University that bans gay students on ‘morality’ grounds replaces scandal-hit anti-LGBT boss with another homophobic evangelist

Jerry Prevo will replace Jerry Falwell Jr

The anti-gay Liberty University has picked another anti-LGBT evangelist to stand in for the scandal-hit Jerry Falwell Jr.

Falwell Jr, a key evangelical Trump ally, agreed to step aside from his position at the private Virginia Christian university this month after long-running concerns about his conduct reached new heights when he posted a photo of himself with his arm around a woman with his trousers unzipped and underwear exposed.

He was placed on an “leave of absence” by the university board, a milder punishment than is exacted upon LGBT+ students deemed to have transgressed the strict moral codes at the notorious conservative institution.

The disgraced evangelist will be replaced as the university’s president by board chairman Jerry Prevo.

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Liberty University president Jerry Falwell with Donald Trump. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty)

A statement on Monday confirmed: “Liberty University has announced that Chairman Jerry Prevo has accepted the appointment by the Executive Committee of the Board to serve as the Acting President of the University.

“This follows the announcement on August 7 that the Board of Trustees and President Jerry Falwell, Jr agreed to an indefinite leave of absence. All members of the Board of Trustees expressed their support for the Executive Committee’s appointment of Dr Prevo in a meeting today.

“Dr Prevo has served on the Liberty University Board of Trustees since 1996 and has been the Board Chairman since 2003. He recently retired as the Senior Pastor of Anchorage Baptist Temple in Anchorage, Alaska, after serving that community for 47 years.”

Liberty University replaces Jerry Falwell Jr with anti-LGBT evangelist

Prevo has a lengthy record of fighting LGBT+ rights tooth-and-nail, spearheading multiple efforts to repeal ordinances protecting LGBT+ people from discrimination in Anchorage.

LGBTQNation notes that his church ran shocking transphobic ads to oppose an LGBT+ non-discrimination law in 2012, depicting a hairy transgender woman using the women’s locker room at the gym. Another ad claimd that a daycare centre would be forced to hire a “transvestite who wants to work with toddlers.”

Prevo expelled the local boy scout troop from his church in 2013 after the organisation voted to become LGBT+ inclusive.

He also founded and led the Alaska chapter of Moral Majority, a fundamentalist “family values” group known for its extreme opposition to LGBT+ equality.

Jerry Prevo will replace Jerry Falwell Jr

Jerry Prevo will replace Jerry Falwell Jr

In a past interview with the Anchorage Daily News, Prevo was unrepentant about his decades spent fighting the tide on LGBT+ rights, insisting: “The Bible very definitely says that it’s wrong, and it’s my job to tell the people what God says.”

He insisted: “We’ve just taken a Biblical stand on morality, all through the years. Young people these days, I don’t think they know what God says about [homosexuality]. Therefore, they are endorsing it.”

Responding to his appointment, Prevo said:  “I want to thank my fellow board members for having confidence that I could be entrusted with the responsibility of serving as the acting president during this time of Jerry Falwell Jr’s indefinite leave of absence.

“Please pray for us as well as the Falwell family as we embark on our academic year and so we may continue to be united in our common purpose and our faith in Christ.”

Holier-than-thou Jerry Falwell Jr keeps finding himself in hot water.

Falwell Jr, a key evangelical ally of Donald Trump, paid an undisclosed sum last year as part of an out-of-court settlement over his unlikely business relationship with a Miami Beach pool boy.

The settlement followed an uncovered recording in which infamous Trump fixer and convicted criminal Michael Cohen claimed that he had helped Falwell to prevent the release of sexually compromising photos.

More bizarre behaviour from Falwell Jr surfaced last week, when the university boss posted a since-deleted Instagram photo of himself on a yacht with his arm around a woman – with his jeans unzipped, midriff exposed and underwear on display.

A tired-sounding Falwell Jr later called into a radio station, defending his conduct while making clear he would “try to be a good boy from here on out”.

Donald Trump has maintained close ties with the university, which has become a common campaign stop for conservative Republicans courting the evangelical vote.

Liberty University banned all LGBT+ groups in 2006 on the grounds of ‘morality’, and in 2014 secured an exemption from federal anti-discrimination laws to allow it to discriminate against LGBT+ people.

Its conduct rules state: “Sexual relations outside of a Biblically ordained marriage between a natural-born man and natural-born woman are not permissible at Liberty University.”