Gay activists have succeeded in muzzling a Christian event in the United Kingdom for the “incompatible statements” it would make, and now Christian evangelist Franklin Graham, who was slated to appear at the event, has published an open letter to the LGBTQ community in the UK.
FOX Wilmington (N.C.) reported that the son of the late Billy Graham was declared a “homophobic hate preacher” by the Liverpool Labour LGBT Network, who wrote in a letter that they fear “Graham’s appearance may incite hateful mobilization and risk the security of our LGBTQ+ community.”
ACC Liverpool, where Graham was supposed to speak in June as part of a UK tour, made the announcement over the weekend, saying, “We can longer reconcile the balance between freedom of speech and the divisive impact this event is having in our city.”
Which is to say: Speech is no longer free in Britain.
Graham, who leads Samaritan’s Purse and the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, responded on Facebook that what the group wrote about him was untrue.
“I’m not coming out of hate, I’m coming out of love,” Graham wrote. “I’m not coming to the UK to speak against anybody, I’m coming to speak for everybody. The Gospel is inclusive.”
The well-known Christian figure said: “God defines homosexuality as a sin” but added, “if we’re willing to accept Him by faith and turn away from our sins, He will forgive us and give us new life – eternal life – in Him.”
Despite the petition and cancellation, Graham invited “everyone in the LGBTQ community to come and hear for yourselves the Gospel messages that I will be bringing from God’s Word, the Bible.”
Graham’s tour schedule includes venues in Glasgow, Newcastle, Sheffield, Milton Keynes, Cardiff, Birmingham, and London. LGBTQ leaders have called for the cancellation of the Sheffield visit.