An American preacher who is best known for his anti-LGBTQ views was just banned from Republic of Ireland.
Earlier this year, Steven Anderson of the Faithful Word Baptist Church had to cancel parts of his “soul-winning” trip to the Netherlands, Sweden, and Ireland when he was banned from the dozens of countries that make up the Schengen Area.
The countries banned him because of his extreme hateful statements. Anderson is a Holocaust denier who praised the Pulse nightclub shooter, calling victims “a bunch of disgusting perverts and pedophiles” and “disgusting homosexuals who the Bible says were worthy of death.”
Until last week, though, he still planned to do the Ireland part of his trip. Ireland isn’t a part of the Schengen Area, and activists there tried to get him banned.
And they succeeded. A petition to keep him out of the country got around 14,000 signatures, and the Irish government listened.
Irish Justice Minister Charlie Flanagan signed an exclusion order for Anderson, effective immediately, saying he did so “under my executive powers in the interests of public policy.”
The Irish government got the authority to exclude people under the Immigration Act 1999. Anderson is the first person to get banned under the act.
Jamaica, South Africa, the UK, and Canada, along with the Schengen countries, have already banned Anderson. He was deported from Botswana in 2016 as well.