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Franklin Graham Pushes His Anti-LGBTQ Hate On New York City
The opportunistic evangelical pastor now claims he's the victim, harassed for his bigotry.
Imagine if a tent hospital were created in Central Park by a group that forced its workers and volunteers to sign a statement adhering to a belief condemning interracial marriage.
It would rightly be called racist, and the claims by the leader of the group — that it’s simply a religious tenet and that workers would still medically treat people of color and wouldn’t discriminate against them — would ring hollow.
But that’s exactly what bigot Franklin Graham and his Samaritan’s Purse group have done regarding queer people and same-sex marriage. He’s required that those who work in his group’s field hospital in Central Park, created in conjunction with a local hospital system in response to the coronavirus pandemic, sign a statement in which they vow they oppose marriage equality.
And now Graham is whining that he’s being harassed and attacked for his religious beliefs, even though New York City has very clear laws banning discrimination against LGBTQ people. His critics, he says, are “tone deaf,” as all he’s trying to do is help people in need.
Make no mistake, however: Making workers and volunteers sign a statement condemning equality is making them sign on to bigotry and hate, and it further promotes that hate. There’s absolutely nothing tone deaf about that.
Activists raised their voices. And several members of Congress wrote a letter to Mount Sinai Medical System, which is coordinating the group’s field hospital work. Graham responded by saying he was having those working in the hospital sign a second pledge against discrimination. But Graham’s group should not have been brought into the city, and city and state officials have never given a clear answer as to why they are there.
Yes, New York has been in a dire situation, which looked even worse two weeks ago regarding hospital beds. There are, however, plenty of other group that help in a time of need and don’t make workers sign a hate pledge. There’s never a good excuse to allow opportunistic bigots an opening for pushing their hate.
Graham went on Fox News last night and claimed that his group believes “marriage is between a man and woman” but “I’m not homophobic.” Again, that’s like claiming, “I believe marriage is between two people of the same race, but I’m not racist.” That was in fact something stated by many racists in decades past, including some bigoted Christian religious leaders, and it is still happening today.
As noted by Alvin McEwen at Holy Bullies and Headless Monsters, which astutely covers and tracks anti-LGBTQ Christian bigotry, Graham’s claim that he’s not homophobic is preposterous.
Graham has called LGBTQ people “immoral” and urged that they be kept away from churches and children. He’s warned that gays and lesbians “recruit” and “exploit” children and said “I agree with [Vladimir] Putin” on his horrendous crackdown on LGBTQ rights — which has resulted in ignoring violence by hate groups and police, and banning displays of “gay propaganda,” such as a rainbow flag. Russian LGBTQ activists have been continuously murdered by hate groups, while the police and the government look the other way.
That’s just the tip of the iceberg regarding Graham’s hate. Graham doesn’t simply disagree with marriage equality, which is a sinister denial of equal rights in itself; he believes LGBTQ people should be ostracized to the point where they are stripped of their rights and open to violent attacks and persecution.
Graham will say that’s a distortion of his views, but anyone who praises Putin’s actions, as Graham does in the above video, is both promoting criminalizing homosexuality and allowing violent actions against LGBTQ people. There’s no two ways about it.
The idea that he’s now the victim is ludicrous. Graham is an opportunist who saw a pandemic as a way to push his hate agenda under the guise of being a good Samaritan.
But anyone who’d use people’s suffering to to further bigotry is a charlatan. And it’s no wonder Graham is a great supporter of that charlatan-in-chief — and fellow Putin-lover — Donald Trump.