Anti-LGBT+ Republican gives worst explanation for ‘accidental’ donation to ‘death to gays’ hate preacher

Louie Gohmert Steven Anderson

Republican lawmaker Louie Gohmert says a huge donation by his campaign to a vastly anti-LGBT+ pastor by mistake because he meant to send the funds to a singer with a similar name.

The Daily Beast reported the Louie Gohmert for Congress Committee sent $5,500 to hate pastor Steven Anderson’s church in Arizona.

Gohmert’s office claimed it hired a Christian singer named Steve Amerson and accidentally sent the funds to Anderson’s Faithful Word Baptist Church.

Anderson has made numerous anti-LGBT+ remarks in the past and even once called for the execution of gay people by stoning. He made international headlines in 2016 after he applauded the Pulse massacre, horrifically saying “there 50 less paedophiles in this world”.

In 2020, the American pastor claimed that the catastrophic Australian bushfires were the “judgment of God” for “banning and deporting preachers of the Gospel”, where he had been banned from Australia the year before. He has since been banned from multiple countries for his anti-LGBT+ and hate-filled rhetoric.

Officials working for the Texas Republican reportedly registered the “donation” to an organisation in Tempe, Arizona called “Anderson Ministries”. The Daily Beast said there is no group by this name registered in the state, but the address in the filing matches that of Anderson’s church.

Aryeh Tuchman, the associate director at the Anti-Defamation League’s Center on Extremism, questioned the motives behind why Gohmert’s “mysterious” donation was made. He described Steven Anderson to The Daily Beast as an “incredibly antisemitic, incredibly homophobic” individual. Despite this, Tuchman said, Anderson’s movement now has 30 houses of worship.

“He is a highly problematic individual who pumps antisemitism, hatred and bigotry into the rhetoric, the preachings and the teachings of these other churches,” Tuchman said.

Connie Hair, Gohmert’s chief-of-staff, insisted to The Daily Beast that the money was for an appearance by the Christian singer at a December fundraiser. She added the mistake was because of an incorrect internet search by Gohmert’s treasurer, William Long.

“That’s who it was written to and Louie gave it to him, and when Bill Long got the check and the charge, he searched ‘Anderson Ministries’ instead of ‘Amerson’,” Hair said. “Bill Long is amending our filing.”

However, Long told The Daily Beast that the money to “Anderson Ministries” was “probably” intended for the Faithful Word Baptist Church. But he claimed he was unfamiliar with the church or its leader.

Steven Anderson’s wife, Zsuzsanna, told The Daily Beast that the pastor was unavailable for comment, and she couldn’t verify whether the church had received the funds from Gohmert’s campaign.

“We can neither confirm nor deny that such a donation was made to our ministry,” she said. “We don’t follow the donations closely and don’t see the urgency of setting aside the time on a very busy week to look into the financial records.”

Louie Gohmert also has a long history of making incredibly anti-LGBT+ remarks. He previously claimed same-sex marriage was redundant because such relationships can’t “sustain life” because gay people would “die off” if put on a desert island. In 2013, he bizarrely claimed that equal marriage would force churches to hire “cross dressers” and “Satan worshippers”.

He has also compared gay rights advocates to Nazis in the past and argued that gay people shouldn’t serve in the military because they will need massages.