‘Homophobic’ Catholic chastity campaigner cancels tour ‘due to illness’ after his talks were pulled
An American chastity campaigner has pulled out of his Irish tour “due to illness” after a number of his talks were cancelled over his views on homosexuality.
Jason Evert is an evangelist who promotes conservative Catholic teachings around sex and marriage. In his book Pure Manhood, he argues that “the homosexual act” is disordered and goes against God’s natural purpose for sex, which is for “babies and bonding”.
The Chastity Project, an organisation Evert founded with his wife Crystalina, also says that many people who experience homosexual attractions have suffered sexual abuse.
“A guy who has these attractions may not want them, or even know where they’re coming from. Perhaps they stem from an unhealthy relationship with his father, an inability to relate to other guys, or even sexual abuse,” Evert’s ‘educational’ material states. “Whatever the case may be, purity will help him understand the origin of his feelings.”
On January 15 and 16, Evert was due to speak to Irish school and university students in seminars about purity and relationships as part of his ‘It Starts With The Heart’ tour.
But when the tour dates were released he faced widespread backlash from students and parents who were appalled by his “homophobic” teachings.
One mother described Evert’s remarks on homosexuality as “horrifying” and “absolutely awful”, telling Journal.ie that many parents were “up in arms” about the visit.
The University of Dublin’s LGBT+ Society said that they were “saddened and disheartened” to learn that the “homophobic” preacher was being given a platform.
“Mr Evert’s preaching has direct negative repercussions on all that our university stands for. His ideology and printed work continuously spread hate by insisting that ‘homosexuality is a disorder’,” a statement read.
— UCD LGBTQ+ (@UCDLGBTQplus) January 11, 2020
It warned that his lectures were “putting the safety of UCD’s LGBTQ+ community at risk” as they could have “lasting and damaging effects on the mental wellbeing” of students.
Shortly after, Evert’s talks at the University of Dublin, Blackrock College, Rosemont College and the Tower Hotel were all cancelled. The University of Dublin also cancelled his booking as the keynote speaker for the Incite 2020 student retreat.
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One of the few locations that did not cancel the visit, the Our Lady of Peace Church in Dublin, announced on its website that Evert had pulled out of the whole trip “due to illness”.
“It is with regret we announce that, due to illness, Jason Evert is unable to travel to Ireland,” the statement claimed.
“As a consequence all appearances, including ours, are now cancelled. We were all looking forward to hearing him speak. Perhaps we’ll get a chance in the future.”
The University of Dublin’s LGBT+ Society expressed their gratitude. “We’d like to thank everyone for their support and solidarity in this matter,” they tweeted after Evert was cancelled.
“Thank you to everyone in UCD who spread awareness and help make this happen. Hate is not welcome on our campus.”