search
Sections List
American Journal News

Meet the homophobic minister taking Jerry Falwell's place at Liberty University

Jerry Prevo has spent decades fighting LGBTQ equality.

By Casey Quinlan - August 12, 2020
Share
Jerry Prevo

The conservative Christian Liberty University announced on Monday that it has appointed Jerry Prevo to serve as the school’s acting president. Prevo, the chairman of the university’s board of trustees, replaces Jerry Falwell Jr., who was placed on an “indefinite leave of absence” last week.

Falwell is the son and namesake of the university’s co-founder, and had served as its president since 2007, until he posted a photo online of himself and a woman he described as his wife’s assistant on a yacht, both with their pants unzipped and Falwell with a glass of dark liquid in his hand.

Falwell is an enthusiastic supporter of Donald Trump and of his administration’s attacks on LGBTQ rights since the beginning of his term. He has made homophobic and transphobic comments over the years and has said that the university “believes that marriage between one man and one woman.”

Prevo is likely to continue Falwell’s anti-LGBTQ agenda at the private university, which has an undergraduate enrollment of more than 45,000 students. Until last year the senior pastor at Anchorage Baptist Temple in Alaska, he has fought against LGBTQ rights for more than 40 years.

Fighting against LGBTQ equality in Alaska

Prevo began fighting against LGBTQ rights after the Anchorage Assembly in 1975 voted to protect queer people from discrimination. Prevo used his influence through his large congregation to overturn the protective ordinance, helping him rise through the ranks of Alaska’s religious right.

In a 2016 interview with writer Charles Wohlforth, Prevo described how he he worked with then Anchorage Mayor George Sullivan to oppose these protections: “I said, ‘Mayor, I just read the Sunday headline. What do you think of this ordinance? And he said, ‘I’d like to veto this blankety-blank thing. Excuse me, reverend.'”

He continued to fight against such protections. In 2009, Anchorage Mayor Dan Sullivan, the son of the earlier Mayor Sullivan, vetoed a ban on discrimination based on sexual orientation, and in 2012, voters rejected a ballot measure to include protections for queer and trans people in the city’s nondiscrimination policy.

Both times, Prevo was one of the figures who led the fight against extending protections to LGBTQ Alaskans.

Sexual orientation and gender identity are now included in Anchorage’s policy against discrimination in property sales, financing, employment, public accommodations, educational institutions, and practices of the municipality. The Anchorage Assembly approved the change in policy in 2015. Prevo and another conservative, Jim Minnery, president of Alaska Family Action, vowed to repeal it.

Minnery led efforts in 2018 to pass Proposition 1, which would have restricted transgender people’s access to bathrooms and locker rooms. The proposition was defeated.

The Movement Advancement Project, which provides research and analysis on issues of LGBTQ equality, gives the entire state of Alaska a low rating on its legal protections for LGBTQ people.

Prevo is proud of his record of opposition to LGBTQ rights, saying he believes it is his job to tell people what the Bible says is wrong. He says he saw LGBTQ rights as a threat to religious liberties early on: “I sensed that this special protection could take away religious liberties. And in the ’70s and the ’80s even in the ’90s, people said, ‘I don’t know. That will never happen,’ but just now, photographers because they choose not to do a same-sex wedding are losing their business.”

Prevo evicts Boy Scouts from church

In 2013, the Anchorage Baptist Temple said it would not continue to sponsor local scout troops after the Boy Scouts of America voted to scrap a policy that banned openly gay scouts.

Prevo said in response, “No homosexual will enter the Kingdom of God.”

Prevo told the Anchorage Daily News in 2019 that he blames public school education for changing attitudes toward LGBTQ people: “Young people these days, I don’t think they know what God says about it. Therefore, they are endorsing it.”

Relationship with Franklin Graham’s anti-LGBTQ organization

Prevo also has a strong relationship with Samaritan’s Purse, an evangelical Christian organization headed by Franklin Graham.

The organization’s website asks volunteers to read and agree with an anti-LGBTQ statement of faith that says human sexuality can only be expressed within marriage and that “God instituted monogamous marriage between male and female as the foundation of the family and the basic structure of human society.”

Graham has called marriage equality “detestable before almighty God” and praised Trump on “Fox & Friends” in 2018 for defending Christianity.

Prevo wrote on his Facebook page in 2018, “As many of you know, I’m very involved with Samaritan’s Purse” and told the Anchorage Daily News last year that he planned to continue to work with the organization after his retirement.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.


Read More
Parents sue Florida Board of Education over book ban policy

Parents sue Florida Board of Education over book ban policy

By Mitch Perry, Florida Phoenix - June 06, 2024
NH federal court strikes down ‘banned concepts’ teaching law

NH federal court strikes down ‘banned concepts’ teaching law

By Ethan DeWitt, New Hampshire Bulletin - May 28, 2024
Ohio Dems lay out education bills to increase funding, target private vouchers and student hunger

Ohio Dems lay out education bills to increase funding, target private vouchers and student hunger

By Susan Tebben, Ohio Capital Journal - May 28, 2024
Alaska House committee advances, expands proposal to bar trans girls from girls sports

Alaska House committee advances, expands proposal to bar trans girls from girls sports

By Claire Stremple, Alaska Beacon - April 16, 2024
Senate clears gallery, passes bill to arm Tennessee teachers

Senate clears gallery, passes bill to arm Tennessee teachers

By Sam Stockard, Tennessee Lookout - April 10, 2024
Not if, but when: Parents of slain Parkland students urge Utah lawmakers to pass school safety bill

Not if, but when: Parents of slain Parkland students urge Utah lawmakers to pass school safety bill

By Kyle Dunphey, Utah News Dispatch - February 21, 2024
AJ News
Latest
Ted Cruz leverages Trump conviction on podcast for own personal gain

Ted Cruz leverages Trump conviction on podcast for own personal gain

By Jesse Valentine - June 11, 2024
Arizona Republican Kari Lake proposes massive cuts to Medicaid and Medicare

Arizona Republican Kari Lake proposes massive cuts to Medicaid and Medicare

By Jesse Valentine - June 10, 2024
Virginia U.S. Senate candidate Hung Cao says workplace diversity is ‘Marxism’

Virginia U.S. Senate candidate Hung Cao says workplace diversity is ‘Marxism’

By Jesse Valentine - June 06, 2024
Republican Bernie Moreno’s rags-to-riches story exposed as a lie

Republican Bernie Moreno’s rags-to-riches story exposed as a lie

By Jesse Valentine - May 24, 2024
What happens to clinics after a state bans abortion? They fight to survive.

What happens to clinics after a state bans abortion? They fight to survive.

By Chabeli Carrazana and Shefali Luthra - May 22, 2024
Former Sen. Kelly Ayotte took job at Caterpillar after tax fraud probe

Former Sen. Kelly Ayotte took job at Caterpillar after tax fraud probe

By Jesse Valentine - May 21, 2024
Alabama OB-GYN residencies dropped over 20% after Dobbs, state abortion ban, says analysis

Alabama OB-GYN residencies dropped over 20% after Dobbs, state abortion ban, says analysis

By Alander Rocha, Alabama Reflector - May 21, 2024
House GOP celebrates National Police Week while pushing to defund local law enforcement

House GOP celebrates National Police Week while pushing to defund local law enforcement

By Jesse Valentine - May 16, 2024
Evolution denier Mark Robinson could reshape North Carolina’s education system

Evolution denier Mark Robinson could reshape North Carolina’s education system

By Jesse Valentine - May 16, 2024
Republican Jay Ashcroft backs anti-abortion clinics that push lies and disinformation

Republican Jay Ashcroft backs anti-abortion clinics that push lies and disinformation

By Jesse Valentine - May 14, 2024
Republican Sam Brown’s assault on teacher unions could backfire

Republican Sam Brown’s assault on teacher unions could backfire

By Jesse Valentine - May 09, 2024
Florida abortion ban puts GOP Rep. Anna Paulina Luna’s anti-choice views in spotlight

Florida abortion ban puts GOP Rep. Anna Paulina Luna’s anti-choice views in spotlight

By Jesse Valentine - May 07, 2024
Trump leaves door open to banning medication abortion nationwide

Trump leaves door open to banning medication abortion nationwide

By Jennifer Shutt, States Newsroom - April 30, 2024
Republican Caroleene Dobson wants Alabama abortion ban to go nationwide

Republican Caroleene Dobson wants Alabama abortion ban to go nationwide

By Jesse Valentine - April 30, 2024
Ohio Gov. DeWine said he didn’t know of millions in FirstEnergy support. Is it plausible?

Ohio Gov. DeWine said he didn’t know of millions in FirstEnergy support. Is it plausible?

By Marty Schladen, Ohio Capital Journal - April 29, 2024
GOP Rep. Zach Nunn suggests laws against hate crime aren’t needed

GOP Rep. Zach Nunn suggests laws against hate crime aren’t needed

By Jesse Valentine - April 15, 2024
GOP Senate candidate Hung Cao blames racial equity for Baltimore bridge tragedy

GOP Senate candidate Hung Cao blames racial equity for Baltimore bridge tragedy

By Jesse Valentine - March 29, 2024
GOP Rep. Jennifer Kiggans donates thousands to far-right extremists

GOP Rep. Jennifer Kiggans donates thousands to far-right extremists

By Jesse Valentine - March 08, 2024
Ohio senate candidate Bernie Moreno: “Absolute pro-life no exceptions.”

Ohio senate candidate Bernie Moreno: “Absolute pro-life no exceptions.”

By Jesse Valentine - March 07, 2024
Anti-China Republicans pocket thousands from Chinese owned conglomerate

Anti-China Republicans pocket thousands from Chinese owned conglomerate

By Jesse Valentine - March 04, 2024
Republican Eric Hovde makes inconsistent statements about family history

Republican Eric Hovde makes inconsistent statements about family history

By Jesse Valentine - February 26, 2024
Republican David McCormick invests millions in website that platforms Holocaust denial

Republican David McCormick invests millions in website that platforms Holocaust denial

By Jesse Valentine - February 09, 2024
Lawmakers will again take up bills expanding, tightening gun laws

Lawmakers will again take up bills expanding, tightening gun laws

By Annmarie Timmins, New Hampshire Bulletin - January 31, 2024
UAW delivers rousing presidential endorsement for Biden over ‘scab’ Trump

UAW delivers rousing presidential endorsement for Biden over ‘scab’ Trump

By Ashley Murray, States Newsroom - January 24, 2024
Republicans Sam Brown and Jeff Gunter sling mud in Nevada senate primary

Republicans Sam Brown and Jeff Gunter sling mud in Nevada senate primary

By Jesse Valentine - January 17, 2024
A Young Texas Woman Almost Died Due To The Texas Abortion Bans – Now She’s Battling To Save Other Women

A Young Texas Woman Almost Died Due To The Texas Abortion Bans – Now She’s Battling To Save Other Women

By Bonnie Fuller - January 10, 2024
Health care legislation preview: Maryland advocates want to focus on access, patients in 2024 session

Health care legislation preview: Maryland advocates want to focus on access, patients in 2024 session

By Danielle J. Brown, Maryland Matters - January 08, 2024
How GOP senate hopefuls try to excuse the  January 6 insurrection

How GOP senate hopefuls try to excuse the  January 6 insurrection

By Jesse Valentine - January 05, 2024
NH lawmakers will be taking up major voting bills this year. Here are some to watch for.

NH lawmakers will be taking up major voting bills this year. Here are some to watch for.

By Ethan DeWitt, New Hampshire Bulletin - January 04, 2024
Republican US Senate candidates want to make Trump’s tax cuts permanent 

Republican US Senate candidates want to make Trump’s tax cuts permanent 

By Jesse Valentine - December 22, 2023
Rand Paul went all in on the Kentucky governor’s race. It didn’t work.

Rand Paul went all in on the Kentucky governor’s race. It didn’t work.

By - December 15, 2023
Texas governor and attorney general do little to curb state’s chemical plant crisis

Texas governor and attorney general do little to curb state’s chemical plant crisis

By Jesse Valentine - December 08, 2023
Likely GOP Senate candidate Eric Hovde proposed tax hike for poorer workers and retirees

Likely GOP Senate candidate Eric Hovde proposed tax hike for poorer workers and retirees

By Jesse Valentine - December 07, 2023
Whitmer signs specific criminal penalties for assaulting health care workers into law

Whitmer signs specific criminal penalties for assaulting health care workers into law

By Anna Liz Nichols, Michigan Advance - December 06, 2023
105 Republicans voted to expel Santos for things Trump has also done

105 Republicans voted to expel Santos for things Trump has also done

By Jesse Valentine - December 05, 2023
For Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, another Trump term is another chance to kill Obamacare

For Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, another Trump term is another chance to kill Obamacare

By Jesse Valentine - December 04, 2023
Florida Sen. Rick Scott backs Donald Trump in revived push to repeal Obamacare

Florida Sen. Rick Scott backs Donald Trump in revived push to repeal Obamacare

By Jesse Valentine - November 30, 2023
Tate Reeves took donations from power company that hiked customer rates

Tate Reeves took donations from power company that hiked customer rates

By Jesse Valentine - November 06, 2023
Daniel Cameron ran on depoliticizing the Kentucky AG’s office. He made it more political.

Daniel Cameron ran on depoliticizing the Kentucky AG’s office. He made it more political.

By Jesse Valentine - November 03, 2023
Republican operatives sound every alarm on current trajectory of 2023 governor’s race

Republican operatives sound every alarm on current trajectory of 2023 governor’s race

By Adam Ganucheau, Mississippi Today - October 24, 2023
Judge strikes down Florida gender-affirming care restrictions for minors and adults

Judge strikes down Florida gender-affirming care restrictions for minors and adults

By Orion Rummler, Louisiana Illuminator - June 12, 2024
‘We need something that works’: Activists call for more resources for gun violence prevention

‘We need something that works’: Activists call for more resources for gun violence prevention

By Lucy Valeski, Michigan Advance - June 07, 2024
‘Democracy begins with each of us,’ Biden says at site of D-Day invasion in Normandy

‘Democracy begins with each of us,’ Biden says at site of D-Day invasion in Normandy

By Jennifer Shutt, States Newsroom - June 07, 2024
Nessel, House LGBTQ+ Caucus warn that Trump and GOP endanger hard-fought rights 

Nessel, House LGBTQ+ Caucus warn that Trump and GOP endanger hard-fought rights 

By Jon King, Michigan Advance - June 06, 2024