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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. Portia

    If the venom spewed here against a man exercising his right to speak and his right to translate the Bible is any indication, I will never vote in favor of gay marriage. I do not believe that the discourse here warrants posters to wish for his death. It just portrays you in a light that is very ugly and makes you no friends among the majority of those voting.

    May 3, 2012 at 7:54 pm |
    • momoya

      You're going to vote based on the emotions of people expressing anger on a chat board?!? Really?? That's the stupidest thing I've heard all day.

      May 3, 2012 at 7:56 pm |
    • cherisea

      It's funny that you are able to look past the venom spewed at LGBTQ individuals... because in your eyes, it's justified. How sad.

      May 3, 2012 at 7:56 pm |
    • Billy Graham Real Estate

      Why thank you. Interested in a few acres? Just call me, Billy, at 1-900-GOD-FROD

      May 3, 2012 at 7:57 pm |
    • Surthurfurd

      I oppose Graham's statements. I also oppose any words that promote harm to anyone. What I wonder is: are you equally ready to oppose those who oppose g ay marriage because they have spewed the same hate and death rhetoric?

      May 3, 2012 at 7:57 pm |
    • Patrick

      That's very true. But now go look at the postings on any gay story on Fox News and see the kinds of things your side says. Not just death, torture...total extermination, and plenty of words with a double g in the middle.

      May 3, 2012 at 7:57 pm |
  2. Try2Bhuman

    I want to give some new rebuttals to my fellow gays. This condescending, irritating and hurtful phase that the church came up with when they were being called out for hating gays: “Love the sinner, hate the sin.” Let’s make it reeeeeal simple and talk about opposites. God ≠ Satin. Good ≠ Evil. Love ≠ Hate. Now… God = Love. Satin = Hate. Your God teaches you to: turn OUR love into YOUR hate. If you still don’t understand the conflicting love/hate statement, let’s make a ludicrous statement. “ I just LOVE broccoli, but absolutely HATE the taste!” Worshipers, I ask that if you indeed want to live true, now that you know that this can be a hurtful statement, if you continue to use it anyway, I say beware of the “God” you’re worshiping. Ever heard of “a wolf in sheep’s clothing”? Or “Satin takes on many forms, mostly resembling someone you would trust your life with”?
    Another thing I would like to address is some people’s view about “disgusting gay behavior”. Seriously, why are you thinking about and visualizing what same genders do in the bedroom? Do you think we sit around and visualize hetros? If/when we do, I assure you that it grosses us out equally. But then again we STOP thinking about it immediately and move on. You people that obsess and reiterate how disgusting we are, wonder why we think you’re a closet case? Do you think our family and friends sit there and picture what we’re doing in bed? Besides s3x ≠ love, nor is s3x all that humans are. In fact, it’s been 0% of my life for about a year now. Ok, tmi. I outtie…

    Love brings peace.

    May 3, 2012 at 7:53 pm |
    • david riker

      Christians hate both the "sin" and the "sinner." Hatred is an indispensable component of their religion. They NEED someone to hate, always and they have no shortage of candidates. SHUN THEM.

      May 3, 2012 at 7:59 pm |
    • Try2Bhuman

      David, my Mom is Christian. Shall I shun her? You can't fight hate with more hate.

      May 3, 2012 at 8:02 pm |
    • airforce1990

      Try learning to spell Satan. I don't think satin is inherently evil. I love my sheets.

      May 3, 2012 at 8:03 pm |
    • Try2Bhuman

      Ha! Good catch. Satan! My bad, nobody's perfect bud. Satin get's pretty hot...

      May 3, 2012 at 8:12 pm |
  3. david riker

    I freely admit to detesting Billy Graham, his racist son Franklin, and indeed, the entire Judeo-Christian enterprise. Sponge it out of human affairs like dog crap off a living room floor.

    May 3, 2012 at 7:51 pm |
    • Billy Graham Real Estate

      Guess you're not in my target customers. Sure you wouldn't like to buy a small parcel? Just a few mangroves in it.

      May 3, 2012 at 7:55 pm |
  4. MPN

    Let No One Walk Alone! Jesus loved Everyone! Shouldn't We?

    May 3, 2012 at 7:51 pm |
    • Surthurfurd

      Sadly there are many people who think they are Christians, yet they follow a secular version of Christianity.

      May 3, 2012 at 7:51 pm |
    • david riker

      I hate Jesus and everything he dirtied with his touch. That goes double for his "father."

      May 3, 2012 at 7:55 pm |
  5. B

    This disturbs me. Rev. Graham is a historically level-headed and good example. This now gives a false sense of legitimacy to a heretofore crazy-looking bunch of fanatics.

    May 3, 2012 at 7:50 pm |
  6. gadflie

    If we made all the atheists in this country move away, we would lose over 90% of the members of the National Academy of Sciences and less than 2% of the prison population.

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

      There are states that are more interested in promoting theology than they are interested in raising the US school science scores as compared to other nations.

      May 3, 2012 at 7:53 pm |
  7. Billy Graham Real Estate

    Prime swampland I mean real estate for sale in Florida. A bit wet but just bring your own toxic landfill. I'll even throw in a few barrels of my own and some autographed-by-me bibles to fill the gaps if you bring your own waste.

    Billy G.

    May 3, 2012 at 7:49 pm |
  8. Jim The Plumber

    Another fool who believes in the talking snake

    May 3, 2012 at 7:48 pm |
    • Billy Graham Real Estate

      I'll see your talking snake and raise you a few women who say that they're virgins.

      May 3, 2012 at 7:50 pm |
  9. Patrick

    It's sad to think that a child molester/murderer who just happened to be born in the states and is more likely to accept Christianity might get hold of a bible in Prison, accept Jesus, repent and go to heaven for eternal bliss, while a Hindu shoplifter, born in Mumbai, who does as 97% of Hindus do, and remains a Hindu for life will spend eternity in torment.

    May 3, 2012 at 7:47 pm |
    • Really?

      I wish that this old man would just S T F U. Hes forcing everyone into his warped religion. But a Christian murderer would still pay for his sin while a Hindu that does not hurt a fly would not have it so rough next time around. Jesus knew about reincarnation and if he said anything about it, it was censored.

      May 3, 2012 at 7:52 pm |
  10. Carl

    Yes Billy that's what made America great, imposing your own personal belief system on the entire populace.

    May 3, 2012 at 7:46 pm |
  11. david riker

    I don't want his prayers, I can assure you. I just want him gone from our midst, so he won't dirty the human race any further.

    May 3, 2012 at 7:45 pm |
  12. Scholar

    In the end, it will be legal cases on the periphery of marriage that will alter the basic situation. From the contract of marriage comes subsidiary and ancillary legal relationships such as inheritance, pre-nuptial agreements, divorce and property rights in general.

    States will test contract law and the marriage contract entered into in states where it is legal to marry same gender partners. Of special interest will be the legal children of a same gender married couple and the situation that will occur when one of the legal parents passes away and the state must award custody.

    Parental rights of same gender married couples will be an interesting legal case.

    May 3, 2012 at 7:44 pm |
    • momoya

      Really? How will it be any more different than what is now?? It's just two people in a contract.

      May 3, 2012 at 7:46 pm |
    • Patrick

      Gays and lesbians have been adopting for decades. It's not illegal.

      May 3, 2012 at 7:49 pm |
  13. Joeoc2002

    He's a very good man, but he's on the wrong side of history.

    May 3, 2012 at 7:42 pm |
    • Joanna

      He's a very bad man, and he's on the wrong side of history.

      May 3, 2012 at 7:43 pm |
    • Reader50

      He's a very good, man on the right side of history.

      May 3, 2012 at 7:59 pm |
  14. realist

    Political correctness will be the DEATH of this beautiful nation, it's happening before our very eyes.

    May 3, 2012 at 7:41 pm |
    • Observer

      Yep, let's go back to slavery and keep women from voting. Bright.

      May 3, 2012 at 7:44 pm |
    • Surthurfurd

      Ever since we let the German immigrants be considered citizens in the late 1700's

      May 3, 2012 at 7:45 pm |
  15. Sergo Jean

    I do believe at the beginning God created man and a woman to be together and also commanded them to multiply. God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness. For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: For even their women did change the natural use into that which against nature: And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompense of their error which was meet. Romans 1 : 18-29. I hope people will repent and be ready for the great day of the Lord Jesus Christ

    May 3, 2012 at 7:40 pm |
    • gadflie

      Yep, Paul's rewrite of the Sodom story. He didn't like the reason's that God gave so he made up his own.

      May 3, 2012 at 7:42 pm |
    • momoya

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

      May 3, 2012 at 7:42 pm |
    • Observer

      Romans (12:20) also says “If your enemies are hungry, feed them. If they are thirsty, give them something to drink.”

      Do you believe and practice EVERYTHING that Romans says or just PICK-and-CHOOSE?

      May 3, 2012 at 7:42 pm |
    • realist

      Go out and preach the word my friend. You spread the truth.

      May 3, 2012 at 7:43 pm |
    • Observer

      Realist,

      Billy Graham is spreading HYPOCRISY. It's all just pick-and-choose which sins to pick on.

      May 3, 2012 at 7:48 pm |
    • nugget78

      According to your perception of the bible its wrong to be gay/lesbian, but incest is acceptable?

      May 3, 2012 at 7:48 pm |
    • Mike

      When God sat down in his study to write The Bible, that is exactly what he had in mind.

      May 3, 2012 at 7:58 pm |
  16. Jeanie L.

    B. Grahmn is not making his own rules up. He is following the Bible. We cannot make our own rules up to fit our lifestyles. No, B. Grahm will not judge but GOD will.

    May 3, 2012 at 7:40 pm |
    • Bob

      So, Jeanie, if he's following the bible rules, that must mean that he does regular animal sacrifices, and worse stuff. Sounds like you'd like to join him in that horrid stuff.

      Note that the bible is very clear that you should sacrifice and burn an animal today because the smell makes sicko Christian sky fairy happy. No, you don't get to use the parts for food. You burn them, a complete waste of the poor animal.

      Yes, the bible really says that, everyone. Yes, it's in Leviticus, look it up. Yes, Jesus purportedly said that the OT commands still apply. No exceptions. But even if you think the OT was god's mistaken first go around, you have to ask why a perfect, loving enti-ty would ever put such horrid instructions in there. If you think rationally at all, that is.

      And then, if you disagree with my interpretation, ask yourself how it is that your "god" couldn't come up with a better way to communicate than a book that is so readily subject to so many interpretations, and has so many mistakes in it. Pretty pathetic god that you've made for yourself.

      So get out your sacrificial knife or your nasty sky creature will torture you eternally. Or just take a closer look at your foolish supersti-tions, understand that they are just silly, and toss them into the dustbin with all the rest of the gods that man has created.

      Ask the questions. Break the chains. Join the movement. Be free of Christianity and other superstitions.
      http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/

      May 3, 2012 at 7:46 pm |
    • L. Shaw

      You are a hateful person!

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

      The bible is a very hateful book. Has instructions from 'god' like this:

      Numbers 31:17-18
      17 Now kiII all the boys. And kiII every woman who has slept with a man, 18 but save for yourselves every girl who has never slept with a man.

      No thanks, you can keep your nasty Christian fairy tales.

      Ask the questions. Break the chains. Join the movement. Be free of Christianity and other superstitions.
      http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/

      May 3, 2012 at 7:52 pm |
    • Sergo Jean

      You are right, I hope one day all men and women will understand that ; I do believe we not suppose to use or take the words from the bible to justify our bad behaviors in our own way; but to follow our God Jesus Christ and obey to Him because He gives us hope to have another world better than this one without sins for all eternity

      May 3, 2012 at 7:53 pm |
    • GonzoG

      If you choose to live your life by Christian tenets, I will respect that. If you choose to impose those tenets on me, prepare for a fight.

      May 3, 2012 at 7:54 pm |
    • Observer

      L. Shaw,

      So you can't come up with any response other than an insult.

      You just lost round one. Try harder.

      May 3, 2012 at 7:54 pm |
    • Jonathan

      Time to work on reading comprehension.

      Why did people make sacrifices? To seek forgiveness of their sins.
      When did this take place? Before the time of Christ
      What did Christ do? Gave himself up as the ultimate sacrifice for sin.
      What does this mean? No greater sacrifice can be made in Christ's place, animal sacrifices were done away with.
      What are you doing when making an animal sacrifice to God to forgive your sins? Declaring that Christ's sacrifice was not sufficient.

      What does this all mean? Christians, those that accept Christ's sacrifice, do not sacrifice animals to God.

      May 3, 2012 at 7:57 pm |
    • Bob

      Nope, you get a fail on that one. Those instructions for sacrifice are purportedly straight from god. Very explicit. And there's worse in there in the Christian book of nasty AKA the bible.

      And re that dead-son-on-sticks "sacrifice" nonsense, what a hoot. How come your 'omnipotent' creature couldn't do all the saving without the loony son sacrifice bit? And for that matter, how was it a sacrifice at all, when an omnipotent being could just pop up a replacement son any time it wants with less than a snap of its fingers? Pretty feeble god it is that you've made for yourself there.

      Ask the questions. Break the chains. Join the movement. Be free of Christianity and other superstitions.
      http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/

      May 3, 2012 at 8:01 pm |
    • Jonathan

      @Bob

      I apologize. I severly overestimated your ability to comprehend logical statements. You either fail to grasp the nature of the christian god or merely seek to remain ignorant and spout meaningless garbage that doesn't hold up under scrutiny.

      May 3, 2012 at 8:07 pm |
  17. david riker

    Billy Graham is dogsht! Die Billy, die!

    May 3, 2012 at 7:38 pm |
  18. Cheryl Jefferies

    "May be an internationally-know figure?" Get real. He's better known than most folks walking this planet. Good for you, Mr. Graham! I agree!

    May 3, 2012 at 7:37 pm |
    • Surthurfurd

      Osama bin Ladin was internationally known.

      May 3, 2012 at 7:38 pm |
  19. Surthurfurd

    I have noticed those who worship hatred of people who are different seem to have no defense other than "God told me to do it." Even if they can not justify their claim.

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

      As much as you may like it to be, it is not an issue of "hatred of people." It's about moral behavior that is right or wrong. But, I'm guessing you already know this.

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

      I didnt read anything that said that Rev. Billy Graham hated anyone. Just because someone has a different opinion than that of the gay community, it should not be construed hatred. Bible believers are often torn by their love and care for others and their deep devotion and belief in God's Word. I have a gay son; we both have agreed that we don't agree and move on. I love him, he loves me and niether one of us forces each other to go against our personal convictions. Disagreement, yes; hatred, absolutely not. When Billy Graham was asked what would he do if his son was gay, he said that he would love his son even more than the other children. This is not hate.

      May 3, 2012 at 7:49 pm |
    • Scott

      What a shame that you would worship a god that would make you believe your son's actions are immoral. And how great it must be for your son to know you view him that way.

      May 3, 2012 at 8:25 pm |
  20. david riker

    Satan is waiting for Billy in hell. Die, Billy, die.

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

      That is unacceptable. Do not lower yourself to the Conservative "Christian" level of wishing someone else harm.

      May 3, 2012 at 7:37 pm |
    • james

      In the last days people will call evil good and good evil.That's what you are doing.Repent and turn to the Lord before its too late.Hebrews 9:27-as it is appointed to man once to die but after this the judgement

      May 3, 2012 at 7:40 pm |
    • Observer

      Surthurford is right. Grow up.

      May 3, 2012 at 7:40 pm |
    • unowhoitsme

      TO DAVID RIKER: You're exactly the kind of person that Billy Graham has prayed for ALL his life...and this is the respect you give him? Spit and torture is the same kind of treatment the King of the Jews endured...and by the way...died for YOU.

      May 3, 2012 at 7:40 pm |
    • david riker

      I don't want his prayers, I can assure you. I just want him gone from our midst, and soon.

      May 3, 2012 at 7:47 pm |
    • L. Shaw

      Yes Billy is a nasty person into little girls, and Jesus had a boy friend

      May 3, 2012 at 7:53 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.