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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. citizen bob

    To "majority always wins"
    I suppose the majority winning explains those photos of the lynching tree?
    In a Republic, all rights of its people should be upheld and protected.
    Have we turned into a country of xenophobic cannibals turning on our own fellow Americans?
    This morning I felt shame for another state in my country voting against an already marginalized minority, but mostly I felt fear. Fear of senseless mob rule.
    I wish my country was truly a United States, supportive of each others' dreams to pursue life, happiness and freedom.

    May 9, 2012 at 9:33 pm |
  2. Jim Weix

    Didn't Billy Graham die yet? I thought that we were rid of that fraud.

    May 9, 2012 at 8:42 pm |
    • oel

      You may die be4 him,and worse still die gay which is a sure ticket to hell...like what happened in sodomy and Gomorrah

      May 9, 2012 at 10:53 pm |
  3. Shawn Irwin

    There are about 7,770,000 species on the earth. If there are 90% insects, and we consider them to be all very small, (which we know they are not), we could say that each pair, in order to fit on the "ARK" would need 4 square inches for two of them, plus their food for more than 40 days (Actually I think it was about a year, but we will go with about 40 days just to give the bible thumpers a chance, it supposably rained for 40 days). Since 12 inches squared = 144 cubic inches, 144 cubic inches / 4 cubic inches = 36 per square foot. We know that, the insect population is about 80 – 90% of the entire 7,770,000 species, so making a conservative estimate, we will say it is 90%. 7,770,000 * 90% = 6,993,000 insects. 6,993,000 insects / 36 insect per square foot = 174,250 square foot needed to house all of these insects, and their food. Now the animals. 7,770,000 – 6,993,000 = 777,000 animals. We will again be conservative, and say that each animal requires only 3 cubic feet living space and three cubic foot for 40 days supply of food. 9 cubic feet total for each pair of species. They say the average size is actually that of a sheep, which would be more like 9 cubic feet for the two sheep alone. So, 777,000 animals x 9 cubic feet = 6993000 cubic feet required to house them. Now we will take the total needed for the insects and the total for the animals and add them together. 6,993,000 square foot + 174,250 square foot = 7,167,250 square feet needed on the whole "ark". (We will not even count the space needed for the humans, breathing space for all of the animals, and space needed for the structure of the "ark" itself.) Now the dimensions of the "ark" are well known. The length of the ark – 300 cubits, its breadth 50 cubits, and its height 30 cubits". This is equivalent to a length of 450 feet, a breadth of 75 feet and a height of 44 feet (assuming an 18" cubit); or 500 Feet, 83 feet and 49 feet (if it was the Egpytian 20" cubit). (We will use the larger size, just to give the bible thumpers a better chance) 500 x 83 x 49 gives 2,033,500 cubic feet. But wait, we needed 7,167,250 cubic feet! That is 3.5 times more space needed than the "ark" provided! And, we did not calculate for breathing space, space for humans, or internal structure of the ark itself! So, bible thumpers, please tell me, what did "god" do, shrink the animals?

    May 9, 2012 at 8:15 pm |
    • Jim Weix

      It was magic 🙂

      May 9, 2012 at 8:43 pm |
  4. travelinpants

    Forget who is delivering the message, it is clear enough in the bible that LG relationships are an abomination in God's eyes according to His writings. Besides, let the t.v.tell it, "Modern Family" is what "real" families are supposed to look like. NOT!!!
    I think anyone who is not in politics can afford to stand on what they truly believe. When you become a politician, you give up that right for the vote.

    May 9, 2012 at 1:58 pm |
    • Gary

      The Bible never said anything like that before 1992, when a bunch of self-righteous hypocrites falsely decided to reinterpret it. God created me to be gay. I thank Him for who I am. By the way, the Bible does say something about "Whosoever takes away from this book is taking away their riches in Heaven and whosoever adds to it is adding to their woes in Hell." Loosely translated but that is the gist of it. You, Billy Graham, the pope, Rick Santorum and the sadly long list of lost souls, will never trump my morals JUST because you claim to be Christian. How we, in the LBGT community, are having to beg for your acceptance is beyond me. I don't recognize any religion or law that says I am wrong for how I was born. I consider it all an act of war on my person.

      May 9, 2012 at 10:52 pm |
    • Alex

      He didn't write anything.

      May 10, 2012 at 12:04 am |
  5. Russell

    Rev. Graham is very close to the day when he finds out how wrong he is.

    May 9, 2012 at 11:40 am |
    • travelinpants

      Russell,

      I am sure he has outlived a lot of people. So, his age has nothing to do with it as far as I can seet. His age is a sign of how long he has been on the journey called life. You and I should be so blessed as he obviously is.

      May 9, 2012 at 2:00 pm |
    • bibi

      What if you are wrong and he is right?

      May 9, 2012 at 6:00 pm |
    • older sista

      God says ten thousand may stand against you but if you stand with Him, you're right. God is not interested in popular opinion. He made us, He hasn't changed His mind about anything and He's the only game in town. Listen, MY life as a believer would be a lot simpler if God would delete, rescind, change and give up His holiness. Now, what was that old saying about a coming ice age in hell??

      May 9, 2012 at 8:03 pm |
    • Jim Weix

      He is still trying to figure out how to take his money with him 🙂

      May 9, 2012 at 8:46 pm |
  6. Ruben

    The rights of a minority should not have to be subject to a vote from the majority. We have fought wars in other lands to defend that. Either we all drink out of the same fountain or we don't.

    May 9, 2012 at 10:33 am |
    • Munashe The Cheetah

      Careful, don't make too much sense, the religious fanatics can't understand you.

      May 9, 2012 at 6:13 pm |
  7. roaster ovens discount

    Nice blog right here! Also your website lots up fast! What web host are you the usage of? Can I am getting your affiliate hyperlink in your host? I want my website loaded up as quickly as yours lol

    May 9, 2012 at 10:21 am |
  8. RS, CA

    Good for Billy Graham. While I'm not particularly religious, I respect his stand for time-tested values!

    May 9, 2012 at 10:06 am |
  9. Brad Billings

    Religion haters, including atheists, are way over-represented on the internet. And, people who habitually post on the internet tend to be people with no real aim or direction in life, with a lot of time on their hands for idle ranting. Not saying there's a causal relationship there. Not saying there's not, either.

    May 9, 2012 at 9:55 am |
    • COEXIST

      @Paul Thomas...I can't tell if you are a Troll...or really the most ignorant d-bag who has the misfortune of having access to the internet. Your closed minded "christian" ( and i put christian in quotes because the word is supposed to mean christ-like...which you are nothing close to ) delusion is no better than the muslim religious zealots who take innocent lives for their faith. You make mockery of the idea that different religious faiths could actually live in Peace on this planet...I'm glad that people like you are slowly dying away just like the dinosaurs did....and to answer JO JO's question and clarify your ridiculous claim about our Founding Father's...the influence of christinity IS the reason why we cannot completely separate church and state in the US...it's inbred into our culture, just like the muslim faith is inbred into the governments of Afghanistan and Pakistan.

      May 9, 2012 at 11:42 am |
    • Munashe The Cheetah

      Actually the internet is a place where good ideas thrive and bad ideas come to die. Religion looses a lot of its tricks for brain washing people in to believing insane things when it comes on the internet. On the internet facts can be checked, knowledgeable people are always available to help less knowledgeable people think things through clearly so that they do not have to wallow in the ignorance that religion offers.

      That is why there appear to be more atheists on the internet, its because facts act as a repellent to religion.

      May 9, 2012 at 6:17 pm |
  10. LL

    What, this old geezer hasn't died and gone to hell yet?

    May 9, 2012 at 8:25 am |
    • Paul Thomas

      I bet you have a "Coexist" bumper sticker on your car...

      May 9, 2012 at 8:53 am |
  11. EternalFlame

    You hated jewish people in the 60's. We heard it in your own voice. But you "learned."

    All you learned was to shift your hate to LGBT people, instead of dealing with it like a real Christian would.

    Fall on your knees and beg for forgiveness for all those gay people no longer covered by medical benefits. On your head be their suffering.

    You're a spiritual failure, Billy.

    May 9, 2012 at 3:24 am |
    • Paul Thomas

      Billy was never racist.

      May 9, 2012 at 8:45 am |
  12. MAJORITY always WINS!

    SEE?

    May 9, 2012 at 2:51 am |
  13. Al

    Billy Graham is one of the biggest frauds around. He had made millions, probably billions selling religion. Just go and look at the financial statements on their website and look at how much of a salary that Billy, and his son Franklin take each year. We would all love to live so comfortably. keep in mind this is their take home salary.... all their other expenses are taken care of by the church.

    GREEDY little lying Billy... I think back to what Jesus did to the money changers in the temple. or what he said about a camel going thru the eye of a needle, and a rich mans ablity to get into heaven. I don't think Jesus ould be impressed

    I do not see why people want to take someone like Billy or Franklin seriously, or even lend his opinions any credibility.

    May 9, 2012 at 12:57 am |
    • Paul Thomas

      Of all the people you could accuse of misusing money, you choose Billy. Fail.

      May 9, 2012 at 8:43 am |
    • k5150

      God blesses people the way He chooses. Apparently you have never read about King Solomon and all of his riches. The reference to the camel and eye of the needle means that when some people are wealthy the money tends to become there "god" making it harder to see the need for salvation. There is nothing wrong with living comfortable. If God blesses you with wealth or just enough we are to be grateful, accept it and always give him the glory. Dr. Grahmn gave his life to spreading the message of Jesus and doing what God called him to do. He was gone most of the year, missing spending time with his family and watching his kids grow up. He is faithful to God so God has blessed him in many ways including financially. My grandmother was also faithful with what God asked her to do but she died she had next to no material wealth and endured hardship after hardship throughout her life. God loves both Dr. Graham and my grandmother just the same although they weren't blessed the same way with what secular society views as important. My grandmother was extremely content as I'm sure Dr. Graham is too because they both did what God asked them to do with their lives and He provided all of their needs, knowing that everything on this earth is temporary and that their true treasure is in heaven.

      May 9, 2012 at 10:57 am |
    • Greg C.

      Well said K5150...

      May 9, 2012 at 11:14 am |
    • older sista

      King Solomon. Go read, if you can.

      May 9, 2012 at 8:08 pm |
    • Shawn

      You sound totally brainwashed K5150. It's kind of sad. This man is just fleecing the masses with his ramblings and promises of "heaven." Send your money to him, and you'll go to heaven. He tries to stay relevant by stirring the pot with his "decrees." It's always best to have "an enermy" so as to rile up the sheep and make them feel there is some holy war going on. It brings in the $ anyway. People like you eat it up like programmed machines. Didn't your "Jesus" walk around in a simple robe and sandals? I don't think he lived in luxury!

      May 13, 2012 at 10:22 pm |
  14. spockmonster

    Our Founding Fathers and our nation was founded on principles respecting Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness. Christians fight against freedom and seek to enslave mankind in religion. Thomas Jefferson swore eternal opposition to tyranny, including the Christian Church , but these fascists will never relent in their zeal to oppose freedom.

    May 8, 2012 at 11:46 pm |
    • Paul Thomas

      Most of our "Founding Fathers" were christians, so you contradicted your own statement. Without the christian influence of our founding fathers, freedom as we know it would not exist.

      May 9, 2012 at 8:41 am |
    • bibi

      Yeah, that ridiculous Christian preacher, Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., fought hard to leave everyone in bondage didn't he? He was so evil that he spoke up for thousands to be enslaved and even got himself killed for it. Darn wicked Christian man!

      May 9, 2012 at 6:05 pm |
    • Munashe The Cheetah

      Some folks who were Christians have done good works for humankind, the key point here is that Christianity is not at all needed to do good works.

      Some of the founding fathers were Christians, however a lot were deists as well, and some truly despised Christianity. It is not like the founding fathers were all pro-bible. Heck Thomas Jefferson cut up the bible and made a more believable version.

      May 9, 2012 at 6:22 pm |
  15. meaz23

    I left a pile of graham in my toilet then flushed it away.

    May 8, 2012 at 11:32 pm |
  16. meaz23

    Why doesn't this fool just go away and tale his jerkwad, racist, greedy son franklin with him.

    May 8, 2012 at 11:28 pm |
    • Gary

      Unfortunately, meaz23, evil doesn't tend to give up so easily, and Billy Graham is pretty evil.

      May 9, 2012 at 10:59 pm |
  17. JoJo

    Isn't a possible solution to this mess, to keep government out of religion altogether and let the churches/synagogues/religions/congregations decide for themselves what should be included for them in the sacrament of marriage and what shouldn't be? Leave government out of it and not take sides one way or the other. Let the government recognize only civil unions and legal contracts and legal/civil rights and responsibilities thereof and keep that as free as possible to anyone who wants it.

    May 8, 2012 at 11:06 pm |
  18. Adam

    I can't wait for that hate-spewing old fool to die.

    May 8, 2012 at 11:00 pm |
    • VH2012

      Wanting someone dead in their hearts is the same thing as physically murdering someone. Be careful what you wish for.

      May 9, 2012 at 7:52 am |
  19. Lisa

    Billy Graham, playing God sitting in judgement of others. Sad day in more ways than one. I thought better of him, guess I was wrong.

    May 8, 2012 at 10:36 pm |
    • meaz23

      His dickwad son franklin is even worse.

      May 8, 2012 at 11:29 pm |
    • k5150

      It's not judging others when you are simply stating God's word. God created everything so it makes sense that He decides what is right and what it wrong.

      May 9, 2012 at 11:00 am |
  20. ElmerGantry

    @Atheists are gays

    Atheists are gay stated,
    "And they want all gays to become an atheist."

    What a shining example of Christian Family Values.

    To wit,

    That's crazy! I would not wish the bullying, discrimination, harassment, higher suicide rate, and possible murder on any one.

    Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

    What you do to the least of my brothers, yo do unto me. [Jesus]

    I suspect you ar false mirroring you unchristian non-family values onto others. BETCHA!

    May 8, 2012 at 10:17 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.