Pastor Steven Anderson of Faithful Word Baptist Church in Tempe, Arizona has been barred from entering Jamaica, The Guardian reports:
Steven Anderson, from the Faithful World Baptist Church in Tempe, said he was about to board a flight to Kingston when he was informed he would not be allowed into Jamaica.
Anderson, who once prayed for the death of Barack Obama, has previously been denied entry to South Africa, Canada, the United Kingdom and Botswana.
“The decision was made by the chief immigration officer because the pastor’s statements are not conducive to the current climate,” said spokesperson for the Ministry of National Security on Monday.
The University of the West Indies, where Anderson was slated to speak, also rescinded its invitation.
Anderson celebrated following the massacre at Orlando’s Pulse nightclub, saying there were “50 less pedophiles in the world.” Anderson has compared gay people to ax murderers and Hitler. And he has said gays should be killed because they’re “filthy faggots” who snatch and rape children.
Because Jamaica is known for a social climate that is hostile to LGBTQ people, the move surprised activists:
“This is a positive outcome in which I am very pleased,” said Jay John, an activist who launched an online petition calling on the Jamaican government to bar Anderson. More than 39,000 people have signed the petition.
“I am glad that leadership was shown in protecting LGBTQ Jamaicans, women and other minority groups which Steven Anderson has attacked over the past,” said John.
Maurice Tomlinson, a Jamaican lawyer and gay rights activist who migrated to Canada after he received death threats, said that he was proud of Jamaica for banning Anderson. “This is a huge win for our Jamaican sovereignty, our constitutional protections and the safety and security of all Jamaicans.”