned from four other countries: Canada, Botswana, South Africa, and the United Kingdom.
Here are a few of the pastor’s major offenses:
Anderson has expressed a deep hatred of LGBTQ people multiple times. After the Pulse nightclub shooting, Anderson said, “The good news is that there’s 50 less pedophiles in this world.” He has said that gay people should be killed on multiple occasions (specifically, stoned to death). He has denied the existence of the Holocaust. He publicly stated that he hopes, “God strikes Barack Obama with brain cancer so he can die.” He has even preached about being explicitly anti-women’s rights, saying that women should not be allowed to tell their husbands what to do, hold jobs, or vote in elections.
The pastor’s opinions are discriminatory and despicable, and it’s scary that he has a platform with the Faithful World Baptist Church.
“The decision [to ban Anderson from Jamaica] was made by the chief immigration officer because the pastor’s statements are not conducive to the current climate,” a spokesperson for the Ministry of National Security said in a statement obtained by The Guardian.
We’re glad the Jamaican government took a stand. Now if only the U.S. could do something about him.