CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Franklin Graham, son of iconic American evangelist Billy Graham, spoke with The Charlotte Observer this week, addressing for the first time a written editorial in which the younger Graham praised Russian President Vladimir Putin for that nation’s new anti-LGBT legislation. In doing so, Graham said the “gay and lesbian agenda” is out to “recruit” children through gay marriage and adoption.
In March, Graham had said Putin was taking the right stand to protect children from LGBT people. Russia’s new “anti-propaganda” laws have resulted in some arrests and inspired mob violence against LGBT people. [See our feature story from last year exploring some of the violence, including in Charlotte’s own Russian sister city of Voronezh.]
“It’s obvious that President Obama and his administration are pushing the gay-lesbian agenda in America today and have sold themselves completely to that which is contrary to God’s teaching,” Graham wrote in the recent issue of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association’s Decision magazine. “Isn’t it sad, though, that America’s own morality has fallen so far that on this issue—protecting children from any homosexual agenda or propaganda—Russia’s standard is higher than our own? In my opinion, Putin is right on these issues.”
In Graham’s interview with Tim Funk, a portion of which you can watch below, Graham said gay and lesbian couples have an “agenda” and are out to “recruit” children. And, like Russia, Congress and the American government, he said, should do more to protect children.
“Gays and lesbians cannot have children, biologically it’s impossible,” Graham said. “They can recruit. You can adopt a child into a marriage, but you can also recruit children into your cause. I believe in protecting children from exploitation — all exploitation.”
In defending his remarks about Putin, Graham said, “I think I agreed with Putin. I think protecting his nation’s children I think was probably a pretty smart thing to do. I was very clear. I supported Putin in his decision to protect his nation’s children, and I think our Congress needs to do more in protecting our nation’s children.”
On the “gay and lesbian agenda,” he remarked, “Congress, our president and others are going forward with an agenda — a gay and lesbian agenda — and many in the Congress are following them. Just look at where we are today. At every turn, the gay and lesbian agenda is being pushed by this administration.”
Graham also struck back at critics, calling LGBT people and others intolerant when they “demonize” Graham’s remarks and saying he’s not a homophobe or intolerant.
“I’m attacked all the time because of my religious beliefs, what I believe and what I say,” Graham said. “There are people who are very quick to demonize you if you disagree with them — the left, the gay lesbian movement. If I disagree with a gay person, then I’m a homophobic [sic], I’m intolerant. It’s not that I’m a homophobe. I’m not afraid of them. I’m not intolerant. I just have a different opinion, a different view. Same thing with anybody who disagrees with them. They demonize you.”