home
RSS
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. Ken in MD

    There's the church dictating state plolicy again. And they wonder why there's a "war on religion"?

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

      Don't use the word "War" lightly, that's reserved for Fox News to stir up emotions in Americans.

      May 3, 2012 at 3:09 pm |
    • Voice of Reason

      What about the "church of gay beliefs" influencing the state policy? Is that ok? Everyone (including gays and christians) should have equal rights to lobby the govt until the govt decides to completely get out of business of legislating beliefs of one group over the other. Gays cannot pretend that their belief system has the only rights to influence state policy. that is intolerance.

      May 3, 2012 at 3:12 pm |
    • sam

      @Voice – what is this 'gay belief system'?

      May 3, 2012 at 3:15 pm |
    • Robairdo

      @Voice the difference is that gay s are not making the argument as a church, also they are fight for inclusion, not exclusion.

      May 3, 2012 at 3:17 pm |
  2. ElGiblet

    Bask in your sin and your self righteousness. It's not the Christians you need to be concerned with. It is the God of judgement that stands behind them that you should fear. Every one of you will give an account to God, whether you think you will or not.

    The good news is that you can change a bad outcome, right now. Right as you sit there, fuming over this article. Stop turning your back on God and get past this oppression of the flesh. If you ask Jesus Christ into your life, the fullness of eternity will begin immediately.

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

      Amen

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

      Christ never had anything to say about hom ose xuality, but a lot to say about hate and hypocritical rabbi's, the religious right of his day.

      May 3, 2012 at 3:07 pm |
    • sam

      Fine. Then you idiots let god handle it, and stay the hell out of our legislation in the meantime.

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

      I hope you picked the right God to worship. Maybe one that didn't have to use fear to convince it's followers. I don't want to spend an eternity with someone who sends a loving Atheist to hell, but a pedophile priest gets into heaven. If you're right, heaven sounds an awful lot like the other place.

      May 3, 2012 at 3:13 pm |
    • itsme

      so because Christ didnt say anything about being gay or the practice of that sin, its ok in your eyes to be gay in front of God? God doesnt change, we do!

      May 3, 2012 at 3:14 pm |
    • YeahRight

      "so because Christ didnt say anything about being gay or the practice of that sin, its ok in your eyes to be gay in front of God? God doesnt change, we do!"

      Part of reading comprehension 101 is putting the scriptures into historical context. DUH!

      May 3, 2012 at 3:16 pm |
    • Robairdo

      yes it is. Christ was expressing the will of god so since he didn't say anything about it then it must not be a sin.

      May 3, 2012 at 3:16 pm |
    • sam

      @ itsme: "so because Christ didnt say anything about being gay or the practice of that sin, its ok in your eyes to be gay in front of God?"

      So because ancient humans made up/vaguely alluded to things in an ancient book, it's ok in your eyes to decide who has equal rights in this country and who doesn't?

      May 3, 2012 at 3:17 pm |
  3. Rosey Goodman

    The way that the posters are worded that are in support for this hateful campaign - VOTE FOR MARRIAGE......how misleading. The average Jethro and Ellie May out there will pick up on the deception being perpetrated here.....that is so sad.

    May 3, 2012 at 3:02 pm |
  4. everymom

    This is why it has to com from the Supreme Court. Too many ignorant me-only people area having a say on how other Americans can live their lives.

    May 3, 2012 at 3:02 pm |
  5. Voice of Reason

    Your having equal rights does not mean that govt forces me and my family to agree with everything you believe. That kind of desperate need for acceptance is nothing but intolerance being passed around in name of equal rights. What if I feel I do not have equal rights until everyone agrees with my beliefs entirely. What if Muslims want to be governed by Sharia or say their beliefs are discriminated. Should we allow muslims to legislate sharia by lobbying the govt? Where would this lead us to? The only option is that govt stays out legislating beliefs of one group for the rest of us - whether the group is christian, gays, hindus, muslims or jews. that is true equality and true tolerance. CIVIL UNIONS FOR ALL as far as govt is concerned. Marriage should be left to private citizen, his family and faith. Gays should also be be able to get married at churches where they can and should be able to call it marriage.

    May 3, 2012 at 3:02 pm |
  6. jj

    Headline of the day: Charlie Sheen Sues Strip Club.

    May 3, 2012 at 3:02 pm |
  7. pat

    Time for N.C. to decide if it wants to live in the past or present.

    May 3, 2012 at 3:01 pm |
  8. patNY

    All religious organizations that engage in politics like this, should be stripped of their tax exempt status!
    Marriage Equality!

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

      Tax all churches, synagogues, mosques, etc. too.

      May 3, 2012 at 3:06 pm |
    • WhatNow

      I know that Mr. Graham has the right to his opinion. However, I do not understand this need to dictate how others should live based on someones version of a religion. There are so many different religions and faiths that there is no way we could ever make everyone happy. Life is hard enough, do we really need to create additional problems for people in the name of someones' god.

      May 3, 2012 at 3:19 pm |
  9. Leo

    Romans 1 – Unbelief and Its Consequences

    18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, 19 because that which is known about God is evident within them; for God made it evident to them. 20 For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse. 21 For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God or give thanks, but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened. 22 Professing to be wise, they became fools, 23 and exchanged the glory of the incorruptible God for an image in the form of corruptible man and of birds and four-footed animals and crawling creatures.

    24 Therefore God gave them over in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, so that their bodies would be dishonored among them. 25 For they exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen.

    26 For this reason God gave them over to degrading passions; for their women exchanged the natural function for that which is unnatural, 27 and in the same way also the men abandoned the natural function of the woman and burned in their desire toward one another, men with men committing indecent acts and receiving in their own persons the due penalty of their error.

    28 And just as they did not see fit to acknowledge God any longer, God gave them over to a depraved mind, to do those things which are not proper, 29 being filled with all unrighteousness, wickedness, greed, evil; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, malice; they are gossips, 30 slanderers, haters of God, insolent, arrogant, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, 31 without understanding, untrustworthy, unloving, unmerciful; 32 and although they know the ordinance of God, that those who practice such things are worthy of death, they not only do the same, but also give hearty approval to those who practice them.

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

      Amen

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

      Yes God knew where we would be today 2000 years ago!!

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

      Which means nothing to you if you don't already believe it anyway.

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

      God is omniscience

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

      The word of man – about God. Eloquence in writing, from human authors.

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

      you all realized that romans was written in Greek and not English. The REAL Greek version does not read that way or even mention hom ose xualty. BIased translators used one of several possible translations from Greek to English to DECIDE that it was about hom ose xuality. However Christ never said anything about the subject.

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

      Back in the early 80s, our church tried to get Billy Graham to come speak. Sure. He would come speak at our church. For $30,000 fee!!! Anyone can easily quote Biblical versus. Even Timothy McVeigh. Doesnt make You any Holier than Thou. My dad can recite the Bible forwards, backwards, upside down and right side up, and he is the most hateful man on this planet. So quoting the Bible does not make you Holy, Forgiven, or Saved. Re-read John 3:16 and come back to let us know (in your expert opinion)which of us, God did not intend to forgive by sacrificing his only Son. Which of us are allowed to be Forgiven and which of us are not???? I thank God each and EVERY day that MY own dad is not deciding who IS getting into Heaven, and who is NOT. If it were up to my dad, he would be the only one in Heaven because certainly no one else on this planet can be as great a Christian than he is. Give me a break. I love my dad. But he is as defective and as imperfect as they come. I pray for his soul and spirit every day. That someday he will forgive others for their sins, as gracefully as God forgives his!!

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

      Robairdo, read the verses real careful, and it is clear what God is teaching. Remember Jesus is God so he is a much the author of the entire Bible, so you are mistaken if you don't think the Bible is against this sin.

      If you really want to know what the words mean you can his this online concordance and find out.

      http://www.blueletterbible.org/Bible.cfm?b=Rom&c=1&v=27&t=KJV#27

      May 3, 2012 at 3:29 pm |
  10. nick

    As a North Carolinian, please keep religion out of politics. The bible should not be used as a source to make laws. There is no reason to ban gay marriage, other then hate. People are quick to say marriage is a religious matter. Fine, there are churches that recognize gay marriage. Are their religious beliefs not equal to yours? As an atheist, I just don't understand why people are so quick to want to hurt the lives of others, when they have done NOTHING to you.

    May 3, 2012 at 3:00 pm |
    • pat

      They believe in the supernatural and don't need a reason for anything.

      May 3, 2012 at 3:05 pm |
    • Howty Dooty

      If you are from North Carolina, could you go kick the shit out of that "smack your effeminate kid" peacher you have there? It's a bit of a drive for me.

      May 3, 2012 at 3:06 pm |
    • itsme

      and im quite sure God does not agree with or abide in those churches

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

      Your right god wouldn't agree with this and certainly Christ wouldn't. The Religious Right is a collective Anti-Christ behaving just as the pharises and rabbi's of Christs day were behaving. What did Christ all them? HYPOCRITES...

      May 3, 2012 at 3:15 pm |
  11. RexCraigo

    Truly shocking that Billy Graham would take this stand. Truly shocking.

    Idiot.

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

      I think an idiot would find this shocking.

      Idiot.

      May 3, 2012 at 3:05 pm |
  12. ART

    F You you are one poor pathetic idiot but do me a favor and just keep beleiving and maybe just maybe the ttoth fairy will leave you something under your pillow for all your missing teeth

    May 3, 2012 at 2:59 pm |
  13. Barneyjake

    This must have been what it was like for some in the 1950's. WOW!

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

      This is the jerk that reworded the Pledge in the 1950's.

      May 3, 2012 at 3:07 pm |
  14. MPD

    Why can't this guy just go away....we get it you have prayed with everyone and his brother...Enough...just go away...

    May 3, 2012 at 2:58 pm |
  15. Bill

    Too bad this old coot wont take out an ad to ban divorce!

    May 3, 2012 at 2:57 pm |
  16. Ken

    This clown, along with his kids, should crawl back inside their church and mind their own business. I'm sick to death of the media printing / broadcasting whatever comes out of these idiots mouth. BTW, Isn't he dead yet?

    May 3, 2012 at 2:57 pm |
  17. duffey

    Shame on you Billy!!!!!

    May 3, 2012 at 2:57 pm |
  18. Joe from Ohio

    "its election year boys, time to crank up the tried and true get-out-the-vote issues: gay marriage, immigration, abortion, blah blah blah"

    May 3, 2012 at 2:57 pm |
  19. Sandy

    There's that wonderful christian love again, eh Billy? You do know that not everyone follows your interpretation of the Bible right? If someone wants to marry the person they love – your opinion should not matter.

    May 3, 2012 at 2:57 pm |
  20. DiatribesAndOvations.com

    Who listens to this fossil anyway?

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

      He is a great man

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

      Jodey
      He is a great man
      ----
      As bigots go...

      May 3, 2012 at 3:09 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45
Advertisement
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.