Gaborone - Representatives of the gay, lesbian and trans-gender 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.
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) called on the government to deny entry to Anderson and his crew on grounds that he would bring "tainted messages" to the country.
LEGABIBO representative Bradley Fortuin 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," Fortuin said.
The community felt that if allowed entry and given an opportunity to preach as he plans to do, Anderson would spread his trademark messages of hatred, homophobia, violence and sexism.
Shortly after being denied entry into SA, Anderson 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," he said.
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 practiced hate speech, fanned racial hatred and promoted social violence.
African News Agency