Franklin Graham, one of the country’s most influential evangelical Christians, has called on Democratic candidate Pete Buttigieg to “repent” for being gay. Graham, the president and CEO of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, called homosexuality “something to be repentant of, not something to be flaunted, praised or politicized,” in a tweet Wednesday. At a recent CNN town hall, Buttigieg said to cheers, “God does not have a political party.” Graham responded to the candidate’s statement: “... [Pete Buttigieg] is right—God doesn’t have a political party. But God does have commandments, laws & standards... Mayor Buttigieg says he’s a gay Christian... The Bible says marriage is between a man & a woman—not two men, not two women,” Graham tweeted.
Buttigieg addressed such religious-based criticism during the town hall. “It can be challenging to be a person of faith who’s also part of the LGBTQ community and yet, to me, the core of faith is regard for one another,” Buttigieg said. “... Part of God’s love is experienced, according to my faith tradition, is in the way that we support one another and, in particular, support the least among us.”