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Billy Graham backs North Carolina amendment to ban gay marriage
Billy Graham says that he "never thought we would have to debate the definition of marriage."
May 3rd, 2012
11:49 AM ET

Billy Graham backs North Carolina amendment to ban gay marriage

By Eric Marrapodi, CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

(CNN)– The Rev. Billy Graham, the world's best-known evangelist, has endorsed a ballot initiative to constitutionally ban gay marriage in his home state of North Carolina, a rare move for a preacher who has typically avoided political fights.

North Carolinians will vote on the state's Marriage Amendment Act before North Carolina voters next Tuesday.

Voters will decide whether to amend the state constitution to say that "Marriage between one man and one woman is the only domestic legal union that shall be valid or recognized in this State."

CNN’s Belief Blog: The faith angles behind the biggest stories

North Carolina already bans same-sex marriages. The amendment would effectively ban civil unions and domestic partnerships, too.

Graham is taking out full-page ads in 14 North Carolina newspapers touting his support for the measure. His website he encourages churches to download a poster that bears his image and the message "Vote for Marriage May 8th."

“Watching the moral decline of our country causes me great concern," the 93-year-old pastor, who has prayed with every president since Dwight Eisenhower, said in a statement on the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association website. "I believe the home and marriage is the foundation of our society and must be protected.”

The statement continued to say that Graham "never thought we would have to debate the definition of marriage."

Graham's newspaper ad will say: "The Bible is clear—God’s definition of marriage is between a man and a woman. I want to urge my fellow North Carolinians to vote for the marriage amendment on Tuesday, May 8. God bless you as you vote.”

The bill proposing the amendment says only a simple majority of votes is needed for the amendment to pass.

Supporters of the amendment hailed Graham's endorsement.

"Reverend Graham understands that we as North Carolinians have a duty to preserve God’s first institution–marriage," said Tami Fitzgerald, Chairwoman of Vote FOR Marriage NC,  a group supporting the measure, in a statement. "We cannot be silent as activists work to radically redefine marriage—an institution that has been fundamental to our civilization for thousands of years.”

Opponents of the amendment lamented the move.

“While we were disappointed to see his endorsement it doesn’t change much,” said Paul Guequierre a spokesman for the Coalition to Protect North Carolina Families. The coalition, which includes pastors from across the theological spectrum, opposes the amendment. “We have respect for (Graham) but we will continue to work with our clergy on this.”

“People across the country support LGBT equality,” Guequierre said, adding his group was cautiously optimistic about the vote on Tuesday.

While Graham may be an internationally known figure, his influence in North Carolina may be even larger. Charlotte is home to the Billy Graham Parkway. When the Billy Graham Library opened in Charlotte in 2007, Bill Clinton, George H. W. Bush and Jimmy Carter came for the opening ceremony.

Graham's son Franklin Graham and daughter Anne Graham Lotz have both voiced support for the amendment and both have taken political stands in the past, in contrast to their father.

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Belief • Billy Graham • Christianity • Gay marriage • Gay rights • Politics

soundoff (2,998 Responses)
  1. Reality

    Billy, Billy, Billy,

    Time to escape from your 20th century red-neck beliefs. THE FACTS:

    ONLY FOR THE NEWCOMERS–

    "Abrahamics" believe that their god created all of us and of course that includes the g-ay members of the human race. Also, those who have studied ho-mo-se-xuality have determined that there is no choice involved therefore ga-ys are ga-y because god made them that way.

    To wit:

    o The Royal College of Psy-chiatrists stated in 2007:

    “ Despite almost a century of psy-choanalytic and psy-chological speculation, there is no substantive evidence to support the suggestion that the nature of parenting or early childhood experiences play any role in the formation of a person’s fundamental heteros-exual or hom-ose-xual orientation. It would appear that s-exual orientation is biological in nature, determined by a complex interplay of ge-netic factors and the early ut-erine environment. Se-xual orientation is therefore not a choice.[60] "

    "Garcia-Falgueras and Swaab state in the abstract of their 2010 study, "The fe-tal brain develops during the intraut-erine period in the male direction through a direct action of tes-tosterone on the developing nerve cells, or in the female direction through the absence of this hor-mone surge. In this way, our gender identi-ty (the conviction of belonging to the male or female gender) and s-exual orientation are programmed or organized into our brain structures when we are still in the womb. There is no indication that social environment after birth has an effect on gender ident–ity or s-exual orientation."[8

    See also the Philadelphia Inquirer review “Gay Gene, Deconstructed”, 12/12/2011. Said review addresses the following “How do genes associated with ho-mose-xuality avoid being weeded out by Darwinian evolution?”

    Of course, those gays who belong to Abrahamic religions are supposed to obey the rules of no adu-ltery or for-nication allowed.

    And because of basic biology differences said monogamous ventures should always be called same-s-ex unions not same-s-ex marriages.

    From below, on top, backwards, forwards, from this side of the Moon and from the other side too, gay se-xual activity is still mutual masturbation caused by one or more complex se-xual differences. Some differences are visually obvious in for example the complex maleness of DeGeneres, Billy Jean King and Rosie O'Donnell.

    Yes, heteros-exuals practice many of the same "moves" but there is never a doubt who is the female and who is the male.

    May 3, 2012 at 2:56 pm |
    • ezg437

      Ah yes, facts. I thank you for these. Problem is radicals dont care about facts...only thier self-centered beliefs.

      May 3, 2012 at 3:00 pm |
    • ur kidding

      You are not born gay. The bible says it is blasphemy so therefore God did not make you gay. It's only an excuse. You can say that til your blue in the face but will not change God's word. If a cat says it was born a dog does that make it so? Pushing tolerance of this lifestyle onto the whole country will not change God's word. It's a choice. So leave the man alone because he speaks his opinion. He has that right just like you do.

      May 3, 2012 at 3:03 pm |
    • sam

      When 'ur kidding' posts, I hear Dueling Banjoes in the background.

      May 3, 2012 at 3:05 pm |
    • F YOU

      Being gay is a choice, you can just not commit the sin just like quitting smoking. It may be hard but can be done. Unfortunately they dont get the medical help for the mental illness they need.

      May 3, 2012 at 3:05 pm |
    • Mike

      @urkidding: The bible also says that divorce is a sin. The church seems to have slid right past that one, didn't they? Shall we talk about all of the old testament laws that you routinely ignore because you don't think that they apply to you anymore. You have a religion of convenience in which you use it to justify your own life, and use it to demonize anything you don't agree with.

      May 3, 2012 at 3:06 pm |
    • F YOU

      divorce is a sin, it is not acceptable to God.

      May 3, 2012 at 3:10 pm |
    • sam

      When F YOU posts, I hear the baby Jesus crying.

      May 3, 2012 at 3:13 pm |
  2. nightsun2k7

    I thought Billy Boy was dead.

    May 3, 2012 at 2:56 pm |
    • Bill

      Only his sense of morality and fairness.

      May 3, 2012 at 5:29 pm |
  3. ART

    EIGiblet your hatred is showing you moron

    May 3, 2012 at 2:56 pm |
  4. Bleah

    When is this turd going to die? We don't need this crap.

    May 3, 2012 at 2:56 pm |
    • mc tampa

      lets hope any minute

      May 3, 2012 at 3:02 pm |
    • F YOU

      We need Billy, you not so much.

      May 3, 2012 at 3:06 pm |
  5. pat

    You can't believe everything you read... in the Bible.

    May 3, 2012 at 2:55 pm |
    • mc tampa

      Yep why does he care, hes almost dead anyway.

      May 3, 2012 at 2:56 pm |
  6. Ohiojoy

    Ya know folks, the word 'Faith' is based on things unseen, but the evidence of things hoped for. We read in our history books that were written by people who lived and wrote about events & things they saw, and witnessed first hand. Events such as Columbus discovering America, Hitler and the Holocaust, even recent events such as Nine Eleven. Yet it still truly amazes me how some people can turn a deaf ear to what the Bible says/teaches about every aspect of how to live our lives.......which btw was written by MEN known as the disciples, who walked and talked with the Lord himself, and were witnesses to HIS death, burial and Resurrection!! And GOD"S perfect design of marriage started in the garden of Eden, with one man and one woman!!!

    May 3, 2012 at 2:55 pm |
    • Mike

      Can you please point me to the portion of the Bible in which if references the marriage of Adam and Eve?

      May 3, 2012 at 2:58 pm |
    • sam

      God's perfect design of marriage was between a man...and his rib?

      Hell, why not. Have you seen how guys act everytime the McRib makes a comeback? That must explain it.

      May 3, 2012 at 2:59 pm |
    • Mike

      And, btw, Moses wasn't alive when Jesus supposedly was. Are you saying Moses wasn't part of writing the bible? Do you even know anythign about the historical basis of this book that you are using to support legalization of discrimination?

      May 3, 2012 at 3:02 pm |
    • Danno

      None of that happened. We can prove the Holocaust and 9/11 because we have evidence. We know that Colombus didn't discover America.... there were already people here. This is all real. Adam and Eve are not. Because the 7 billion people on earth did not originate from 2 people thousands of years ago, and this has been proven through DNA.

      If Adam and Eve were real, the fact that there are white people, black people, asians, etc., proves that human evolution occurred. Go on, tell me I'm wrong.

      May 3, 2012 at 3:02 pm |
    • Robairdo

      you know ohio that Christ never said anything about hom ose xua lity and only called the worship of money an abomination.

      May 3, 2012 at 3:03 pm |
    • nightsun2k7

      you're kidding right?....it's fairly certain that there was only one hitler, the problem with religion is that there are about 50 different gods to choose from and every group of people that follow each one are certain that they are right and everyone else must either change what they believe or die at all cost.

      May 3, 2012 at 3:03 pm |
    • YeahRight

      "Yet it still truly amazes me how some people can turn a deaf ear to what the Bible says/teaches about every aspect of how to live our lives."

      You must not know that the bible was proven not to be an historical document. LOL!

      May 3, 2012 at 3:04 pm |
    • sam

      Also, extra exclamation points don't automatically make it so!!!!!!

      May 3, 2012 at 3:06 pm |
    • mc tampa

      the key words here are "written by men". If I don't believe the guy sitting on bus I can see, why in the world would I believe some stories "supposely" written by men I have never met and have no idea if they were honest men or not?. Why would you believe people you have never met? You may call it faith, I call it stupid...sorry no offense meant. Just look around you...would you believe all these people?

      May 3, 2012 at 3:08 pm |
  7. Thom

    I once had respect for this guy, but I guess politics is more important than God these days. Sorry excuses for humans.

    May 3, 2012 at 2:55 pm |
  8. Chad

    What a horrid little man.
    Marriage is a civil right... it is the LEGAL union of two people. It has nothing to do with the Church. There is no law in any state that forces the church to recognize ANY marriage...
    Why would you be so heartless as to want to actively pursue persecuting people that you don't even know?
    Horrible!
    And to be the head of a CHRISTIAN organization and promote hatred and discrimination and persecution?
    How is it even possible

    May 3, 2012 at 2:55 pm |
  9. Amanda

    "Marriage" is a man and woman uniting. If gays want to be "united" they should come up with a different word to express their coming together.

    May 3, 2012 at 2:54 pm |
    • YeahRight

      ""Marriage" is a man and woman uniting. If gays want to be "united" they should come up with a different word to express their coming together."

      Christians don't have a monopoly on marriage. Marriage existed long before your religion! Only a prejudice person would make a stupid statement like that. Give gays their equal civil rights!

      May 3, 2012 at 2:56 pm |
    • pat

      Because they are subhuman?

      May 3, 2012 at 2:56 pm |
    • Talking Snake

      Tw@t did you say? I couldn't hear you over the fuktardery.

      May 3, 2012 at 2:57 pm |
    • sam

      I say we ban all marriage – the straight people seem to be screwing it up to the point where the whole thing should be revised.

      May 3, 2012 at 2:58 pm |
    • BRC

      @Amanda,
      Says who?

      May 3, 2012 at 3:02 pm |
    • atheist

      You mean like Kim Kardashian?

      May 3, 2012 at 3:08 pm |
    • danielwalldammit

      Thus has Amanda spoken!

      And ye verily all obeyed.

      May 3, 2012 at 5:58 pm |
  10. atheist

    This isn't just about gay marriage, it's about separation of church and state. If they can force their morality on gay people, they can force it on anyone else, and they have.

    May 3, 2012 at 2:54 pm |
  11. Duh

    When is the vote to ban Billy Graham?

    May 3, 2012 at 2:54 pm |
    • F YOU

      75% of Americans love Billy and would support him in every way, your in the minority sinner.

      May 3, 2012 at 2:56 pm |
    • YeahRight

      "75% of Americans love Billy and would support him in every way, your in the minority sinner"

      Lying is a sin so you're not a Christian but just a troll.

      May 3, 2012 at 2:57 pm |
    • Robairdo

      not true the last four polls all show majority support for marriage equality.

      May 3, 2012 at 2:57 pm |
    • F YOU

      majority support??? ha ha ha ... then why is it failing to pass every vote???

      May 3, 2012 at 2:58 pm |
    • Robairdo

      there has never been a national vote on it or even a recent state vote.

      May 3, 2012 at 3:00 pm |
    • F YOU

      It just failed recently in california...there have been many state votes. They always fail. The majority of Americans are against gay marriage.

      May 3, 2012 at 3:03 pm |
  12. Carol

    Billy Graham needs to read My Two Moms: Lessons of Love, Strength, and What Makes a Family, by Zach Wahls. I think Jesus would definitely approve of Zach and his family.

    As to the theology to support a NO vote to the amendment–read Bishop John Shelby Spong, a great North Carolinian.

    May 3, 2012 at 2:53 pm |
  13. UGH

    Oh Billy, just go away already! Nobody is forcing you to do anything, why don't you just shut up about it. Nobody is debating whether or not you should die seen as how you are so old now and not really good for anything but complaining now, are they?

    May 3, 2012 at 2:52 pm |
  14. SnapinTurtle

    I live in NC. This thing will pass and people don't even understand what it is doing or the implications with getting children health insurance. All most people are seeing is an opportunity to assert their chosen religion on a population that in theory is free from religious oppression. Many of the people I hear touting this do not even go to church they just talk the game, "this is what Christ wanted..." interesting theory since he never wrote a word in his life.

    With regard to Billy Graham, I do have some respect for him, but he is 93 and rarely seen or heard from anymore. I would bet the farm that charlatan son of his is behind the newspaper ads. That is just his polished style.

    May 3, 2012 at 2:52 pm |
    • Jon

      I'm also from North Carolina. I feel that the support against the amendment is growing. I think the vote will be close. I think that an amendment should be brought up that marriage between a man and a woman is against the law. Then currently recognized marriages could know what it feels like to be oppressed. This amendment is a facade and is completely and utterly unnecessary. In 50 years, the people that are oppressing gay rights will be remembered like George Wallace.

      May 3, 2012 at 3:06 pm |
    • Joanie Via

      Definitely sounds like something Franklin would spout. BG has always stayed out of the political fray. Hopefully the voters will say NO to this hateful legislation.

      May 3, 2012 at 3:16 pm |
  15. Clark Nova

    Who put the batteries back in this shameless, evil, electrified corpse?

    May 3, 2012 at 2:52 pm |
  16. D987654321

    Oh for God's sake already, Graham, just die.

    May 3, 2012 at 2:50 pm |
    • F YOU

      He will have eternal life, you wont.

      May 3, 2012 at 2:52 pm |
    • Robairdo

      his eternal life will be in hell. "the gates of heaven shall not open for anyone with hate in his hear" - Jesus Christ.

      May 3, 2012 at 2:56 pm |
    • NIc

      RIght?!?! He's 1000, he won't even be around to see what happens to America if it passes, not that anything but good can come of more love in the world.

      May 3, 2012 at 2:58 pm |
  17. Jodey

    Why do Christians believe they own marriage? Marriage existed LONG before Christianity. EQUALITY NOW.

    May 3, 2012 at 2:49 pm |
    • F YOU

      Not true, the early christians abraham and noah etc... created marriage, without christianity there would be nothing.

      May 3, 2012 at 2:53 pm |
    • sam

      F YOU seems to be our troll of the day. School must be out in his part of the country.

      May 3, 2012 at 2:55 pm |
    • Jodey

      Well, now we know the "F" in your name is not for "facts".

      May 3, 2012 at 2:57 pm |
    • John

      Actually,God established marriage as between a man and a woman-see Genesis 1.God said it's not good for man to be alone,therefore I will make him a helpmate-see Adam and Eve.God blessed that union.That's called God's best.If you have a problem with that,you should take it up with your Creator

      May 3, 2012 at 2:58 pm |
    • F YOU

      The F is for forgive you of your gay sin.

      May 3, 2012 at 3:01 pm |
    • YeahRight

      "The F is for forgive you of your gay sin."

      Being gay is not a sin, nowhere in your bible does your god condemn the saved loving respectful relationship of a gay couple as we know and understand it today.

      May 3, 2012 at 3:02 pm |
    • Robairdo

      BS FU hindu's and buddhist had defined it long before moses. Also the OT is not applicable any longer, Christ replaced it with his new covenant which says nothing about hom ose uality, but may actually apporve of it in the Centurian and his "servant"

      May 3, 2012 at 3:05 pm |
    • F YOU

      BS Christ said to obey the laws of the OT, and no hindus and buddists had no real marriage before Christians of the old testament.

      May 3, 2012 at 3:08 pm |
  18. Lance

    I was a married, "straight" man for over eleven years. The only choice I made during that time was to hide who I was and try to live a life that would fit into what society expected.

    Having been divorced and "out" for over six years now, I am finally at peace with who I am. Granted, it's a bit more complicated now and people are not as kind before, but I can sleep every night knowing that I don't have to lie anymore.

    My partner and I have children from our previous marriages, and we have been very open and honest with them about our situation, and what it means for them.

    In wrting this, I am not asking for any special treatment, just the same as anyone else. My relationship should be no less valued than other. I disgaree that how I was born has anything to do with the moral decline in this country. I am a hard worker, own my own home, pay taxes, vacation, and raise children (all honor-role students).

    Please think very hard about this ammendment and vote NO!

    May 3, 2012 at 2:48 pm |
    • Bob

      Glad you have found peace.

      May 3, 2012 at 2:52 pm |
    • Jodey

      Thank you! No one chooses to be gay. They simply choose to live openly and honestly with who they are; it's a matter of making a choice out of LOVE and HONESTY, not fear.

      May 3, 2012 at 2:53 pm |
    • Danno

      As a straight man, I support your right to live your life the way you want and decide who should be in your family. Everyone who thinks they know better than you can **** right off.

      May 3, 2012 at 2:55 pm |
    • DrewNYC

      Lance thank you for your story, and I encourage you to keep telling it over and over again. Hopefully it'll at least change a few peoples minds so that they will stop the hate.

      May 3, 2012 at 2:58 pm |
  19. JCL

    He has just as much RIGHT to voice his opinion as anyone else. You don't have to agree with it.

    May 3, 2012 at 2:48 pm |
    • UGH

      and we don't.

      May 3, 2012 at 2:53 pm |
    • Danno

      He doesn't agree with gays and I don't agree with Christians. So why do Christians get to tell other people how their families should be structured? Judaism has the seniority and Islam has the majority in this world. Christianity has NO exclusive rights to the "truth". Leave other people alone. No one is telling you who you can marry.

      May 3, 2012 at 2:53 pm |
    • sam

      He's pushing for oppressive legislation. That's the issue. Try and keep up.

      May 3, 2012 at 2:54 pm |
    • Larz

      What's your point, that we on the other hand have to sit in silence and just take it? No, we can still say he is spreading more proof that his harmful, antiquated, misguided and ridiculous beliefs have and will continue to cause many problems.

      May 3, 2012 at 3:25 pm |
    • danielwalldammit

      You are SO right. It is really important that we all respectfully agree to disagree over whether or not SOMEONE ELSE WILL HAVE THE RIGHT TO MARRY. How dare people oppress him and try to thwart his efforts to limit their freedoms!?!

      May 3, 2012 at 6:03 pm |
  20. Big Jilm

    The message I'm hearing loud and clear is that Billy Graham and the Ultra Conservatives are totally pro-gay promiscuity. They must be all for sleeping around and not settling down ...if you're gay. If you're straight, you can get married, screw around, and get divorced, but if you're gay, they want you to sleep around as much as possible.

    May 3, 2012 at 2:47 pm |
    • F YOU

      The faster they spread the aids the faster we wil be rid of them.

      May 3, 2012 at 2:54 pm |
    • Danno

      This isn't 1989 anymore, idiot. We know how AIDS works. You probably have tons of it in your underwear right now, you closet queen, you.

      May 3, 2012 at 2:57 pm |
    • ur kidding

      Your twisted. I don't know how you get that message. That's probably what you wish the message were. Holy Matronmony is a holy sanction so why insist on entering into this if you are choosing to live the exact opposite of what the bible says or what marraige is intended. Next you will be whining around about someone's right to marry their pet dog or their immediate family member. Immorality will be the fall of this country.

      May 3, 2012 at 2:58 pm |
    • sam

      @ur kidding – your utter lack of logic makes me fear for this country much more than you will ever fear for the 'sanct.ity' of marriage. You care so much about it – go protest celebs who marry for 72 days. That's where the damage is being done.

      You and uneducated fools like you will be the fall of this country.

      May 3, 2012 at 3:02 pm |
    • Johnjon

      "the" aids? is that something like "the" heart disease, or "the" cancer? sounds awfully hillbilly to me.

      May 3, 2012 at 3:03 pm |
    • Danno

      I can't wait until this Christian plague on humanity dies off and we can get back to progressing humanity instead of regressing into fear and ignorance.

      May 3, 2012 at 3:16 pm |
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About this blog

The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.