Africa 15.9.2016 10:56 am

Botswana LGBTI community calls on govt to ban homophobic US pastor

Andrews, who had a visit lined up for Botswana on September 25, was early this week banned from entering South Africa on account of his anti-gay stance| Supplied photo

Andrews, who had a visit lined up for Botswana on September 25, was early this week banned from entering South Africa on account of his anti-gay stance| Supplied photo

The pastor says he feels sorry for South Africans, but thanks God for Botswana, which he says holds the door ‘wide open’ for him.

Representatives of the gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) community in Botswana will on Thursday meet Labour and Home Affairs Minister Edwin Batshu to ask him to ban controversial homophobic US pastor Steven Anderson from entering the country.

Anderson, who had a visit lined up for Botswana on September 25, was early this week banned from entering South Africa on account of his anti-gay stance. He was expected to launch the first African-based ministries of his controversial Faithful Word Baptist Church while visiting the two countries.

However, the Lesbian, Gays and Bisexuals of Botswana (LEGABIBO) organisation has called on the government to deny entry to Anderson and his crew on grounds that he “is bringing tainted messages” to the country. LEGABIBO representative Bradley Fortune said they would on Thursday meet Batshu to deliver a petition against hosting the controversial clergyman.

“The petition will be delivered, but I hope our country will take a leaf from our neighbour and do the honourable thing by not allowing him (Anderson) entry into this country,” Fortune said.

The community felt that if was allowed entry and given an opportunity to preach as he plans to, Anderson would spread his trademark messages of hatred, homophobia, violence and sexism. Shortly after being denied entry into SA, the pastor issued a statement saying he felt sorry for South Africans but thanked God for Botswana, which held the door “wide open” for him: “I feel sorry for the people who live in South Africa, but I thank God we still have a wide-open door in Botswana. Stand by for reports of MULTITUDES saved in Botswana, where religious freedom still exists.”

Among other concerns, South African Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba said he denied the clergyman entry into the country because he was a homophobe who practised hate speech, fanned racial hatred and promoted social violence.

– African News Agency (ANA)

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