Gospel evangelist Franklin Graham has said he may go to court over several British venues that cancelled his events because of his stance on homosexuality.
The son of Billy Graham had contracts with several venues to hold gospel rallies as part of a UK tour, but numerous sites dropped out because they came under pressure from activists.
According to some media reports, Franklin Graham has said gay people are led by the enemy and that homosexuality leads to the ‘flames of hell’.
Others have said his opposition to same-sex marriage alone is enough for him to be banned as a ‘hate’ figure.
In an interview with Premier Christian Radio, Franklin Graham says not all media reports are accurate, but he wants to say sorry to those who have felt hurt.
Graham said, ‘I would certainly apologise if there was someone who’s afraid or hurt because of something that they think I have said.
‘I’m here to say that God loves you. God is willing to forgive sin. If we will repent and believe in the name of his son, Jesus Christ, we will be forgiven.’
He confirmed he is considering bringing legal action against the venues. He said, ‘This is a religious freedom issue and it’s also a free speech issue.
‘It doesn’t just affect me. There are churches that meet in public arenas for Sunday services; schools and so forth.’
He added, ‘We did have a contract signed with these venues and they have breached that contract. I haven’t broken any laws and I’m not guilty of anything.’
Mike Judge, editor
Whatever you make of Franklin Graham’s style of evangelism, or indeed the wisdom of comments he may (or may not) have made in the past, there’s no doubt he has been shut down for taking a biblical stand on sexual ethics. As he rightly says, this isn’t just about him. This is about any church or Christian group that holds events in a public venue. These are important issues for us all.