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President and CEO, Billy Graham Evangelistic Association
President and CEO, Samaritan's Purse
- Updated: April 21, 2023
—Tweeted “Pray for President Putin today,” just days before Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
—Praised Russian President Vladimir Putin’s law barring dissemination of “propaganda of nontraditional sexual relations, ”a statute which effectively banned children from accessing media that presents LGBTQ identities and relationships in a positive or normalizing light.
—Met with Putin in 2015, and praised him for “protecting Russian young people against homosexual propaganda.” Falsely claimed “homosexuals cannot have children, they can take other people’s children.” He also met with anti-LGBTQ Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill and told local media that “millions of Americans would like [Putin] to come and run for president of the United States.”
—Graham supported and praised Putin for signing legislation on 2013 to ban the “promotion of nontraditional sexual relations to minors,” which, writes Human Rights Watch, is “a reference universally understood to mean a ban on providing children access to information about LGBT people’s lives… The law has been used to shut down websites that provide valuable information and services to teens across Russia and to bar LGBT support groups from working with youth. But the law’s effects have been much broader: individual mental health professionals have curtailed what they say and what support they give to students, and the law gives the strong imprimatur of the Russian state to the false and discriminatory view that LGBT people are a threat to tradition and the family.… Its passage coincided with an uptick in often-gruesome vigilante violence against LGBT people in Russia—frequently carried out in the name of protecting Russian values and Russia’s children.” Putin signed legislation in 2021 to constitutionally ban same-sex marraige in Russia.
—Of Russia’s draconian laws against “gay propaganda” Graham praised Putin: “Isn’t it sad, though, that America’s own morality has fallen so far that on this issue—protecting children from any homosexual agenda or propaganda—Russia’s standard is higher than our own? In my opinion, Putin is right on these issues. Obviously, he may be wrong about many things, but he has taken a stand to protect his nation’s children from the damaging effects of any gay and lesbian agenda. Our president and his attorney general have turned their backs on God and His standards, and many in the Congress are following the administration’s lead. This is shameful. The world used to look to America for moral leadership. But those days are long gone.”
—Said celebrating LGBTQ+ Pride is like celebrating “lying, adultery, or murder.” Graham’s comment came in a Facebook post marking the end of Pride Month. “This is an entire month set aside to celebrate a lifestyle that God defines as sin.”
—Claimed that public schools have no right to “teach our children something that is an affront to God” in his support for Alfonso Cirulli, the mayor of Barnegat Township, New Jersey, who was fighting a state law requiring schools to teach about LGBTQ history.
—Called out Taylor Swift “for using her platform to try to push the socialist left’s so-called Equality Act, which has nothing to do with equality, but is about pushing the LGBTQ agenda down the throats of the American people.”
—Said: “LGBT agenda wants to force everyone to accept & condone their lifestyle which God’s Word defines as sin.”
—Said: “LGBT activists are trying to hook their caboose to the ‘freedom train’ & drag an immoral agenda into our communities.”
—When HB2 was rolled back in North Carolina, tweeted: “Thanks to the gov, people of NC will be exposed to pedophiles & sexually perverted men in women’s public restrooms.”
—In Facebook post since deleted, claimed Satan is behind LGBTQ rights and advocacy: “This is a full-scale assault against Christianity and the followers of Christ. When prayer is banned from the public square, when our President fails to defend biblically defined marriage, and he openly and zealously advocates for gay rights; when legislators rush to overrule existing laws to promote gay marriage; when schools and courts consistently suppress religious freedoms; we know we are locked in a war against the Christian faith, not culture. The architect behind this offensive is none other than Satan himself. The Scripture says that the devil, our archenemy, is bent on as much destruction as possible.”
—Insists that gay and lesbian people cannot have families: “[Same-sex marriage] takes the family away and there is no way you can have a family with two females or two males, if you just think biologically how God made us our plumbing is completely different.”
—Said he wants to “warn people” about the “consequences” of being gay: “But to wink at sin and to tell somebody it`s okay, when I know the consequences of what will happen one day when they have to stand before God,” said Graham. “So I want to warn people, and I think the Pope is right when he says he is not the judge. He is not the judge. God is the judge.”
—Claimed he loves gay people “enough to care to warn them that if they want to continue living like this, it’s the flames of hell for you“
—Claimed supporting marriage equality means “shaking a fist” at God: “In changing his position from that of senator/candidate Obama, President Obama has, in my view, shaken his fist at the same God who created and defined marriage. It grieves me that our president would now affirm same-sex marriage, though I believe it grieves God even more.”
—Equates LGBTQ behavior with senseless violence, citing both as examples of “moral decline”: “Since the recent election, we’ve seen same-sex couples lining up at courthouses in several states to receive their marriage licenses, and hundreds of people gathering in public places to light up marijuana cigarettes in the states where it has just been decriminalized.This is only the tip of the iceberg. The moral decline we see on television programs—blatant immorality, senseless violence, media-friendly gay and lesbian behavior—is just a reflection of the moral corruption that has infected our entire nation. These are indeed dark days … but there is hope.”
—Claims NBA player Jason Collins’ coming out is “yet another example of our culture’s dramatic turning away from biblical values”: “All the way to the White House, NBA player Jason Collins was hailed as a hero in late April when he became the first active male professional sports athlete on a North American team to publicly declare his homosexuality. President Obama said he ‘couldn’t be prouder’ of Collins, who made the announcement via a Sports Illustrated cover story. First lady Michelle Obama appeared at a fundraising event with Collins and said he ‘has just made the difference in the lives of so many of our young people.’ It was yet another example of our culture’s dramatic turning away from biblical values and toward embracing homosexuality as a civil right.”
—Says same-sex marriage rights “rearrange God’s divine order.”
—On same-sex marriage, claims (at 4:20) that it would “be a great mistake if our nation went down this road.”
—Accuses gay people of “recruiting” children.
The GLAAD Accountability Project catalogs anti-LGBTQ rhetoric and discriminatory actions of politicians, commentators, organization heads, religious leaders, and legal figures, who have used their platforms, influence and power to spread misinformation and harm LGBTQ people.
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“People living with HIV should not be treated as violent sex offenders for the rest…