Homophobia

A US pastor who made headlines for praising the mass killings of 49 people at a gay nightclub in Florida has had his plans for Johannesburg events scrapped by South Africans not wanting to associate with him.

SA businesses, gay rights groups and South Africans from all walks of life are up in arms and determined to let a homophobic US pastor know he is not welcome in the country after he advocated for the execution of gay people.

When 49 LGBTI people were shot dead in the Pulse nightclub massacre in Orlando, Florida, last month, Pastor Steven L Anderson preached:

“The good news is that there’s 50 less paedophiles in this world, because, you know, these homosexuals are a bunch of disgusting perverts and paedophiles.”

As Anderson plans to land in South Africa in September on a “soul-winning” marathon to recruit new members for his evangelical congregation at the Faithful Word Baptist Church, home affairs has been requested to bar the pastor from the country.

“On behalf of the LGBTI community of South Africa,” the Station Manager at GaySA Radio, Hendrik Baird, wrote in a letter to Minister Malusi Gigaba, “we are pleading with you to refuse this man and his group entry into the country.”

“There is a difference between hate speech and free speech and if someone is known to call for the death of LGBTI people I don’t think he should be welcome in a country that constitutionally protects LGBTI people.”

“LGBTI rights are protected in our constitution and it is my belief that we cannot let a known proponent of the murder of LGBTI people into our country to spread his hate. Please sir, stand up for our rights and protect us from this man and his group,” Baird asked of Gigaba.

Anderson scheduled two of his marathon stops in Wimpy and Spur at Kempton Park’s Festival Mall, but both establishments have strongly prohibited him from entering.

Spur Steak Ranches said it had been made aware of Anderson’s plans and tweeted on Tuesday: “We, as the Spur Group, are reserving our right to prohibit this person [from] entering any Spur restaurants as his views are contrary to the non-discriminatory and openly tolerant stance of our brand.”

Wimpy wrote on Facebook: “Wimpy firmly endorses the South African constitution and prides itself on its non-discriminatory policy across gender, sexual orientation, race and creed.”

It seems the preacher will struggle a bit to find a place to stay, as the Premier Hotel have also denied him entry.

The hotel chain confirmed: “This decision was taken when it was brought to our attention that some of the contents of his sermons contradict the Bill of Rights contained within the South African constitution. This particularly relates to clause 9.3 which states that ‘No person may unfairly discriminate directly or indirectly against anyone on one or more grounds, including…sexual orientation…’

“As a South African company, we support the democratic values of human dignity, equality and freedom laid out in this cornerstone of our country’s democracy. We reserve the right of admission to any of our properties and will be exercising this right in this instance.”

Complaining about the cancellation, Anderson’s church asked its Facebook followers to give the hotel chain a one-star rating.

But the opposite has happened and South Africans are giving the hotel amazing reviews, leaving many messages of support.

A petition has also been launched to urge Home Affairs to bar Anderson from entering South Africa at all.

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About the Author

Brent Lindeque is the founder and editor in charge at Good Things Guy.

Recognised as one of the Mail and Guardian’s Top 200 Young South African’s as well as a Primedia LeadSA Hero, Brent is a change maker, thought leader, radio host, foodie, vlogger, writer and all round good guy.

1 comment

  1. Jobn so how do you differentiate between gays and whites when it comes to discrimination, or do you only care about certain groups that fit into the teams that you bat for.

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