The conservative leader of the charity Samaritan’s Purse has responded to critics who accuse of him of discriminating against the LGBTQ community.
Speaking to the New York Times as crews dismantled a field hospital his charity set up in New York City’s Central Park for the COVID-19 pandemic, Graham backtracked on his previous harsh statements. “I would want the gay community to know that I’m not here condemning them at all,” he said. “Just because I don’t agree doesn’t mean I’m against them.”
Graham’s charity field hospital was vehemently opposed by a number of clergy within the Episcopal community as well as Corey Johnson, New York City Council speaker, who called Graham “notoriously bigoted” and that the hospital’s “continued presence here is an affront to our values of inclusion.”
Graham, whose father Billy Graham espoused the same conservative views, makes all of his employees and volunteers sign a “statement of faith” affirming their Christianity and their view that “marriage is exclusively the union of one genetic male and one genetic female,” according to the Times. Graham has previously compared same-sex marriage to polygamy and incest. He also opposed a bill banning conversion therapy in 2017, called homosexuality an “abomination.”