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. Joel

    At 93 years old you have lived enough so now get out of the lives of other people...or better yet,die already! You have been spreading false teachings for decades and it is time you meet the Maker and face His judgement. This is toward Billy Graham, by the way.

    May 3, 2012 at 9:06 pm |
    • It comes down to this...

      Joel, Billy Graham's God will welcome him with open arms not judgement. Too bad you just don't get it.
      Thank you, Biily Graham for preaching the truth fo so many years and helping hundreds of thousands take their first steps in the kingdom of God!

      May 3, 2012 at 9:20 pm |
    • Apostle Tim Gontarek

      Billy G is one of the greatest teachers of all time ! When did he ever lie ? The bible is clear !

      Some dont like the truth ! We must all face the truth ! We will stand before God !

      Joel if you died would you make heaven ? Truth hurts Billy speaks from the bible !!!!!!

      May 3, 2012 at 9:43 pm |
    • Sarah Chang

      Hey Gonariek, you can't convince someone of the truth of the Bible by just screaming that it's true! I guess they don't teach circular logic at your adult day care, do they?

      May 3, 2012 at 9:47 pm |
  2. observer

    all anyone does is hate. on christians, on gays, on everything. just grow up. keep your opinions to yourself.

    just a side note, hating on christians is just as bad as anyone hating on gays. there are more christians around the world hated on than anyother group of people. really, grow up. all of you. this is why i can't get on liberal sites, everyone is one sided. i try to visit both liberal and conservative sites and eveyone is onesided. learn to read both sides and quit bashing everyone. this is why america is failing. look in the mirror before you complain.

    May 3, 2012 at 9:06 pm |
    • bob

      "Hate begets Hate" - Jesus Christ.

      May 3, 2012 at 9:08 pm |
    • Paul

      More Christians hated on than any other group? Are you fcuking KIDDING? Someone telling you to stop being a soulless bigot isn't hate. Asking you to stop being hateful isn't hate. Oh, poor little Christian.....

      May 3, 2012 at 9:18 pm |
  3. A W

    So sad. I use to have so much respect for this man.

    May 3, 2012 at 9:05 pm |
  4. Karolyn

    Thank you, Mr. Graham. God bless you!

    May 3, 2012 at 9:04 pm |
    • bob

      No he has damned himself for "The gates to heaven shall not open for those with hate in their hearts" - Jesus Christ.

      May 3, 2012 at 9:06 pm |
    • Paul

      Karolyn, you're a bigot and an idiot. If only your god had given you the capacity for thought and compassion.

      May 3, 2012 at 9:14 pm |
    • It comes down to this...

      bob, quit misquoting Christ

      May 3, 2012 at 9:22 pm |
  5. Sarah Chang

    When these men are gone, what a better place the world will be:

    Billy Graham
    Hal Lindsay
    Pat Robertson
    Chuck Smith
    Chuck Missler
    Tim Lahaye
    Paul Crotch
    ..and OJ Simpson.

    May 3, 2012 at 9:04 pm |
    • Observer

      Do Pat Robertson and OJ Simpson get extra credit?

      May 3, 2012 at 9:06 pm |
    • buckeyenonbeliever

      Do not forget:
      Bryan Fischer
      Tony Perkins
      David Barton
      Jeff Jeffress
      Matt Lababera

      Pretty much ........anyone from the AFC

      May 3, 2012 at 10:17 pm |
  6. Leo

    Maybe Christians are tired of people pretending that performing sod-omy on someone else is ok and natural for it isn't. We don't want it taught to our children anymore!!

    Many try to claim that animals perform some hom-ose-xual acts, but they don't sod-omize each other.

    Search is out, for the only animal you find to do this is the worst animal and that is MAN.

    May 3, 2012 at 9:03 pm |
    • Sarah Chang

      tired of people pretending?!

      people are tired of being forced to listen to you Christians pretend to have a corner on the market in terms of truth and morality! Quit telling others what to believe and how to believe it.

      Take a look at the behavior of your own god in the Old Testament. We're tired of our children having to listen to your lies about how that god is somehow good, just, loving, kind.


      May 3, 2012 at 9:06 pm |
    • Leo

      I do look at the God of the Bible and a great majority of what is says portrays a loving and merciful God, but there are also some very small sections where he destroys evil and sometime that includes complete people groups. He does this to show you in advance he isn't going to put up with evil men forever and will eventually put a stop to it.

      May 3, 2012 at 9:17 pm |
    • Sarah Chang

      you obviously havent read much of the Bible. read the old testament and discover the MILLIONS of people God killed or ordered to be killed, including men, women, children, pregnant women, and cattle (see for example, Samuel). ALL throughout the OT. then come back and talk about the "very small sections" where God is violent.

      don't try to defend something that God himself has not seen the need to defend. Just let "his" actions speak for themselves.

      May 3, 2012 at 9:20 pm |
    • It comes down to this...

      @Sarah Chang – you are dang right God told people to go and destroy men, women and children at times but you have no clue why He said it. You think you know better than the Creator of mankind? Well, you don't.

      May 3, 2012 at 9:26 pm |
    • It comes down to this...

      BTW, Sarah Chang, don't forget our God also wiped mankind (except Noah and his family) off the face of the earth. Go read about it. Not so sad considering the wickedness that prevailed before He made judgement.

      May 3, 2012 at 9:30 pm |
    • Sarah Chang

      It comes down to this...

      Tell that to my Masters in Theology from Talbot, bi otch.

      What is truly sad is that you acknowledge "god's" atrocities and STILL continue to worship him and believe he is the creator of the universe. Tell me, were your grandparents in the Hi tler youth?

      May 3, 2012 at 9:30 pm |
    • It comes down to this...

      No, Sarah, my grandparents were not in hitlers youth. But speaking of Hitler, it was the true Christians that stood up against him and risked their lives hiding Jews. Your teachers have given you bogus info. which has unfortunately kindled your hate.

      May 3, 2012 at 9:36 pm |
    • Sarah Chang

      and it was the Christians who killed millions in the Crusades, and the Jews who killed millions, at your god's command, in the old testament, you arrogant, ignorant sob. get an education and some honesty. there's no hate in calling it as it is.

      May 3, 2012 at 9:38 pm |
  7. dread

    Let us move on as a country and a collective consciousness, not by berating antiquated ways of thinking, but by celebrating our right to speak our minds by voting. Please get out and vote your mind NC!

    May 3, 2012 at 9:02 pm |
  8. Sra. Julia

    Senile old fart, his time has come and gone a long time ago. Who gives a crap what an old, old, bigoted white dude has to say? I don't.

    May 3, 2012 at 9:00 pm |
    • Sarah Chang

      most of the bigoted whites in the South, who persist in perpetuating their own negative stereotypes. They'd be happy if they could lynch g ays, bl acks, and uppity white women every Sunday on the way home from church.

      May 3, 2012 at 9:02 pm |
    • It comes down to this...

      And you don't give a crap what God says either! Right?

      May 3, 2012 at 9:04 pm |
    • Jack Pumpkinhead

      Look at that picture! Dorothy threw water on him, and he's melting! Melting!

      May 3, 2012 at 9:05 pm |
    • Sarah Chang

      i'm sure most people on this board "give a crap" about what "god" says. u people just havent convinced us that the "god" you worship is really Him. So pack your bags of second-rate goods and go on home to the missus. you ain't makin no mo sales today.

      May 3, 2012 at 9:08 pm |
  9. John Smith

    Just die, senile nutjob!

    May 3, 2012 at 8:58 pm |
  10. Get A Clue!

    A VERY sad way to make a pathetic last stand for a VERY close minded old man ... VERY sad indeed!

    May 3, 2012 at 8:57 pm |
  11. buckeyenonbeliever

    Dear Mr. Graham, the bible is also very clear about the following:

    You may own slaves
    You shall be stoned to death for working on the sabboth
    Women are second class citizens
    ..... and on and on and on it goes.

    Mr. Graham, where are your full page ads supporting these fine bible ideals???????

    May 3, 2012 at 8:57 pm |
    • It comes down to this...

      Your ignorance of what Christians believe is glaring. Perhaps you should become a Christian before you make your judgements and assumptions. Christians do not believe in stoning anyone nor that women are second class citizens. As a matter of fact Christians believe a man should love his wife like Christ loved the church – be willing to die for her.

      May 3, 2012 at 9:10 pm |
    • Sarah Chang

      then you people should throw out 90% of the Old AND New Testaments and just carry around a few chapters out of Romans and Corinthians. If you're d umb enough to tell people to read the Bible, this is what you get.

      Stoning children and treating women as second-class citizens is found abundantly and explicitly in THE BIBLE.

      Try reading it.

      May 3, 2012 at 9:16 pm |
    • buckeyenonbeliever

      We know full well what you believe............. whatever floats your boat. I simply listed other things from the bible that is as crystal clear as what the Reverend puts in his ad, and you immediately pull out the ad hominems.

      Christians can cherry pick whatever verse they feel fits them at any time, and shuck the evil and heinous divine commands at their leisure. Happens every day, but that doesn't make you a Christian....... it makes yoa a hypocrite.

      May 3, 2012 at 9:25 pm |
  12. Apostle Tim Gontarek

    What would Jesus say ? I go with Gods word !

    May 3, 2012 at 8:56 pm |
    • Sharon Chang

      once you figure out what it is, please share it with the rest of us. Saying something is god's word, even believing it, does not make it so, unless you have something to back it up with.

      God's word of the day: "orange."

      May 3, 2012 at 8:58 pm |
    • Billie Blaise

      word of the day: Scarf.

      May 3, 2012 at 9:00 pm |
    • Chris B

      No! It'sBillabong!

      May 3, 2012 at 9:02 pm |
  13. scatheist

    I thought he had some class over his moron son – apparently not.

    May 3, 2012 at 8:56 pm |
  14. Wally

    I thought Billy Graham was brain dead from about 25 years ago...

    May 3, 2012 at 8:56 pm |
    • Sharon Chang

      he's dead to hisself, and alive to Jay-sus!

      May 3, 2012 at 8:57 pm |
  15. babooph

    Last thing I recall this deluded fool do was call for support for the war in Nam-so far I have not located the Bible verse supporting that mess....

    May 3, 2012 at 8:56 pm |
  16. Sharon Chang

    A quote from Ferris Bueller will suffice: You sir, are an as$hole!

    May 3, 2012 at 8:55 pm |
  17. Sharon Chang

    Buck Filly. Pass it on.

    May 3, 2012 at 8:54 pm |
  18. El Toro

    Straight, white male from TX – Buck Filly!

    May 3, 2012 at 8:54 pm |
  19. sue thom


    May 3, 2012 at 8:54 pm |
  20. Surthurfurd

    The Right Wing keeps throwing punches and making threats then runs crying that others are being abusive when they challenge the bullying the Right Wing does.

    May 3, 2012 at 8:53 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.