Franklin Graham banned by 2nd UK city over ‘repulsive’ LGBT+ views, official says
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (Joe Marusak/The Charlotte Observer) - Evangelist Franklin Graham was banned Wednesday from coming to a second arena in England on his upcoming summer tour of the United Kingdom. Julie Dore, the council leader in Sheffield, cited Graham’s “repulsive” and “discriminatory” views about the LGBT community for the June cancellation at Sheffield Arena, The Guardian newspaper reported. In a Jan. 15 letter, members of Sheffield’s LGBT+ community urged the arena’s operator, Sheffield City Trust, to nix Graham’s June 6 appearance. “Franklin Graham has repeatedly publicly promoted his homophobic beliefs,” according to a copy of the letter posted on Twitter. “...We strongly urge you to reconsider your decision to allow this event to go forward.”
David Grey, chairman of the trust, told the BBC the trust supports the “right to free speech and freedom of expression whilst promoting equality and freedom from hatred and abuse.” Graham already has been banned from appearing in a Liverpool, England, arena on the eight-city UK tour because of his opposition to gay rights, The Charlotte Observer previously reported. In response, Graham penned “a letter to the LGBTQ community in the UK” and posted it to Facebook Monday. He said he did not intend “to bring hateful speech to your community. This is just not true.” Graham maintains in the letter his stance that “God defines homosexuality as sin.” “But God goes even further than that, to say that we are all sinners — myself included,” he wrote.