It took a lot of hate to provoke Ireland into making its first use of a power allowing it to keep undesirable people out of the country — but anti-LGBTQ minister Steven Anderson delivered just that.
Anderson, who has been banned by more than 30 other countries around the globe, has called for the extermination of LGBTQ people as a means of eradicating AIDS. He has praised the gunman who killed 49 people at the Pulse gay nightclub in Orlando in 2016 and prayed for the death of Barack Obama. He has also deemed the LGBTQ population “basically rapists” and likened same-sex relations to bestiality and suicide.
The pastor of Faithful Word Baptist Church in Tempe, Ariz., Anderson had been scheduled to appear in Dublin May 26, according to the church’s website. But Sunday, Irish Minister for Justice Charlie Flanagan signed an exclusion order barring Anderson from entering the nation. The order is made possible by a provision of the Immigration Act of 1999, but this marked the first time the republic’s officials had used it, the Irish Times reports.
Section 4 of the law allows the minister for justice to issue an exclusion order if he or she “considers it necessary in the interest of national security or public policy.” Flanagan said he signed the order because of public policy concerns, according to the Times.
Residents who opposed Anderson’s appearance in Ireland had already started an online petition calling for him to be blocked from entering the nation, and by the time Flanagan acted, 14,000 people had signed it.
Several other nations have deemed Anderson persona non grata as well. He had scheduled a May 23 appearance in the Netherlands, which took action May 1 to keep him out. He has also been barred from most other countries in the European Union. In 2016, South Africa denied him entry, and then neighboring Botswana deported him after he said on a radio broadcast that gay people should be stoned to death. And even Jamaica, which is known for intense homophobia, last year barred him from entering.