Bias Watch

Anti-LGBTQ organization offers ’emotional & spiritual support’ for LGBTQ bar shooting victims

Franklin Graham speaks on the second night of the Billy Graham Crusade at Flushing Meadows Corona Park on June 25, 2005 in Flushing, New York.
Franklin Graham speaks on the second night of the Billy Graham Crusade at Flushing Meadows Corona Park on June 25, 2005 in Flushing, New York.Photo: Shutterstock

Franklin Graham, an evangelical Christian pastor who leads an anti-LGBTQ organization named after his famous pastor father, has said that his “thoughts and prayers are with the families of the five people killed and the many others who were injured” in a Saturday night shooting at a gay bar in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

In a public Facebook post, he wrote, “Billy Graham Rapid Response Team chaplains arrived tonight in Colorado Springs to begin offering emotional and spiritual support to this hurting community.”

Although it’s unclear why he thinks any LGBTQ person or their families would want “support” from someone who continually attacks their community as “evil.”

At various points in his career, Graham has denied that he’s anti-gay. Instead, he says he loves homosexuals but is just telling them the “truth” about how gayness and “transgenderism” are “filth.”

The Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, which is named after his father, has promoted anti-LGBTQ ads on social media sites like Facebook and materially supports proposed laws further criminalizing LGBTQ people around the world. Graham served as the head of the nonprofit Samaritan’s Purse where he drew a six-figure salary and banned LGBTQ people as volunteers.

Graham has called for “regime change” in the U.S. because trans rights are “evil” and “wicked.” He has called LGBTQ rights a “godless, secular agenda” and said that LGBTQ people are “extremely dangerous if they are permitted to proceed unchecked.”

He has referred to gay Christians as “the enemy,” said that sexually transmitted diseases are a punishment for ignoring God’s guidelines, that trans people who need to pee are a danger to women and children, and that Jesus would kill gay people rather than marry them.

He’s complained that Pope Francis is trying to “normalize homosexuality.” He has called for a boycott of Target for instituting gender-neutral language in its stores, called for a boycott of Girls Scout cookies due to the organization’s support of LGBTQ rights, and called for boycotts of businesses that feature same-sex couples in their advertisements.

He has called for foreign nations to deny people with official gender-neutral markers on their passports. He cited a Biblical verse calling for death for homosexuality when talking about out Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg. He has praised Russian President Vladimir Putin’s anti-gay propaganda law and has said that gays and lesbians are “recruiting” people by adopting children.

If Graham wanted to provide true emotional and spiritual support, he would apologize for his consistently anti-LGBTQ rhetoric and encourage his fellow Christians to start treating queer people like humans rather than Satanic, child-raping monsters who are worthy of slaughter.

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