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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. ANglielicious

    Being gay is just wrong, it says so in the bible, besides it's sick and gross, HELLO! The parts don't fit for a reason idiots!!!!! Hope they do ban gay marriage. Disgusting.

    May 3, 2012 at 2:07 pm |
    • YeahRight

      "Being gay is just wrong, it says so in the bible, besides it's sick and gross, HELLO! The parts don't fit for a reason idiots!!!!! Hope they do ban gay marriage. Disgusting."

      That's why it's found in 1500 other species and experts around the world have proven its a normal part of human sexuality. By the way straights have the same kind of sex. LOL! So you must be disgusting too.

      May 3, 2012 at 2:10 pm |
    • *facepalm*

      Hey, if it says so in the bible, then we should also ban poly-cotton blends. The bible puts the 'wickedness' of the two on the same level!

      May 3, 2012 at 2:10 pm |
    • In My Own Private Idaho

      ANglielicious, my gay parts fit juuuuuuuust fine, thank you very much!

      May 3, 2012 at 4:20 pm |
    • danielwalldammit

      The Bible has nothing to do with your prejudice. Stop making excuses!

      May 3, 2012 at 5:50 pm |
  2. jasoncdanforth

    For the last time (wishful thinking I know), no one is asking you, Billy Graham, to marry a gay person. Do you believe god holds you responsible for laws passed in your country? How about when someone sins within a mile of you. Does that mean you have sinned? Do you think that coercing someone into Christianity makes them automatically love Christ?

    If you are worried about sinning, it's really REALLY easy: don't sin. Don't lay with a man. We get all riled up when Egypt turns into an Islamist state with oppressive laws taking rights away from women on religious grounds, but at home we deny rights to gay people for the same religious reason: "for the Bible tells me so". How is that any different from "for the Quran tells me so"? You hypocrite!

    May 3, 2012 at 2:07 pm |
  3. MrJesusMohammedRosenjew

    Jesus' entire entourage was male; he preferred the company of men - sounds gay to me.

    May 3, 2012 at 2:07 pm |
  4. Colorista

    “In every country and in every age, the priest has been hostile to liberty. He is always in alliance with the despot.” – Thomas Jefferson

    “Religious bondage shackles and debilitates the mind and unfits it for every noble enterprise.” – James Madison

    May 3, 2012 at 2:06 pm |
  5. MrJesusMohammedRosenjew

    Jesus was into washing other dudes' feet; that's pretty gay.

    May 3, 2012 at 2:05 pm |
    • K from AZ

      Would hate to be in your shoes on Judgement Day!

      May 3, 2012 at 2:07 pm |
    • *facepalm*

      @K – considering that the real god is Thor, I wouldn't want to be in yours either. Have fun in Helheim

      May 3, 2012 at 2:12 pm |
    • BRC

      he also spent much of his life wandering outdoors with a group of 12 guys. It gets cold in a desert at night. Brokeback Jerusalem?

      May 3, 2012 at 2:16 pm |
    • Lol

      and did you forget about all the kissing (on the lips) that was happening between the dude and his 12 minions..

      May 3, 2012 at 2:20 pm |
    • just sayin

      And he lived and slept with his 12 buddies and liked to touch children.

      May 3, 2012 at 4:21 pm |
  6. Jon

    Another big Republican government initiative to control the behavior in the bedroom, let alone the house, child rearing, religion

    May 3, 2012 at 2:05 pm |
    • McKracker

      Not banning what people want to do in the bedroom and who with. Just saying that "marriage" is between one man and one woman.

      May 3, 2012 at 2:16 pm |
    • BRC

      @McKraker,
      Who says that? IF it's the bible, I'm an atheist, why should I care?

      May 3, 2012 at 2:21 pm |
    • just sayin

      "Just saying that "marriage" is between one man and one woman"
      .
      Your opinion has no bearing on other people's rights

      May 3, 2012 at 4:22 pm |
  7. zardo

    Sorry Mr. Graham...I can't bring myself to call either you or your son "reverend". Gay marriage is gong to happen in this country sooner than you think. There is NOTHING you and your ilk are going to do to stop it. But promoting hate and bigtory in the name of Christianity is sinful and you and all so called "Christians" should be ashamed of yourselves. Marriage equality has NOTHING to do with religion...it is a CIVIL matter. Churches aren't required to marry gay people..if you are against gay marriage, then don't let your churches perform them. Besides...whose marriages are we defending with these so called "defense of marriage" initiatives? Straight people don't have a very stellar record in the marriage arena....50% end in divorce...not a very encourgaing statistic to try and defend!

    May 3, 2012 at 2:05 pm |
    • crazyvermont

      lol yea but probably call Al Sharpton rev right? What a hypocritic

      May 3, 2012 at 2:08 pm |
  8. AS

    Can Mr. Graham find a place in the bible where marriage is defined and is not within a page or two of some biblical law that no Christian enforces any more?

    Or does he think adulterers should be put to death, women should never wear braids or speak in church and wool and cotton cannot be mixed?

    May 3, 2012 at 2:04 pm |
    • K from AZ

      Genesis 2:24!

      May 3, 2012 at 2:09 pm |
    • crazyvermont

      whole section of Roman(New Testament) devoted to talking about un natural practice of man or woman laying with someone of same gender

      May 3, 2012 at 2:10 pm |
    • Duh

      Who cares what this POS book BUYBULL says. It was written for stupid people who did not know how to read or write. It was for morons, and only morons follow what it says.

      May 3, 2012 at 2:14 pm |
    • DawnS

      Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his WIFE: and they shall be one flesh. Genesis 2;24

      May 3, 2012 at 2:24 pm |
    • mary

      *facepalm*

      "Hate" in my heart??
      Well lots of teenagers ask their parents the same thing when they won't let them stay out all night..Or have the boyfriend over for a all nighter..
      "You hate me"..
      Sorry your argument doesn't fly.. this is not about hate.. And You KNOW it isn't..
      Its about "doing" the wrong thing.. And expecting others to conform to it cause you choose to do it.

      May 3, 2012 at 2:28 pm |
  9. linda Operle

    Assuming we all care about what the Bible says. It may be his reality but it's not FACT nor law. The arrogance of these people to impose thier own PERSONAL beliefs on this country is appalling. Keep religion in the churches which is the only place it belongs.

    May 3, 2012 at 2:03 pm |
    • Calvin1949

      It is not just our personal belief..it is what the bible says....Period

      May 3, 2012 at 2:06 pm |
    • YeahRight

      "It is not just our personal belief..it is what the bible says....Period"

      No it doesn't which is why you have gay churches, gay clergy, pastors, rabbi's and many others going on record stating that gays as we know and understand it today is not a sin. Nowhere in your bible does your god condemn the saved loving respectful partnership of a gay couple! DUH!

      May 3, 2012 at 2:08 pm |
    • BRC

      @Calvin,
      a) just because the bible says it doesn't mean it's true
      b) even if it was, law does not come from the bible, so what's your point?

      May 3, 2012 at 2:09 pm |
    • mary

      As opposed to the gay's imposing thier beliefs ?
      This goes both ways.. Gays want to marry.. Adopt or have children.. Who start out without a biological mother or a father living in the same home..
      Who must go to school and out into the world and "fight' their parents battle to all who feel being gay is wrong..
      So stop with the whining about how your have rights others are stepping on.You have the same agenda..
      Only your intention is to step on the rights of children..

      May 3, 2012 at 2:10 pm |
    • Jim tom

      Exactly Calvin. It is what the Bible says. Period. Therefore it has no place in the laws of our country, and is completely irrelevant to the discussion.

      May 3, 2012 at 2:11 pm |
    • crazyvermont

      @bcc Law certainly was based on Biblical principles:) Look at 10 Commandments and tell me what laws they don't cover

      May 3, 2012 at 2:12 pm |
    • One Voice

      Well said!

      May 3, 2012 at 2:14 pm |
    • *facepalm*

      "Who must go to school and out into the world and "fight' their parents battle to all who feel being gay is wrong."

      So, what you're saying, if I'm reading this right, is that gay people shouldn't be allowed to marry because then the children of ignorant hateful bigots will bully their children?

      Try replacing 'gay couples' with 'interracial couples' in your argument and hopefully you'll see just how big of a bigot you really are.

      May 3, 2012 at 2:15 pm |
    • Duh

      Mary, CUCKOO, CUCKOO, CUCKOO!

      May 3, 2012 at 2:16 pm |
    • mary

      *facepalm*

      "Being" Gay is about what you do not what you are..
      There is a huge difference between the "real" bigotry based on skin color against another human.. As opposed to being against a person for what they choose to "do"..
      And people are not ever going to buy the "its just like how black people were treated" routine..
      Because you are using "real" unfairness to get what you want..
      Your trying to ride the wrong horse to the finish line and people are not buying it..

      May 3, 2012 at 2:19 pm |
    • *facepalm*

      @mary – both are defined by genetics. Your arguments are baseless.

      Why do you have so much hate in your heart?

      May 3, 2012 at 2:23 pm |
    • mary

      Duh

      Yeah,,
      Are you serious?
      wow I guess I 'should' feel "insulted".. 🙂

      May 3, 2012 at 2:23 pm |
    • mary

      *facepalm*

      Then Prove it...~!!

      May 3, 2012 at 2:24 pm |
    • BRC

      @crazy vermont,
      No, they weren't. They were based on the law structure that has worked well for all successful societies. No murder, no stealing, everyone has had those laws (much much older than the bible). Most of the rest, aren't actually laws in this nation. So, sorry , but unless you have a pretty convincing piece of evidence, you're wrong.

      What's more, the bible does not = law now, that whole seperation of church and state thing.

      May 3, 2012 at 2:45 pm |
    • Jkhur

      The 10 commandments did not establish any secular law. People existed before the 10 commandments. Do you really think the Isrealites were going around murdering one another, stealing from one another, etc with impunity prior to the 10 commandments? All the 10 commandments did was raise already existing secular law to have a religious component. All ancient sociities had laws against murder, theivery, etc prior to the existance of the 10 commandments. The Bible is not the basis for secular law in this country, nor should it be. And until gay marriage opponents argue as forcefully forthe death penalty for adulterers, then they are showing the truth of their soul – as bigots. And to attempt to enshrine bigotry in any law of this land is shameful.

      May 3, 2012 at 2:54 pm |
  10. GodIzForLosers

    The idea of god is a poorly executed wedgie.

    May 3, 2012 at 2:02 pm |
  11. pam k

    read the book "The case of a Creator" It is written by a former atheist/scientist which CLEARLY states there is THE Creator, not just something people come up with when they want to oppose something.

    May 3, 2012 at 2:01 pm |
    • Ed

      Oh wow! Some book clearly states there is a creator. I guess that resolves it. Thanks.

      May 3, 2012 at 2:05 pm |
    • atheist

      Can you please tell me what created The Creator? The creator must have needed a creator. And the creator's creator must have needed a creator too!

      May 3, 2012 at 2:13 pm |
    • *facepalm*

      @pam – please stop lying. The book's author is a journalist and a pastor – not a former scientist. He states he was an atheist, but that's about it. The book is basically a bunch of interviews with creationists.

      If you have to lie to try and prove a point, it can't be a very good point.

      May 3, 2012 at 2:20 pm |
  12. HERE

    DON'T TREAD ON ME.

    May 3, 2012 at 2:00 pm |
  13. Jim

    I'm not a real fan of gay marriage, but if Billy Graham is against it , it must have some virtue..

    May 3, 2012 at 1:59 pm |
    • YeahRight

      "Billy Graham is against it , it must have some virtue.."

      No, it just means he's a prejudice bigoted Christian.

      May 3, 2012 at 2:02 pm |
    • crazyvermont

      @YeahRight.....always amazing that if someone is bigoted if they take a stand for anything

      May 3, 2012 at 2:14 pm |
    • atheist

      You don't have to be a fan of gay marriage. You don't have to get one. I'm no fan of country music, but I don't need to ban it for people who want it.

      May 3, 2012 at 2:15 pm |
    • *facepalm*

      @crazyvermont:

      bigot: a person who is utterly intolerant of any differing creed, belief, or opinion.

      If the shoe fits...

      May 3, 2012 at 2:21 pm |
    • just sayin

      crazyvermont

      @YeahRight.....always amazing that if someone is bigoted if they take a stand for anything

      -–
      Stop and think about what you stated.

      May 3, 2012 at 4:25 pm |
  14. Jesus

    Bill Gram needs to die. He as is irrelevant as the easter bunny.

    May 3, 2012 at 1:59 pm |
    • morgan

      so funny...I actually thought he WAS dead! imagine my surprise to see this article 🙂

      May 3, 2012 at 2:03 pm |
    • just sayin

      I could swear he was already dead? What other Christian a hole am I thinking about then?

      May 3, 2012 at 4:26 pm |
  15. Andrew

    You failed, Billy Graham. You've judged and you've hated in the name of Jesus. I think you're going to Hell.

    May 3, 2012 at 1:59 pm |
    • Calvin1949

      God have mercy on your soul for saying such a thing about one of his chosen.

      May 3, 2012 at 2:04 pm |
    • JM

      Oh my. Failure to comprehend.

      If God bases marriage on the marriage contract between Himself and His people, one can't simply amend that at will.

      He's God; we're not. Billy Graham is simply emphasizing what the Bible teaches.

      May 3, 2012 at 2:04 pm |
    • Jerrold

      Awesome!!!

      May 3, 2012 at 2:05 pm |
    • Duh

      IF
      If is a big word. IF you feel you understand God's will, then that makes you BIGGER and BETTER than God, since God does not our freewill. Ergo, you maniacal relgionists actually think you are greater than the God you proselytize for. You are hypocrits through and through. You have caught yourselves into a circle-jerk of holier-than-thou and can't break free. You need to jump out of the buybull BS, and do some free thinking.

      “In every country and in every age, the priest has been hostile to liberty. He is always in alliance with the despot.” – Thomas Jefferson

      “Religious bondage shackles and debilitates the mind and unfits it for every noble enterprise.” – James Madison

      May 3, 2012 at 2:21 pm |
  16. Omar

    the souls of men will become wicked prior to His second coming. ironic how the unbelievers will fulfill biblical prophecy.

    May 3, 2012 at 1:58 pm |
    • Andrew

      Moreso the "believers".

      May 3, 2012 at 1:59 pm |
    • Anthony

      Usually I am wickely exhausted prior to any second...um...coming

      May 3, 2012 at 2:00 pm |
    • *facepalm*

      So, in your view:

      Wicked: wanting to allow two people who love each other to have their loving relationship afforded the same legal protections as other people who love each other

      Loving: Wanting to treat people different than you as second class citizens.

      Got it. Your god would be sooooo proud.

      May 3, 2012 at 2:07 pm |
  17. Bootyfunk

    Billy Graham's real name is Henry Kane:
    [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qXawavC9B34&w=640&h=360]

    May 3, 2012 at 1:57 pm |
  18. BobZemko

    Jesus, save me from your followers.

    May 3, 2012 at 1:57 pm |
  19. Andrew

    F@#% Theocracy.

    May 3, 2012 at 1:57 pm |
  20. DallasGuy

    Once again we see the words "the Bible is clear" as a way to justify something. The words on the page might be "clear", but the centuries-long chain of people and events that link those written words to the "history" and "truth" they claim to represent is anything but clear.

    May 3, 2012 at 1:57 pm |
    • Andrew

      It's clear that this is someone else's law from several k years ago.

      May 3, 2012 at 1:58 pm |
    • Ed

      Well said.

      May 3, 2012 at 1:59 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.