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Franklin Graham claims his coronavirus hospital ‘won’t discriminate’ despite making volunteers sign anti-gay pledge

Emma Powys Maurice April 2, 2020
Franklin Graham

The evangelical hate preacher Franklin Graham, son of Billy Graham. (Davis Turner/Getty)

Franklin Graham said he won’t discriminate against LGBT+ patients at his New York coronavirus field hospital despite making volunteers sign an anti-gay pledge.

The anti-LGBT+ evangelical preacher runs the charity Samaritan’s Purse, which has been commissioned to build a makeshift tent hospital in New York City’s Central Park.

Graham is calling for Christian medical professionals to volunteer, and yesterday PinkNews confirmed that he is making all applicants sign an anti-LGBT+ belief statement.

In response to the fierce criticism he is facing, Graham has insisted that he won’t discriminate against anybody in the hospital, despite his staff pledge.

“We don’t discriminate against anybody we help,” he told Religion News Service. “We provide our services to everyone regardless of race, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation. We don’t discriminate. Period.”

Franklin Graham makes staff declare marriage is only for cis straight couples.

Graham’s 11-point statement of faith declares: “We believe that marriage is exclusively the union of one genetic male and one genetic female.”

It adds that “human sexuality is to be expressed only within the context of marriage” between a man and a woman.

The statement also says that those who stray from the puritanical beliefs will face “damnation and eternal punishment” in hell.

Volunteers at Graham’s 68-bed hospital will treat overflow patients from Mount Sinai hospital, which is currently flooded with coronavirus cases.

The emergency field hospital in New York’s Central Park on April 1, 2020. (ANGELA WEISS/AFP/Getty)

A New York City Hall spokesperson told Gothamist that the field hospital site must adhere to Mount Sinai’s policy against discrimination – despite clear indications to the contrary.

Graham insisted: “We hire men and women who believe in Jesus Christ. But we don’t force our beliefs on anyone.

“We don’t use our faith to try to force someone to believe the way we believe. Jesus never did that. He healed people willingly and freely.”

He added that health care workers are hired as contractors and will be available to pray with patients, but if someone requests prayers from a rabbi or an imam his staff will accommodate them too.

Council speaker Corey Johnson described Franklin Graham’s involvement “extremely troubling” and said he would be monitoring the situation closely.

More: Christianity, Coronavirus, COVID-19, Evangelical Christians, franklin graham, New York, Samaritan's Purse

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