Rev. Franklin Graham recently appeared on Fox News to defend himself against renewed accusations of anti-LGBT sentiments after his medical nonprofit helping with coronavirus efforts in New York forced workers to sign a statement of faith that clearly demeans the LGBT community.
According to Media Matters, Graham’s nonprofit, Samaritan’s Purse, has erected a makeshift field hospital in New York City’s Central Park for treating overflow patients as the city’s hospital system contends with an influx of COVID019 patients.
“The group has been criticized for forcing its workers and volunteers to adhere to an anti-LGBTQ statement of faith which denies the existence of trans people, defines marriage as ‘exclusively the union of one genetic male and one genetic female,’ and states that the ‘unrighteous’ will be banished ‘to everlasting punishment in hell,’” Media Matters reported.
During his Tuesday night appearance on Laura Ingraham’s show, Graham insisted that he is not anti-LGBT and attempted to whitewash his past statements.
“We have a statement of faith, Laura. We believe that marriage is between a man and a woman. And that’s -- that goes back to the beginning of time to the first man and woman that God created,” Graham said. “And this is our standard, and so for people that we hire -- we are a Christian organization. We are a religious organization, so we want to hire people of like mind, and we have a statement of faith that we require our employees to sign. And in that is ‘a marriage is between a man and a woman,’ and this is very offensive to some people and the gay community.”
He went on to say that none of this makes him homophobic — he simply believes those in the LGBT community are sinners who need to change.
“And listen, I'm not homophobic, and I'm certainly not going around bashing people because they may be homosexual,” Graham told Ingraham. “I believe in that God loves all of us. He created us all, but we also are sinners, and our sins separate us from God. And I want people to know how they can have a relationship with God, and that's through faith in his son Jesus Christ. So, I don't bash homosexuals. I want homosexuals to know the truth, that God does love them.”
However, as Media Matters helpfully noted, Graham's past statements reveal an entirely different story.
The same year, Graham described gay people as “the enemy” and warned against allowing them into Christian churches and homes.
“We have allowed the Enemy to come into our churches,” he said. “I was talking to some Christians and they were talking about how they invited these gay children to come into their home and to come into the church and that they were wanting to influence them. And I thought to myself, they’re not going to influence those kids; those kids are going to influence those parent’s children.”
And Graham has also “defended Russia’s ‘gay propaganda’ law, which ‘effectively legalizes discrimination based on sexual orientation’ and led to an increase in homophobic rhetoric and violence in the country, according to Human Rights Watch.”
But of course, none of this constitutes “gay bashing” in Graham’s eyes and is all part of helping the LGBT community understand that Jesus loves them.