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US anti-gay pastor Steven Anderson banned from Ireland

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By Lauren Chadwick
US anti-gay pastor Steven Anderson banned from Ireland

Controversial pastor Steven Anderson has become the first person to be banned from Ireland under a 20-year-old immigration law.

The order came after a petition received over 14,000 signatures and multiple Irish LGBTQ groups called for the anti-gay figure to be banned from entering the country.

According to Anderson’s website, he planned to preach in Dublin on May 26.

The American self-proclaimed pastor from Arizona is a known Holocaust denier who has called for the killing members of the LGBTQ community and praying for the death of former US president Barack Obama.

After a mass shooting at an LGBT-friendly nightclub in Orlando, Florida, Anderson said it was good news that the 49 people were killed because the bible called for killing homosexuals.

“I have signed the exclusion order under my executive powers in the interests of public policy,” the Irish Minister for Justice and Equality, Charlie Flanagan, said in a statement.

It was the first time the government issued an exclusion order under a 1999 immigration law that allows the government to ban a foreigner in “the interest of national security or public policy”.

Anderson is married and has nine children, according to his church website. He does not have a college degree but has “well over 140 chapters of the Bible memorised word-for-word,” the website claims.

The Irish decision comes after Anderson was banned in the Netherlands on May 3. He was set to preach in Amsterdam on May 23.