Evangelical leaders in the US have proclaimed that Hurricane Harvey was a result of sexual practices within the LGBT+ community.
Radio presenter Rick Wiles also claimed that homosexuality was a 'more credible' cause of the recent storm that battered Houston, Texas than climate change.
Houston, Texas after Hurricane Harvey
Houses damaged by Hurricane Harvey. Credit: PA
Speaking on his own radio show, Minister Kevin Swanson said: "Jesus sends the message home, unless Americans repent, unless Houston repents, unless New Orleans repents, they will all likewise perish.
"That is the message that the Lord Jesus Christ is sending home right now to America."
Similarly, Wiles told Newsweek: "Here's a city that has boasted of its LGBT devotion, its affinity for the sexual perversion movement in America. They're underwater."
Right-wing commentator Ann Coulter later tweeted: "I don't believe Hurricane Harvey is God's punishment for Houston electing a lesbian mayor.
"But that is more credible than 'climate change'."
Dissenting voices have also made themselves heard. Mike Brown, who sits on US President Donald Trump's evangelical advisory board, is trying to prevent blame from being attached to specific groups. He asked: "Why would God single out Houston for judgement?"
Hurricane Harvey dumped 51.88 inches of rain in some area and has claimed at least 60 lives.
This is not the first time US officials have chosen to apportion blame for natural disasters to the LGBT+ community. In 2015, Tony Perkins, head of the anti-gay Family Research Council in Washington DC, told interviewers that Hurricane Joaquin was 'a sign of God's wrath', signifying punishment for the legalisation of same-sex marriage.
"It is a homosexual problem," he added, saying that the homosexual community will 'destroy our nation'.
A year later, on his radio show, Perkins told how a flood of 'near biblical proportions' had forced his family out of their home.
"We had to escape from our home Saturday by canoe," he said. "We had about 10 feet of water at the end of our driveway. Our house flooded, a few of our cars flooded."
The LGBT+ community found a vocal supporter in the UK this week, however, as Good Morning Britain presenter Piers Morgan became embroiled in a hot-tempered dispute with an advocate of 'gay conversion therapy'.
Credit: ITV / Good Morning Britain
Dr Michael Davidson was labelled 'ridiculous' and a 'bigot' by Morgan during his appearace on the programme.
Also interviewed was Josh Parry, a journalist from the Liverpool Echo, who recently carried out an investigation into the practice. The undercover reporter visited a church in Liverpool which promised to be able to 'pray' away his homosexual urges.
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