After a Glasgow venue canceled an event hosted by Franklin Graham, the notoriously anti-LGBTQ preacher has started legal proceedings to sue for “religious discrimination.” The minister regularly bashes LGBTQ people on social media and from the pulpit.
Graham’s claim of discrimination comes after he has spent years defending anti-LGBTQ bakery owners’ rights to turn away LGBTQ couples. Graham has repeatedly praised the business owners for standing up for their private beliefs.
The Billy Graham Evangelistic Association (BGEA) is claiming the venue, the SSE Hydro, is being discriminatory against Christians by refusing to give the pastor a platform to spread anti-LGBTQ rhetoric. Graham’s May 30th event was canceled after the venue’s primary shareholder, the Glasgow City Council, voiced strong concerns about hosting Graham because it was likely hate speech and anti-LGBTQ rhetoric would be used at the event.
In a statement, Graham said, “This is ultimately about whether the Scottish Event Campus will discriminate against the religious beliefs of Christians. More than 330 churches in the Glasgow area alone support this evangelistic outreach and their voices are being silenced. This case has wide-reaching ramifications for religious freedom and democracy in the UK and Europe.”
According to Graham’s website, the case has been expedited, and the SSE Hydro is required to respond to the lawsuit and explain why they canceled Graham’s contract by February 27.
“We thank God for answered prayer!” Graham tweeted in 2018. “Today the Supreme Court has ruled in favor of Jack Phillips, the Colorado baker who refused to create a wedding cake for a same-sex marriage ceremony. This is a huge win for religious freedom!”
In 2017, he decried a lawsuit against a bakery that refused to serve a gay couple.
“Why can’t Christians have the freedom to say ‘No’ to what they want to say no to?” Graham asked. “The LGBT community continues to target Christians to try to get us to accept their lifestyle. It ain’t gonna happen.”
And in 2015, he wrote on Facebook, “I am outraged that today an Oregon judge ruled against Christian bakery owners Aaron and Melissa Klein of Sweet Cakes, who refused to bake a cake for a lesbian wedding. Aaron and Melissa were simply living up to their convictions—they did not want to participate in the wedding ceremony based on their belief in the biblical definition of marriage.”
“I pray that they will fight this all the way to the Supreme Court if necessary, and that we as freedom-loving Americans would stand behind them with our prayers and financial support.”