Jamaica bans anti-gay Arizona pastor from visiting country

Jamaica has banned a Holocaust-denying pastor from Arizona who has called for gay people to be stoned death, after outcry from activists on the island. Anderson, who once prayed for the death of Barack Obama, has previously been denied entry to South Africa, Canada, the United Kingdom and Botswana.

“The decision was made by the chief immigration officer because the pastor’s statements are not conducive to the current climate,” said a spokesperson for the ministry of national security on Monday.

Discrimination and the threat of violence against gay people in Jamaica remains pervasive, but activists hoped that the ban could represent a shift in attitudes in a country well-known for its homophobic attitudes.

“This is a positive outcome in which I am very pleased,” said Jay John, an activist who launched an online petition calling on the Jamaican government to bar Anderson. More than 39,000 people have signed the petition.

“I am glad that leadership was shown in protecting LGBTQ Jamaicans, women and other minority groups which Steven Anderson has attacked over the past,” said John. Read more via the Guardian