Tags: Religion | franklingraham | lgbtq | protest | evangelist

Rev. Franklin Graham Speech Blocked Amid LGBTQ Protest

Rev. Franklin Graham Speech Blocked Amid LGBTQ Protest
The Rev. Franklin Graham speaks during Franklin Graham's "Decision America" California tour at the Stanislaus County Fairgrounds on May 29, 2018. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

By    |   Wednesday, 29 January 2020 05:37 PM

After protests from LGBTQ groups, evangelist Franklin Graham has been blocked from delivering a June speech in Liverpool, England.

"The Graham Tour UK event, which was originally planned to take place at ACC Liverpool in June 2020, will no longer be going ahead," ACC Liverpool wrote in a statement. "Over the past few days we have been made aware of a number of statements which we consider to be incompatible with our values.

"In light of this, we can no longer reconcile the balance between freedom of speech and the divisive impact this event is having in our city. We have informed the organizers of the event that the booking will no longer be fulfilled.

"We are proud to represent all communities and will continue to move forward with our aim as a business to drive profile, major events and economic impact for Liverpool City Region."

The news was welcomed by the Campaign for Equal Marriage in the Church of England's Rev. Andrew Foreshew-Cain, according to HuffPost.

"Mr. Graham, like everyone else, is entitled to his opinions and is free to express them, and there are consequences to doing so when they are so repugnant and divisive," Foreshew-Cain wrote in an email, per HuffPost. "One of those consequences has been this decision.

"It would be good if the other venues in his tour also chose to exercise their freedom not to be vehicles for the spreading of his message of hate toward the LGBTI communities in our cities here in the U.K."

Graham's tour website now lists the location of his June 12 as "TBA," amid his multi-city tour, which is set to start on May 30.

"I'm not coming to the UK to speak against anybody; I'm coming to speak for everybody," Graham wrote in a Facebook post Monday. "I'm not coming out of hate; I'm coming out of love."

The full statement:

"A letter to the LGBTQ community in the UK —

"It is said by some that I am coming to the UK to bring hateful speech to your community. This is just not true. I am coming to share the Gospel, which is the Good News that God loves the people of the UK, and that Jesus Christ came to this earth to save us from our sins.

"The rub, I think, comes in whether God defines homosexuality as sin. The answer is yes. But God goes even further than that, to say that we are all sinners — myself included. The Bible says that every human being is guilty of sin and in need of forgiveness and cleansing. The penalty of sin is spiritual death — separation from God for eternity.

"That's why Jesus Christ came. He became sin for us. He didn't come to condemn the world, He came to save the world by giving His life on the Cross as a sacrifice for our sins. And 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.

"My message to all people is that they can be forgiven and they can have a right relationship with God. That's Good News. That is the hope people on every continent around the world are searching for. In the UK as well as in the United States, we have religious freedom and freedom of speech. I'm not coming to the UK to speak against anybody, I'm coming to speak for everybody. The Gospel is inclusive. I'm not coming out of hate, I'm coming out of love.

"I invite 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. You are absolutely welcome."

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After protests from LGBTQ groups, evangelist Franklin Graham has been blocked from delivering a June speech in Liverpool, England.
franklingraham, lgbtq, protest, evangelist
Wednesday, 29 January 2020 05:37 PM
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