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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. Matt

    Regardless of religion I think speaking out against people sticking things into other people's butt holes is just solid practical advice

    May 6, 2012 at 9:15 pm |
    • mandarax

      If that's all you can think of when the subject of gay rights comes up, then you are the pervert.

      May 6, 2012 at 10:01 pm |
    • sam stone

      regardless of religion, i think denying adults equal rights because you disagree with their consentual activity with other adults is bigotry

      May 7, 2012 at 5:13 am |
  2. Faithful

    God's CREATION according to the Bible: At first the earth was without form [Tohuw] or inhabitants [Bohuw]

    1st day – Night and day
    2nd day – Sky and sea
    3rd day – Land and vegetation So the first set of 3 days God gave the form [Tohuw – Jewish]

    4th day – Sun, moon and stars
    5th day Birds and fish
    6th day – Beasts of the field and Man – So the second set of 3 days God filled the form with thr inhabitants

    7the day he rested, blessed and sanctified what He had made, An Supremely Intelligent plan and creation

    NOW the Scientist's Creation theory:

    A big bang
    A huge puddle of mud
    A single cell that -all by itself – somehow developed into all the different creatures on earth! Hardly intelligent design really. is it?

    No Contest!

    May 6, 2012 at 7:29 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      You are seriously stupid.

      May 6, 2012 at 7:34 pm |
    • David

      We all know that the bible is full of contradictions, but Faithful has made it as convenient as possible.

      1st day – Night and day
      . . .
      4th day – Sun, moon and stars

      oooops

      For those who still believe in the bible, do these contradictions disturb you at all? If not, ask yourself if you truly are searching for the Truth, or if you have decided what the truth is and will stick to your guns despite 100% proof to the contrary.

      May 6, 2012 at 8:00 pm |
    • mandarax

      Too ignorant to even be worthy of a thoughtful response...

      May 6, 2012 at 10:03 pm |
    • ElmerGantry

      Another result of "Sunday School" indoctrination.

      May 7, 2012 at 7:05 am |
    • Shawn

      OMG! How glib and simple-minded. I'm embarrassed for you. The Big Bang theory is a little more detailed than how you describe it. Do you realize that? Have you ever cracked a book regarding said theory, or are you too afraid of the truth? You may actually get answers to your questions, but why do that? Ignorance in your case must be bliss. Run along little sheep. It's now Sunday, and your church needs your cash. If you give them enough, you'll surely go to 'heaven" to sit around FOREVER. Maybe they have nightly Bingo? Good luck. Just one question though, how did God make night and day before hanging all the pretty stars, sun, and moon in the sky? And did he use hammer and nails or glue? And on the 7th day, what did God do to rest? Is he part of a bowling league? Does he have a hot tub? Just curious what you think.

      May 13, 2012 at 12:38 pm |
  3. David

    Any respect I had for Billy Graham just evaporated.

    Conservative Christians = Bullies

    Maybe one day Christians will stop persecuting the rest of us and just let us live our lives in peace.

    May 6, 2012 at 7:16 pm |
    • Donny

      There is right and wrong in the universe, Mr. David. Right: Man and a woman marry; Wrong: man and man; woman and woman. Wise up. Billy Graham is no bully. You're the bully with the 800 pound inferiority/jealousy complex. You just don't like what he said. You're the five-year-old you cries, "That's not fair" when other people think differently than you. There is a standard in the world. This standard was created by God. Wise up.

      May 6, 2012 at 11:55 pm |
    • sam stone

      donny: whether you feel two men, or two women marrying is right or wrong, denying adults equal rights is the sign of a bully. if billy boy (or anyone else) wants to wrap themselves in a holy book to do so does not change it being bigotry. it just makes it pious bigotry

      May 7, 2012 at 5:19 am |
    • ElmerGantry

      @Donny
      Giving someone else equal rights does not infringe or take away rights from you. It just makes it illegal to enforce your prejudice and hate.

      It's that simple

      How about practicing the do unto others as you would have them do unto you. Do you want others to practice hatr towards you? I don't think so. Or is it that you are false mirroring, you know the practice of falsely thinking others practice hate because you do, the practice of projecting your inadequacies onto others.

      Donny start practicing the "golden rule", remember "what you do to the least of my brothers, you do unto me [Jesus].

      May 7, 2012 at 6:56 am |
  4. octopus

    Did you hear about separation of religion from state?

    May 6, 2012 at 5:29 pm |
    • octopus

      This was reply to Happy7

      May 6, 2012 at 5:31 pm |
  5. gary

    such hatred from a supposedly good man. Gay is OK, let them marry. No harm, much good. Feels like Jim Crow all over again. Such ignorant bigotry.

    May 6, 2012 at 4:31 pm |
    • pervert alert

      Qu-eer is a sin and a crime against nature. Qu-eer is not anywhere near prejudice based on skin color. Qu-eer is a choice and a perversion.

      May 6, 2012 at 6:49 pm |
    • atheist fred

      @pervert alert
      “Qu-eer is a choice” just like mental retardation is a choice, and it’s clear that you’ve chosen the latter.

      May 7, 2012 at 7:20 am |
    • ElmerGantry

      I wonder, at what age did "pervert alert" get the choice talk. Y'all know, the talk where the choice of being discriminated, bullied, harassed, possibly murdered, and possibly committing suicide is offered.

      That talk.

      May 7, 2012 at 7:45 am |
  6. Happy7

    The Bible has always stated and has never changed that marriage is between a man and a woman. Billy Graham is standing up for what the foundations of our Christian faith has always stood for. He does not hate gays because he does not want the definition of marriage changed. The Bible does not say to hate others but to love others even with all our differences. However, as Christians, we DO NOT redefine or change things that God has put in place. God ordered things a certain way, its like saying, well I now think that men should get pregnant and pregnancy should only last one month. You cannot change the natural order or law that God put in place. You see the natural laws and order in every day life. The law or gravity, the biology of men vs. women, the law of physics. The problem with today is that everyone wants to take God out of everything and are not really understanding what the long term consequences are. The world is where it is today because people think that human wisdom supersedes God's wisdom. Christians are upholding what they know what God would want in this world because its clearly stated in the Word of God. This is not hate it is reality.

    May 6, 2012 at 4:00 pm |
    • octopus

      Does this article imply that Billy Graham is not a gay?

      May 6, 2012 at 5:27 pm |
    • octopus

      I don't know why my previous post was posted as a reply to you. My real reply has never been posted.

      May 6, 2012 at 5:28 pm |
    • Tom

      Being a Catholic – I have been bothered by the hatred of so-called christians these days. The bible is not the word of God – it is the word of man. The New Testament was written (at its earliest) in the 40s AD. Considering it was written roughly 10 years after the crucifixion of Jesus, I find it hard to believe that it is accurate to what he taught. You also have instances like the Council of Trent who, again, are men pretending they know what God wants and saying they are doing the will of God. If there was one religion based on a bible written by Jesus himself from 20-30AD, then we would know for sure. Until then, love one another as you would want to be loved, pray, and treat all with respect. Otherwise – stop calling yourself a christian!

      May 6, 2012 at 5:50 pm |
    • EvolvedDNA

      Happy 7 ..You see know how easy it is to justify hate and dislike to wards a group based on a a book.....You cannot prove anything of what you say, but you are willing to act it out because you think a god said it...

      May 6, 2012 at 5:52 pm |
    • Faithful

      Tom – Of course the Bible was writtten by men but they were inspired in what they wrote. And by the way – St Paul was writing letters to the Corinthians, Ephesians, Thessalonians etc immediately after the crucifixion.
      St John stood at the foot of the Cross with Our Lady and HE also wrote the Acts of the Aposltes along with an account of the Crucifixion, Resurrection and Ascension along with Matthew, Mark and Luke.
      They also repeated what Jesus preached.

      It WASN'T years after Jesus – it was during His life and immediately after His death.

      May 6, 2012 at 6:59 pm |
    • Happy7

      Tom – I'm a Catholic as well and its scary to hear that you don't believe that the Bible is the Word of God. 99% of Catholic/Christian teachings come from the Bible. If you don't believe in it, your faith in the Catholic Church and Christianity on a whole is in vain. There is no substance or reason to believe if it really is not the Word of God, written by man and inspired by the Holy Spirit. Unfortunately, most Catholics are in the same boat you are in and cannot explain or understand their faith when it comes to those who question their beliefs. I hope that you can get to know your faith so that at some point in your life you don't just walk away because you don't understand. You have to ask; why is it the #1 selling book every year, why were men and women willing to die for the faith that was professed in the Bible, why is it that all our Saints in the Catholic Church have professed it to be the Word of God....get answers to the questions and your faith will not be in vain. Also, read the Bible in an open and prayerful manner and you will see it change your life!!!

      May 7, 2012 at 1:47 am |
    • sam stone

      bully for the bible. we do not base our secular laws on the bible

      May 7, 2012 at 5:20 am |
    • atheist fred

      It doesn't say to hate gays, it just says to kill them you stupid twat!

      May 7, 2012 at 7:22 am |
  7. whybs

    You can bet that Billy beats off (more than once :)!

    May 6, 2012 at 2:09 pm |
    • whybs

      Billy, eat me @whybs!

      May 6, 2012 at 2:10 pm |
  8. clare

    I want to know who is paying gay couples to move to these states to get their agenda passed. I think it would be prudent to make it manditory to be a resident for at least five years before an amendment could be voted on by such persons. I also think that the people should have to make public if they have voted on these laws in other states. You shouldn't be able to move around this country to just get your agendas passed if they aren't favorable to the majorities. Fraud is what I call it!

    May 6, 2012 at 1:50 pm |
    • mandarax

      paranoid conspiracy theory is what I call it.

      May 6, 2012 at 1:55 pm |
    • EvolvedDNA

      Claire ..gay folks pay taxes and have as say in democracy.. whereas the church is freeloading and still expects to push its own agenda...

      May 6, 2012 at 5:58 pm |
    • TruthPrevails :-)

      @clare: Do you also want it publicly noted who is marrying who and how often they have s.e.x? These people are citizens like you and deserve the same equal rights you get. You are a bigot!

      May 7, 2012 at 7:48 am |
  9. Dave Harris

    This is kind of too bad. Graham always seemed a cut above the other hate-mongering, money-grubbing TV holy men. Like maybe he isn't a total con man like the others. Guess not.

    May 6, 2012 at 12:26 pm |
    • mandarax

      I agree, I had held him in higher regard, too. I guess that was my delusion.

      May 6, 2012 at 1:42 pm |
    • Ben

      you must remember though that he was born in a time when being gay was wrong and he is a victim of the time. In 20 years, if people don't agree with gay marriage, they will say we were victims of the time.

      May 6, 2012 at 2:07 pm |
    • Happy7

      The Bible has always stated and has never changed that marriage is between a man and a woman. Billy Graham is standing up for what the foundations of our Christian faith has always stood for. He does not hate gays because he does not want the definition of marriage changed. The Bible does not say to hate others but to love others even with all our differences. However, as Christians, we DO NOT redefine or change things that God has put in place. God ordered things a certain way, its like saying, well I now think that men should get pregnant and pregnancy should only last one month. You cannot change the natural order or law that God put in place. You see the natural laws and order in every day life. The law or gravity, the biology of men vs. women, the law of physics. The problem with today is that everyone wants to take God out of everything and not really understanding what the long term consequences. The world is where it is today because people think that human wisdom supersedes God's wisdom. Christians are upholding what they know what God would want in this world because its clearly stated in the Word of God. This is not hate it is reality.

      May 6, 2012 at 3:58 pm |
    • TruthPrevails :-)

      "The Bible has always stated and has never changed that marriage is between a man and a woman."

      The buybull is also 2000 years old...not exactly a reliable source of updated information. What the buybull says and what the laws of the land say are two different things. The laws of the land are the only things that matter in a SECULAR nation.

      May 7, 2012 at 8:36 am |
    • Mirosal

      You do realize that 1/2 of the buybull was written 2000 years ago, the other half 3000 years ago. They were written for societies that NO ... LONGER... EXIST. Deal with it. Unless you WANT to go back to goat herding and trading cows for wives?

      May 7, 2012 at 8:43 am |
  10. Bill

    the world needs more love, not less.

    May 6, 2012 at 12:11 pm |
    • mandarax

      Absolutely. Love wins.

      May 6, 2012 at 1:43 pm |
    • Jo Gordon

      True. Church preaches "Love thy neighbor as yourself" then turns right around and hates gays!

      May 6, 2012 at 8:34 pm |
  11. octopus

    Why, he's afraid his partner will propose to him?

    May 6, 2012 at 10:45 am |
  12. Dan

    I am for the amendment but against religion. This is going to be a tough one.

    May 6, 2012 at 10:16 am |
    • sam stone

      dan: why are you for the amendment, if not a religious viewpoint?

      May 6, 2012 at 10:40 am |
  13. Reality

    Billy, Billy, Billy, come out wherever you are 🙂

    Again:------->

    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 6, 2012 at 7:49 am |
    • .....

      Absolute bull sh it hit report abuse on every reality post

      May 6, 2012 at 8:18 am |
    • Mirosal

      Why should we do that?

      May 6, 2012 at 8:21 am |
    • .....

      Post to hit report abuse on all reality posts intended for only those with common sense

      May 6, 2012 at 8:34 am |
    • ElmerGantry

      @.....,

      Unimaginative screen-name wants every one to practice censorship. Why, because this poster has NO viable logical, reasonable, or rational response and so resorts to the only tool he/she knows.

      May 7, 2012 at 7:19 am |
    • ElmerGantry

      @.....

      Getting your misinformation from the bronze age tribal culture Buy-Bull, eh.

      May 8, 2012 at 10:33 pm |
  14. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things .

    May 6, 2012 at 6:25 am |
    • 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 7, 2012 at 11:10 am |
  15. EternalFlame

    Oh, isn't this special. Billy Graham holds off on the issue for 93 years, unitl he's too senile to fight his handlers anymore. And THEN he takes a stand.

    So, Billy. Senile, or just a coward?

    May 6, 2012 at 2:26 am |
    • Dan

      ignorant

      May 6, 2012 at 11:02 am |
  16. Lanny

    Billy Graham is waste of skin.

    May 5, 2012 at 10:49 pm |
  17. Ming Yao

    Disgusting blasphemers...you will see one day. This nation is truly going to the dogs.

    May 5, 2012 at 9:42 pm |
    • Lanny

      Are you a dog?

      May 5, 2012 at 10:52 pm |
    • danielwalldammit

      Don't be so rough on yourself. I don't think your blasphemies are that bad.

      May 6, 2012 at 3:32 am |
    • Rick

      Yeah.....them empty proxy threats are soooo effective

      May 6, 2012 at 6:56 am |
    • Dan

      With that name you probably eat dogs.

      May 6, 2012 at 10:12 am |
  18. david riker

    SHT ON JESUS!
    SHT ON GOD!
    SHT ON THE BIBLE!

    May 5, 2012 at 9:33 pm |
    • JACK MEIBAUM

      Whether you believe in God or not is your decision BUT AREN'T YOU ASHAMED OF YOURSELF FOR NOT BEING ABLE TO TALK IN A CIVIL WAY

      May 6, 2012 at 6:52 am |
  19. david riker

    SHT ON BILLY! I SPIT ON THE GOD HE PRAYS TO!

    May 5, 2012 at 9:30 pm |
    • Dan

      that's ignorant

      May 6, 2012 at 11:04 am |
  20. Dorothy

    Boy, never seen so many people hate God His Word (Bible), His Son Jesus, His Spirit The Holy Spirit and those that Believe in Him. God is not religion, Jesus is not religion, The Holy Spirit is not religon, Christianity is not a religion. No matter what many of you think or say, one day, whether you want to or not, you will bow before Jesus and say He is Lord.

    May 5, 2012 at 8:57 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      So did your "Lord" make a mistake in creating people who are attracted to others of the same gender?

      Let me know if you need the above translated into Trailer-Park English.

      May 5, 2012 at 9:00 pm |
    • Rick

      Pretty pompous claiming that you know who god is, to the point that you can preach it. Of course, that would not be unusual

      May 5, 2012 at 9:26 pm |
    • Rick

      Of course jesus is religion, and empty proxy warnings make you look like an imbecile

      May 5, 2012 at 9:27 pm |
    • david riker

      I PSSS ON THEM ALL!

      May 5, 2012 at 9:32 pm |
    • Rick

      dorothy....time to get toto and go back to kansas. we do not "hate god" as your persecution hyperbole suggests. we are simply annoyed at the arrogance of people (yourself included) of people claiming to speak for god.

      May 5, 2012 at 9:42 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.