‘Kill the gays' pastor to face stringent conditions
Johannesburg - It seems the option to block homophobic American pastor Steven L Anderson from entering South Africa is still on the table.
Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba met lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer or questioning, and intersex (LGBTQI) leaders and the South African Human Rights Commission on Monday.
Gay SA Radio station manager Hendrik Baird presented the 60 000 signatures garnered by the online petitions against Anderson during a meeting to discuss LGBTQI Home Affairs issues.
Baird said that by the end of the week, a dossier would be submitted to the department consisting of the legal arguments why Anderson should be barred from entering the country on September 17.
Baird said the main argument would be that Anderson’s church be considered a “hate group” and that the visit could incite public violence against gay people.
Gigaba explained the department’s position.
“We have weighed the options available regarding the visit of the United States pastor. We’ve also considered the letter from the SA Human Rights Commission and the position of the LGBTI community.
“This is a highly sensitive matter that had to be tackled with extreme caution. If it is his intention to visit South Africa again, it would be in his best interest to behave in accordance with our laws,” Gigaba said.
“There will be serious conditions attached to this visit; we will not hesitate to deport or charge him for wrongdoing.”
The Arizona preacher and Holocaust denier achieved online notoriety in 2014 after calling for gay people to be executed. This year, a day after 49 LGBTQI people were gunned down in the Pulse nightclub massacre in Orlando, Florida, he said: “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.”
When it was revealed he was planning a mission in South Africa in mid-September, the gay community signed petitions to bar him from entering the country.
Meanwhile, the department has begun training officials to be more sensitive to members of the LGBTQI community.
“A practice note was distributed to all staff and front offices for use as a guideline on matters relating to the alteration of sex description and other related civil matters. This should help in clarifying requirements and ensuring uniform application at all offices,” said Gigaba.
“A list of offices with marriage officers willing to conduct same-sex marriages was finalised, to ensure dignified solemnisation of all marriages. In this way, people will know which offices to visit for specific services, particularly since we are dealing with people’s identities,” the minister added.