Homophobe Franklin Graham told to ‘pack up his tents and leave New York’ after exploiting hospital for cruel anti-LGBT+ agenda
New York City has made clear that Franklin Graham is no longer welcome – after the anti-LGBT+ preacher exploited the setting up of a tent hospital during the coronavirus crisis to discriminate against gay people and evangelise.
After weeks of scrutiny, it was announced over the weekend that the Central Park tent facility run by Graham’s charity Samaritan’s Purse will be wound up, closing to new patients from May 4, before the site is disinfected and dismantled. The eight patients currently being treated at the site will be moved elsewhere.
Notorious anti-LGBT+ evangelist Franklin Graham was granted permission to set up the site back in March, with NYC mayor Bill de Blaiso saying that he had received assurances the group – often criticised for exploiting disasters to evangelise – would not discriminate.
Graham went back against his word almost immediately – forcing all medical volunteers to sign a belief statement that disavows homosexual relationships, publicly comparing homosexuals to drug addicts, and bringing in a film crew to record sermons and evangelist videos.
Videos released by Samaritan’s Purse revealed Bible verses taped to medical equipment and written over face masks at the site.
‘Notoriously bigoted’ preacher is no longer welcome in NYC, says council leader.
New York City council speaker Corey Johnson, who is gay, issued a firm thanks-but-no-thanks to Graham as the news of the site’s closure was announced.
He said: “It is time for Samaritan’s Purse to leave New York City. This group, which is led by the notoriously bigoted, hate-spewing Franklin Graham, came at a time when our city couldn’t in good conscience turn away any offer of help. That time has passed.
“Their continued presence here is an affront to our values of inclusion, and is painful for all New Yorkers who care deeply about the LGBT+ community.
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“I am aware that our battle against COVID-19 is still ongoing, and that our health care system – and the amazing workers who have been the heroes of this unprecedented time in our history – still needs support.
“At the city council, we are committed to supporting those workers and protecting our city’s public health. But as a city that values diversity and compassion for all, we cannot continue to allow a group with the track record of Samaritan’s Purse to remain here when we are past the point they are needed.”
Pack up your tents and leave New York for good, Franklin Graham told.
State senator Brad Hoylman also called on Graham to “pack up his tents and leave New York City for good”.
Mount Sinai hospital, which had been sending overflow patients to the site, said in a statement alongside Samaritan’s Purse: “Now that the surge in COVID hospital admissions is reaching manageable levels, we will stop admitting new patients in the Central Park field hospitals of May 4.”
Despite initial suggestions that some staff from Samaritan’s Purse would be staying on inside Mount Sinai, it was later confirmed that the group would fully end their work with Mount Sinai Beth Israel hospital “over the next two weeks”.
Plans for Graham’s group to open a second facility in the city were scuppered in April over Graham’s refusal to waive his anti-LGBT+ policy.