Post submitted by Saurav Jung Thapa, former Associate Director, HRC Global
American Pastor Steven Anderson said he believes the government of Botswana should kill lesbians and gays while doing a radio interview on Tuesday during a trip to Botswana.
President Ian Khama of Botswana ordered the arrest and deportation of Anderson and denounced the pastor’s hate speech, according to Reuters. President Khama said Anderson had been on a visa watch list but had managed to slip into the country before border posts were alerted. Almost 3,000 people signed a Change.org petition to get Botswana’s government to ban Anderson from entering the country.
Earlier today, HRC President Chad Griffing tweeted, this is an example of “American anti-LGBTQ extremists exporting their hate abroad. Such vile bigotry has no place here or around the world.”
Anderson is a pastor at the Arizona-based Faithful Word Baptist Church, which the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) has designated as a hate group. He is a Holocaust denier who has called for gay people to be executed. In the aftermath of the Orlando Pulse nightclub tragedy in June, Anderson equated LGBTQ people to “perverts and pedophiles” and praised their murders.
South Africa’s government banned Anderson from the country last week after LGBTQ activists and allies met with the government’s home minister and the country’s human rights commission. Anderson labeled the home minister “wicked” in a video recording after the minister met with LGBTQ activists.
Anderson’s visit to Botswana and failed attempt to visit South Africa is part of a broader pattern of American extremists who have traveled the world sowing hatred toward the LGBTQ community, much like they have done in the U.S.
The Advocate recently reported that Brian Brown, former head of the National Organization for Marriage and the new president of the World Congress of Families (WCF), will be attending an anti-marriage equality march in Mexico City over the weekend. This march follows several others that were organized in Mexico earlier this month. In addition, WCF is scheduled to co-host a regional conference in Nairobi, Kenya later this week with the Kenyan government and others.
The WCF is an influential American organization involved in the export of hate around the world. It has been designated a hate group by SPLC.
HRC stands with LGBTQ communities around the globe, including in Botswana, Kenya, Mexico, and South Africa, in condemning voices of hate from anti-LGBTQ Americans who are taking their harmful rhetoric abroad.