Pastor Steven Anderson has become the first person to be banned from Ireland following Justice Minister Charlie Flanagan’s signing of an exclusion order.
The religious fundamentalist, who called for the death penalty for LGBT+ people, was due to give a sermon in Dublin on May 26. There was a huge backlash to news of his imminent arrival, with various petitions launched including one organised by All Out and LGBT Ireland partnered with GCN which garnered 25,000 signatures.
Upon signing the banning order, which came into immediate effect under Section 4 of the 1999 Immigration Act, Minister Flanagan stated, “I have signed the exclusion order under my executive powers in the interests of public policy.”
— LGBT Ireland (@LGBT_ie) May 12, 2019
Steven Anderson is a self proclaimed homophobe who called for the extermination of LGBT+ people to “cure AIDS” and uploaded a video for his followers to explain why the 49 people murdered in the Pulse nightclub massacre “deserved to die in the shooting”. He is also a Holocaust-denier, Islamophobe, stands against abortion rights and tells his followers that “women are to remain in the home”.
Speaking of the Minister’s decision, Paula Fagan, the CEO of LGBT Ireland, said, “LGBT Ireland welcomes the exclusion order signed yesterday by Minister Flanagan banning this person from Ireland. It is important that we call out and stand up to those who pedal hate in this way. Hate speech can cause huge distress particularly to young LGBT+ people or those who are not out and who may be additionally vulnerable to this type of prejudice. And while we do not want to give this individual any attention or airtime, in the absence of strong legislation in Ireland to deal with hate speech and no law to tackle hate crime, we felt it was important to campaign for him to be banned in line with most other countries in the EU.”
Lisa Connell, the Managing Editor of GCN, added, “We welcome Minister Flanagan’s decisive action against Steven Anderson’s dangerous and odious brand of hateful rhetoric. We also applaud the massive response from the Irish and Global LGBT+ communities in petitioning the planned visit and using people power to send a clear message that hate speech will not have a place in Ireland.”
VICTORY!! The Irish government did the right thing and decided to block anti-gay U.S. pastor Steven Anderson from entering #Ireland where he was planning to spread hate against LGBT+ people later this month. Thanks for going All Out, everyone! https://t.co/pQBG6C5TK0
— All Out (@AllOut) May 12, 2019
Matt Beard, the Executive Director of All Out, stated: “Pastor Steven Anderson’s hateful rhetoric represents a real and present danger to LGBT+ people everywhere. This is someone who calls for our execution and celebrates when we are murdered. On behalf of more than 25,000 All Out members who signed our petition, we thank the Irish Minister for Justice, Charlie Flanagan, for taking a stand to defend and protect the safety, dignity and families of LGBT+ people in Ireland. All Out’s members, LGBT Ireland, GCN and the Minister have all sent a clear message that murderous hatred has no home in Ireland.”
© 2019 GCN (Gay Community News). All rights reserved.
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