Notorious for his fervent homophobia, evangelical preacher Franklin Graham has threatened to sue a Scottish event venue, the SSE Hydro, after they cancelled an event he had planned there due to the strong likelihood that hate speech and anti-LGBTQ rhetoric would be used.
According to Pink News, this is the third arena that has cancelled an event with Graham in what is supposed to be an eight-day tour across the UK.
The tour has evoked outrage and protests, which have caused venues to reconsider hosting him.
Susan Aitken, leader of the Glasgow City Council, the majority shareholder in the SSE Hydro, said, “The reporting of the ways in which Mr. Graham expresses his views makes clear that this is not simply about offense or disagreement.”
“Neither is it a debate about free speech. How he expresses his views could, I believe, fundamentally breach the council’s statutory equalities duties.”
Now, Graham has threatened legal action against the venue, claiming he’s being discriminated against for being Christian.
“Though this venue may be cancelled we have not pulled out of Glasgow,” Graham told the Scotsman.
“We’re coming,” he continued. “We do have options legally. We’ll certainly pursue those options. We would rather not do that. We don’t like having to do that.”
Graham went on to attack those who have been protesting his events. “The other side talks about how tolerant they are and how inclusive they are, but they are the least tolerant, the least inclusive people in the U.K.”
Graham’s virulent anti-LGBTQ beliefs include referring to gay Christians as “the enemy,” boycotting Girls Scout cookies due to the organization’s support of LGBTQ rights, and calling for boycotts of businesses that feature same-sex couples in their advertisements.
The list goes on.
And yet, Graham told The Scotsman, “I don’t preach hate speech. We’re not coming to speak against anybody, everybody is invited to our meetings – we’re inclusive.”