- 13 May 19
Justice Minister Flanagan has banned US Baptist pastor Steven Anderson from entering the country.
Heeding public discontent, Justice Minister Charlie Flanagan has placed a ban on the controversial US Pastor Steven Anderson from entering Ireland.
Pastor Steven Anderson, the founder of a Baptist church in Arizona, is infamous for his fundamental views that frequently feature anti-LGBT+ rhetoric and denial of the Holocaust.
Originally invited to the Republic by Stuart Houston, a Baptist preacher from Northern Ireland, Anderson was set to deliver a sermon in Dublin on 26 May.
However, Minister Flanagan confirmed last night that he signed the exclusion order banning the preacher under the Immigration Act 1999. The decision makes Anderson the first person ever banned from Ireland by exclusion powers dating from that year.
An online petition from campaign group Changing Attitudes Ireland that promoted the ban has amassed more than 14,000 signatures.
The group said Anderson “advocated exterminating LGBT+ people” and “lauded the massacre in the Florida Gay Night Club of LGBT patrons” in 2016.
A number of people and organizations have taken to Twitter to verbalize their reactions to the exclusion order.
Addressing Minister Flanagan, the LGBT Ireland Twitter page posted a tweet that reads: "We are very thankful for your decision today to ban Steven Anderson from Ireland."
— LGBT Ireland (@LGBT_ie) May 12, 2019
I commend, Minister Flanagan, for refusing hate, having a platform to spread hate.
— eugene corley (@whosaidlifeis) May 13, 2019
Well done, Minister for Justice Charlie Flanagan. Decisive action. https://t.co/kFK4owI70I
— Michael O'Regan (@Michael_O_Regan) May 13, 2019
As well as Ireland, Anderson has also been refused entry to all other 26 EU member countries.