UK Evangelist Condemned for Suggesting That Tom Daley is Gay Because His Father Died

Last week we reported that anti-gay fundie Peter LaBarbera went to Jamaica to foment more hatred against gay people there. Buzzfeed has more on the conference of conservative Christians that LaBarbera attended, which included Andrea Minichiello Williams, a UK evangelist who is making headlines in the UK for her remarks suggesting that British diver Tom Daley is gay because his father died.

Buzzfeed reports: Williams

During her remarks, Andrea Minichiello Williams of the United Kingdom’s Christian Concern said Jamaica had the opportunity to become a world leader by fending off foreign pressure to decriminalize same-sex intercourse.

“Might it be that Jamaica says to the United States of America, says to Europe, ‘Enough! You cannot come in and attack our families. We will not accept aid or promotion tied to an agenda that is against God and destroys our families,’” she said, adding to applause, “If you win here, you will have an impact in the Caribbean and an impact across the globe.”

She made the case that it is a “big lie” that homosexuality is inborn, arguing instead it is caused by environmental factors like “the lack of the father” and “sometimes a level of abuse.” She illustrated her point with the case of 19-year-old British diver Tom Daley and his reported relationship with American screenwriter Dustin Lance Black.

Daley, she said, who is “loved by all the girls and had girlfriends,” had “lost his father to cancer just a few years ago and he’s just come out on YouTube that he’s in a relationship with a man, that man is 39, a leading gay activist in the States.”

The Independent reports:

Yesterday Martin Warner, the Bishop of Chichester, where Mrs Williams was elected to the General Synod in 2011, condemned the comments.

He told the Independent that they had "no sanction in the Church of England" and that they "should be rejected as offensive and unacceptable".

While the gay rights charity Stonewall said it was "sad" that Mrs Williams is "supporting the prosecution of gay people simply for how they were born".

Dr Keith Sharpe, vice chair of Changing Attitudes, an Anglian body calling for full equality for LGB&T people, said that her "bigoted outburst amount to dangerous hatemongering".

He added that "Jamaica is one of the most dangerous places in the world for LGB&T people who suffer homophobic intimidation and violence on a daily basis" and that endorsing its laws on gay sex amounted to supporting the "vilest form of homophobia in a most terrible cultural situation."