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An anti-gay US Christian fundamentalist preacher, Steven Anderson, has been barred from entering one more country. This time he is banned from entering Ireland. As the Guardian reports, Steven Anderson was due to travel to Dublin on 26 May to preach in the city, but the Irish justice minister, Charlie Flanagan, took the unusual step to ban him from coming into the country.
More than 14,000 people signed an online petition set up by the Christian gay rights campaign group, Changing Attitude Ireland, calling on the Irish government to block Anderson’s trip to the country. The organization claimed that in the past he had “advocated exterminating LGBT+ people.”
Steve Anderson, who was accused of Holocaust denial, has already been banned from entering most EU countries. He was also banned from entering the Netherlands and the Schengen area.
Anderson is the first person blocked from entering Ireland under the exclusion powers granted by the nation’s Immigration Act 1999. The department confirmed it was the first time an exclusion order had been effected in the 20 years since it was enacted. Section 4 of that Act says a person can be banned if it’s deemed “necessary in the interest of national security or public policy.”
Minister for Justice Charlie Flanagan signed the exclusion on Sunday. “I have signed the exclusion order under my executive powers in the interests of public policy,” said Mr Flanagan.
Steven L Anderson, a Baptist pastor based in Arizona, came to public prominence in 2009 when telling his congregation he prayed for the death of (then) president Barack Obama. He also praised the gunman who killed 49 people in an attack on a gay club in Florida in 2016.
In a video published on May 13, 2019, Steven Anderson counts how many countries have banned him and then reveals an interesting message for all of them – “God’s gonna punish these countries.”
He goes on to say, “I was just banned from Ireland yesterday. So this is now the 32nd country that I am banned from, so I’m on a roll this month!… I feel great… These people [in other countries] should get mad at their wicked government because I had every intention to go over there and win souls and preach…
… God’s gonna punish these countries. I mean, here they are, rejecting God’s Word, going [down] a path of wickedness…
The gay rights campaigner Peter Tatchell welcomed the Irish government’s decision. “His glorification of mass murder crosses a red line. It is more than mere hate. Ireland is right to ban him.”
Link to the video: