Anti-LGBT+ evangelist Franklin Graham says the right to fire people for being LGBT+ is a ‘freedom our nation was founded on’
Disgraced anti-LGBT+ preacher Franklin Graham is predictably raging in the wake of the Supreme Court’s ruling that people can’t be fired for being gay or transgender.
In a landmark six-to-three ruling on Monday (June 15), the court affirmed that LGBT+ people are entitled to protection from employment discrimination based on their sexual orientation and gender identity under Title VII, an existing sex-based civil rights law.
Naturally, the decision has not gone down well with the anti-LGBT+ evangelical lobby, who have spent much of the past four years plotting to stack the court with conservatives in order to roll back the tide on queer rights.
To add insult to injury, the court’s opinion was penned by justice Neil Gorsuch, a Trump appointee who sided with the liberal justices.
Franklin Graham is fuming that businesses can’t fire people for being gay anymore.
Responding in a Facebook post, Graham lamented that businesses are now prevented from firing someone for being gay in all 50 states.
He complained: “I believe this decision erodes religious freedoms across this country. People of sincere faith who stand on God’s word as their foundation for life should never be forced by the government to compromise their religious beliefs.
“Christian organisations should never be forced to hire people who do not align with their biblical beliefs and should not be prevented from terminating a person whose lifestyle and beliefs undermine the ministry’s purpose and goals.
“As a Bible-believing follower of Jesus Christ, my rights should be protected. Even if my sincerely held religious beliefs might be the minority, I still have a right to hold them. The same holds true for a Christian organisation. These are the freedoms our nation was founded on.
“The Supreme Court does not override and will never overturn the word of God. One day we will all have to stand before God, the righteous judge, whose decisions are not based on politics or the whims of culture. His laws are true and are the same yesterday, today, and forever.”
If he’d bothered to read the ruling, Graham would realise that justice Gorsuch explicitly noted Title VII includes “an express statutory exception for religious organisations” which would cover churches and evangelical charities — but not bigots who own pizza shops or funeral homes.
Gorsuch also noted that “worries about how Title VII may intersect with religious liberties are nothing new; they even predate the statute’s passage [in 1964]” — at a time when Graham’s ilk were kicking up a similar fuss about employing women and Black people.
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Franklin Graham really, really doesn’t like working with gay people.
For Graham, his ‘right’ to fire employees who are LGBT+ is far from a hypothetical — as that is exactly the policy in place across his evangelical organisations.
The preacher recently came under fire for demanding that medical volunteers signing up to pandemic relief efforts involving his Samaritan’s Purse charity agree to an anti-gay belief statement disavowing homosexual relationships.
Graham, who had set up a temporary facility in New York City’s Central Park, was ordered to “pack up his tents and leave” after using the site to film evangelical videos and going back on a pledge not to discriminate.
Defending his policy of excluding volunteers who support same-sex marriage in an interview with The New York Times, Graham insisted: “The vast majority of the people in the city believe that marriage is between a man and a woman.”