World, meet Andrea Minichiello Williams: the bafflingly misguided founder of UK group Christian Concern, who told conservative crowds in Jamaica that Tom Daley came out because his father died
Why? To persuade the Caribbean country not to repeal its rampantly homophobic laws on gay sex.
Speaking at a conference organised by the Coalition for a Healthy Society in Kingston to lobby against a possible repeal last week, Williams claimed Daley was “loved by all the girls and had girlfriends” until he tragically lost his father to cancer.
“And he’s just come out on YouTube that he’s in a relationship with a man, that man is 39, a leading gay activist in the States,” she continued, referencing rumours surrounding Daley’s reported romantic relationship with screenwriter Dustin Lance Black.
She was joined by the equally absurd Peter LaBarbera, founder of Americans for Truth About Homosexuality: a group which, incidentally, deals very little with truth at all.
Agreeing with LaBarbera that same-sex attraction is not something people are born with, Williams went on to tell the crowd that homosexuality, like Daley’s, can be “caused” by “the lack of the father”, and “sometimes a level of abuse”.
Tom Daley: ‘It was love at first sight’ with Dustin Lance Black
She urged Jamaica to turn down aid from countries in Europe and the US, too, in order to stand firm against any possible repeal of homosexuality laws. At the moment, same sex activity is illegal in Jamaica for both men and women. Those found guilty can face up to 10 years in prison.
“Might it be that Jamaica says to the United States of America, says to Europe, ‘Enough! You cannot come in and attack our families. We will not accept aid or promotion tied to an agenda that is against God and destroys our families… If you win here, you will have an impact in the Caribbean and an impact across the globe.”
Hammering home his pal Williams’ point while taking a sly jibe at the US and the UK at the same time, LaBarbera continued: “Homosexuals are made, they’re not born.
“The dirty little secret that the media and homosexual activists are desperate — desperate — to squelch is that people are coming out of homosexuality every day. This is the work of God, this is the work of Jesus.”
But it didn’t stop there. After banging on about “gay conversion therapy” for a bit, Williams then claimed there was a link between homosexuality and paedophilia – a subject LaBarbera is currently busy turning into a book.
“Once you strip away all this stuff, what you get is no age consent … Nobody ever enforces that law anymore,” she said. “We already have a strong man-boy movement that’s moving in Europe.”
So, residents of the United Kingdom – prepare for her imminent re-arrival. Williams heads back to the UK just next week to host a series of ‘Gay Conversion Conferences’ in London and Belfast. She’ll sit on a panel with Dr Michael Davidson, the founder of Core Issues Trust.
The conference will debate: “Homosexual orientation and practice – what did Jesus say? Straight, gay, bisexual – what about ex-gay and post-gay? ‘Don’t want to be gay anymore? Sorry we’re not allowed to help you!’ Is that ethical?”
The first event is taking place at Ballynahinch Baptist Church County Down, Northern Ireland on 4 January. However the location of the London conference on 9 January has so far only been listed as Westminster.
Tom Daley himself is yet to comment on her claims. But something tells us he’ll be far from impressed by her diagnosis.