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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."

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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. field

    Those who JUDGE DO NOT MATTER, and those who MATTER DO NOT JUDGE!

    May 3, 2012 at 7:33 pm |
  2. Observer

    Billy Graham is a world-class HYPROCRITE.

    If he REALLY cared about sinners, he'd be trashing the MUCH GREATER NUMBER of Christians who commit adultery by divorcing and remarrying (according to the Bible).

    If he REALLY cared, he be out trying to ban divorce and remarriage, which IS legal. It's all pick-and-choose hypocrisy.

    May 3, 2012 at 7:33 pm |
    • Observer

      HYPOCRITE not the typo.

      May 3, 2012 at 7:34 pm |
    • Surthurfurd

      He likely would turn away the "least of these" and think he was just being reasonable for protecting his property.

      May 3, 2012 at 7:34 pm |
    • Brandon

      Thank You Thank You Thank You! How many have forgotten that.

      May 3, 2012 at 7:53 pm |
  3. Nevermind

    We are at war with stupidity, and the enemy is everywhere.

    May 3, 2012 at 7:31 pm |
    • Surthurfurd

      Sadly stupidity is proud of being stupid so they are unable to feel ashamed enough to seek to improve.

      May 3, 2012 at 7:33 pm |
    • Nevermind

      Boy are you ever right about that.

      May 3, 2012 at 7:37 pm |
  4. Surthurfurd

    I thought the Devil was the one who promoted hate and Jesus was the one who promoted love?

    May 3, 2012 at 7:31 pm |
    • pervert alert

      Truth is not hate and qu eers know nothing about love

      May 3, 2012 at 7:38 pm |
    • upstatenyman

      Hey pervert alert, is that to warn us that you're the pervert? Seems to be so. How do you seem to know that gays don't know about love? Have some issues, do we?

      May 3, 2012 at 7:47 pm |
  5. david riker

    Billy Graham is dogsht! He needs to go meet Jesus real soon.

    May 3, 2012 at 7:28 pm |
  6. Surthurfurd

    Someone noted that it was irrational to try to make deals with the Taliban since they are wrapped up in their Holy texts. I guess the same could be said about many Christians.

    May 3, 2012 at 7:27 pm |
  7. sam8131

    I can't wait for qu eers to start reproducing naturally.

    May 3, 2012 at 7:26 pm |
    • Surthurfurd

      What does that have to do with love and attraction? Do you think that a person is only attracted to another because of the need to procreate? Sounds like animal breeding.

      May 3, 2012 at 7:28 pm |
    • gadflie

      You actually think that they are artificially created?

      May 3, 2012 at 7:31 pm |
    • Scott

      Exactly what is your point?

      May 3, 2012 at 8:31 pm |
  8. Bad Religion

    Ya know, I like it when guys like this preach. The more they do so, the more and more people flea from the church and realize how crazy it is. I am truly looking forward to the day when all the abrahamic religions flat out die, only then will humanity be able to thrive and progress ethically.

    May 3, 2012 at 7:25 pm |
  9. Surthurfurd

    I cut the hair at my temples, and have cut my beard... I must have sinned.

    May 3, 2012 at 7:25 pm |
    • pervert alert

      Being a qu eer is more sin than you need

      May 3, 2012 at 7:27 pm |
    • Surthurfurd

      So you do not shop on Sunday and have never born false witness?

      May 3, 2012 at 7:29 pm |
  10. Strand

    @pervalert and even if you believe that people choose to be gay, which they don't, are you saying your sins are less than their sins? The fact that you are hear judging others makes you a sinner. Go repent!

    May 3, 2012 at 7:24 pm |
    • pervert alert

      There is no such thing as "gay". Gay is a word stolen by qu eers to make their dirty lifestyle appear less disgusting.

      May 3, 2012 at 7:26 pm |
    • YeahRight

      "There is no such thing as "gay". Gay is a word stolen by qu eers to make their dirty lifestyle appear less disgusting."

      The experts around the world disagree with you. The American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Counseling Association, the American Psychiatric Association, the American Psychological Association, the American School Counselor Association, the National Association of School Psychologists, and the National Association of SocialWorkers, together representing more than 480,000 mental health professionals, have all taken the position that homosexuality is not a mental disorder and thus is not something that needs to or can be “cured.

      May 4, 2012 at 10:44 am |
  11. Brandon

    Did Billy Graham ride a private jet or a donkey to North Carolina?

    May 3, 2012 at 7:20 pm |
    • Pastor

      Billy graham lives in nc so I guess he drove. I don't speak for him, but I think he is right. Sin is sin

      May 3, 2012 at 7:45 pm |
    • Brandon

      What if you are wrong about what is sin? Think about all the damage you caused.

      May 3, 2012 at 7:50 pm |
    • Rick

      If the pastor is wrong, the damage done will be for an earthly. BUT, if the pastor is right, the consequences are eternal. I'm not taking any chances. With eternaty at stake, I'm following Jesus.

      May 5, 2012 at 9:20 am |
  12. Strand

    Hey Billy...If you believe in God...Didn't God create gay people as well? Are you trying to step on God's toes? I don't think it would like that too much.

    May 3, 2012 at 7:20 pm |
    • Surthurfurd

      According to the Bible God created people who could only populate the Earth by engaging in incest?

      May 3, 2012 at 7:22 pm |
    • pervert alert

      Sin is a learned not born situation

      May 3, 2012 at 7:22 pm |
    • George

      I can tell you with all assurance, God did not created gay people; they created themselves!

      May 3, 2012 at 7:27 pm |
  13. danielwalldammit

    [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OFkeKKszXTw&w=640&h=360]

    May 3, 2012 at 7:19 pm |
    • momoya

      Ha!! Very nice!

      May 3, 2012 at 7:36 pm |
    • field

      Pretty interesting stuff!

      May 3, 2012 at 7:57 pm |
  14. John

    Do you think he actually knows this is about civil unions, etc. and not gay marriage? Pathetic.

    May 3, 2012 at 7:18 pm |
    • pervert alert

      It doesn't matter a qu eer is a criminal and enti tled to no recognition under any situation.

      May 3, 2012 at 7:20 pm |
    • Maya

      I think "pervert" is taking out his frustration about being stuck living in his mom's basement out on the rest of us.

      May 3, 2012 at 7:23 pm |
    • Ivan Sanchez

      Gay marrages are evil and are from HELL!

      May 3, 2012 at 7:29 pm |
    • YeahRight

      "It doesn't matter a qu eer is a criminal and enti tled to no recognition under any situation."

      Lying is a sin moron. By the way it's why the laws in this country changed and now discrimination against sexual orientation is against the law. DUH! Keep showing your prejudice isn't based on any real facts.

      May 4, 2012 at 10:47 am |
  15. Surthurfurd

    There certainly are a lot of people who believe they have the innate right to limit the innate rights of others.

    May 3, 2012 at 7:17 pm |
  16. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things .

    May 3, 2012 at 7:15 pm |
    • Maya

      Really? I just prayed that you would go away. I guess it didn't work. So, doesn't that mean you are wrong?

      May 3, 2012 at 7:17 pm |
    • Surthurfurd

      Is believing in myths, healthy?

      May 3, 2012 at 7:17 pm |
    • Concerned Citizen

      Name one thing it has ever changed.

      May 3, 2012 at 7:18 pm |
    • Hitchens

      One thing prayer has changed = slavery.

      May 3, 2012 at 7:21 pm |
    • Surthurfurd

      Hitchens... the Bible was used for centuries to justify slavery.

      May 3, 2012 at 7:23 pm |
    • Jesus

      Prayer doesn’t not; you are such a LIAR. You have NO proof it changes anything! A great example of prayer proven not to work is the Christians in jail because prayer didn't work and their children died. For example: Susan Grady, who relied on prayer to heal her son. Nine-year-old Aaron Grady died and Susan Grady was arrested.

      An article in the Journal of Pediatrics examined the deaths of 172 children from families who relied upon faith healing from 1975 to 1995. They concluded that four out of five ill children, who died under the care of faith healers or being left to prayer only, would most likely have survived if they had received medical care.

      The statistical studies from the nineteenth century and the three CCU studies on prayer are quite consistent with the fact that humanity is wasting a huge amount of time on a procedure that simply doesn’t work. Nonetheless, faith in prayer is so pervasive and deeply rooted, you can be sure believers will continue to devise future studies in a desperate effort to confirm their beliefs!

      May 4, 2012 at 10:48 am |
  17. realist

    Freedom of speech and Religion. Good job Billy Graham for not bowing down to no one but OUR GOD.

    May 3, 2012 at 7:15 pm |
    • momoya

      AMEN!!! Hey, I'm looking to buy somebody's daughter as suggested by god in the bible.. Do you know of anyone looking to sell?

      May 3, 2012 at 7:20 pm |
    • Bad Religion

      I fail to see how you are free if you are bowing to an imaginary being.... it's sounds more to me you are trapped in insanity grasping for straws to justify your bigotry.

      May 3, 2012 at 7:20 pm |
    • sftommy

      Absolutely a violation of Freedom of Religion.

      God's Church has married two men and Billy wants that against man's Law?
      That's not Freedom of Religion, That's one religion tyrannizing other religions to abide by the limits they put on God's power. God is more powerful than they and gives us all love and marriage and happiness if we turn away from those who wish evil.

      May 3, 2012 at 7:26 pm |
    • realist

      Political correctness will be the DEATH of this beautiful nation.

      May 3, 2012 at 7:35 pm |
  18. sftommy

    It is sad to see so so little Faith by Christians in God's love for all He created.

    Jesus taught love, not so much somee modern Christians like Billy who put their own blasphemous limits on God's love and power and throw labels at people and smight them for their loves. Therein lies America's moral decline; Christian men and women imposing their own rules and limits to God's love. Pray for Billy's forgiveness as I do.

    May 3, 2012 at 7:15 pm |
  19. Len Claypool

    I am SO sorry to hear this news. I was raised in the Penticostal Church and though I am Gay... Have been PROUD to support Brother Graham through the years because he has been one of the FEW that Preach and Teach Equally. Thoughts and Prayers Rev. Graham.

    May 3, 2012 at 7:15 pm |
    • Maya

      Wow, self-loathing much? Billy Graham and people like him think of gay people as no better than animals. They'd rid the world of all of you, given the chance.

      May 3, 2012 at 7:19 pm |
  20. glenda

    Christian conservatives forget that it's God's job, to judge people.

    May 3, 2012 at 7:14 pm |
    • pervert alert

      so do qu eers

      May 3, 2012 at 7:16 pm |
    • sftommy

      God doesn't judge, he loves,, everybody

      May 3, 2012 at 7:30 pm |
    • airforce1990

      Sftommy you are off your rocker if you think God won't judge.

      May 3, 2012 at 7:57 pm |
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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.