Antisemitic Arizona pastor becomes first person banned from Ireland
An anti-gay, antisemitic Arizona pastor on Sunday became the first person to be banned from Ireland, according to a report.
Steven L. Anderson, who grabbed headlines when he prayed for the death of former President Barack Obama in 2009 and in 2016 when he praised the gunman who killed 49 people at Florida’s Pulse nightclub, was set to visit Dublin May 26 to preach to an unspecified congregation, the Irish Times reported.
Numerous LGBT rights groups had called for Anderson to be barred from entering the country, with over 14,000 people signing a Change.org petition to that effect.
In response, Irish Minister for Justice Charlie Flanagan signed an order under the nation’s 1999 Immigration Act banning the pastor. It’s the first exclusion order signed since the law was enacted.
“I have signed the exclusion order under my executive powers in the interests of public policy,” Flanagan told the paper.
Anderson, who preaches at Faithful Word Baptist Church in Tempe, is known for saying that the mass shooting at Pulse, a gay club, resulted in “50 fewer pedophiles.” His church describes homosexuality as “abominations which God punishes with the death penalty.”
He’s also produced videos promoting Holocaust denial and bashing Jewish people, some titled, “The Jews and Their Lies” and “Jews Are Anti-Christs.”
Anderson is also banned from the Netherlands, South Africa and the UK.