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Botswana Deports American Hate Preacher

by our Editors in History & Politics , 19 november 2016

Botswana expelled an American hate preacher and made him persona non grata after he called on the government to kill all homosexuals in Botswana in a local radio show. The organisation LeGaBiBo played an important part in the deportation.

President Ian Khama of Botswana announced the news, and the arrest and deportation took place on the President's order. “We do not want hate preachers in our country. Let him do that in his own country,” the President said in an interview.

The controversial Steven Anderson, an American preacher, is founder of the Faith World Baptist Church in Arizona. In the United States of America, he has been preaching hatred of LGBTs for years. He celebrated the Orlando tragedy, in which visitors of gay nightclub Pulse died during a terrorist action. “Another 50 paedophiles less,’he said jubilantly.

Steven Anderson was also denied access to South-Africa after a local LGBT movement offered the South-African government a petition signed by over 60,000 people.

After this setback, he put his cards on Botswana. The LGBT movement in Botswana united in an alliance led by COC partner organisation LeGaBiBO. Also in Botswana, a petition was launched against the arrival of Steven Anderson. This petition was signed by many, but the Botswana government did not decided to deny Anderson access to the country.

Steven Anderson met with LeGaBiBo spokesman Caine Youngman in a radio interview in Botswana's capital Gaborone. In this interview, Anderson lashed out at gay people. He called Youngman 'a paedophile and a liar’ and accused him of "abusing young boys," calling on the Botswana government to kill all gay people in the country.

Immediately after the interview, employees of the immigration authorities in Botswana took Anderson in their custody.

An official message on the Twitter page of the Botswana government soon followed, confirming that Anderson was kicked out of the country and was considered an illegal alien.

LeGaBiBo announced in a press release that it was outraged by the insults Anderson expressed. The organization is pleased that the government has taken the necessary action by kicking Anderson out of the country - an action that defends the rights of Botswana citizens.

The fact that the Botswana government took these steps is indicative of a growing respect for the human rights of the LGBTs in the country. Previously, the Botswana government was still ambivalent about its LGBT position. Botswana abstained from voting during the adoption of the latest UN resolution against violence against LGBTs. Also, the government appealed twice after a judge had ruled that LeGaBiBo should be registered as an organization. The government argued that LeGaBiBo went against the moral values of the country. Last April, the highest court in the country ruled that homosexuality is not punishable in Botswana, and that the refusal of the authorities to register the organization is a violation of the human rights of LGBTs.

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In the New Issue of Gay News, 308, April 2017

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