Pastor Steven Anderson of Faithful Word Baptist Church – Photo: Facebook
A controversial Arizona pastor who once celebrated the deadly mass shooting at Pulse nightclub in Orlando was been banned from yet another country as he attempts to spread his message that homosexuality is wrong and should be punishable by death around the world, reports the BBC.
Steven Anderson, the head of the Faithful Word Baptist Church, had reportedly planned to travel to Jamaica with his 14-year-old son to carry out “missionary work,” but was prevented from boarding the plane when he arrived in Atlanta.
“I had a connecting flight in Atlanta, so as soon as I got to Atlanta, Delta Air Lines told me that they received a notification from Jamaica that I was not going to be allowed to enter,” Mr Anderson told The Gleaner newspaper.
Jamaican officials said Anderson’s past statements were “not conducive to the current climate.”
“I was kind of surprised that Jamaica would ban me for my views on homosexuality,” Anderson said.
Jamaica is infamous for having anti-LGBTQ laws that criminalize gay sex, and LGBTQ residents are often discriminated against, and in some cases, killed because of their sexual orientation or gender identity.
The government’s decision to ban Anderson from the island nation was apparently spurred by a petition, signed by more than 38,000 people, asking officials to prevent him from entering the country.
Jay John, the LGBTQ activist who launched the petition, said he was pleased with the outcome and called it a “victory.”
“His literal interpretation of the Bible regarding killing of gay people should not be echoed in a society like Jamaica,” John said.
This is not the first time that Anderson has been banned from an entire nation due to his bloodthirsty rhetoric. He was previously banned from the United Kingdom and South Africa, both nations with tolerant LGBTQ laws, in 2016.
Later that year, Anderson entered Botswana, eluding border authorities. There, he appeared on a local radio program, where he argued that gays and lesbians should be “stoned to death.” Those comments echoed previous ones he has made, including that America could have an “AIDS-free world by Christmas” by killing all gay people.
Botswanan authorities later detained and deported Anderson for inciting “hate speech.”