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. Mirosal

    Billy Graham is nothing more than a purveyor of mythology. He's spent his entire life telling others they have to believe in something that doesn't exist. He would have made a good used-car salesman.

    May 4, 2012 at 1:35 am |
  2. lluna001

    I hated Billy Grahman before, but now I really loathe him and his monkey crazy religious followers.

    May 4, 2012 at 1:34 am |
  3. Lanny

    I would never want to listen to a Christian that preaches nothing but hatred for something he obviously struggles with himself.

    May 4, 2012 at 1:29 am |
  4. Narttabb

    And the new runner-up for c*ckroach of the year is....YES Billy Graham! He'll live forever just to spread his nasty, disgusting feelings!

    May 4, 2012 at 1:14 am |
    • XD

      So we're up to, what, like a few billion runners-up now? Is anyone keeping count of these people? Why?

      May 4, 2012 at 2:04 am |
  5. Annalee

    God and Jesus never existed. Their myth was stolen from ancient pagan gods.

    May 4, 2012 at 12:22 am |
    • XD

      LOL You can't steal something from those non-existent pagan gods. Logic fail.

      May 4, 2012 at 2:05 am |
  6. NOT the lord (and NEITHER are you! or your preacher...)

    And AC is Anderson Cooper. Boy, did you reach deep for that one... so 1978!

    May 4, 2012 at 12:13 am |
    • The Four Cuddly Kittens of the Apocalypse

      I would have preferred Alice Cooper to Anderson Cooper.

      May 4, 2012 at 12:28 am |
    • mandarax

      I always thought it was for Alistair Crowley. I was always confused as to why there wasn't more occult covered on AC 360...

      May 4, 2012 at 8:49 am |
  7. NOT the lord (and NEITHER are you! or your preacher...)

    Thanks cuddly kitten! Really.
    Now if I could only figure out how you got that f bomb though without punctuation...
    : )

    May 4, 2012 at 12:12 am |
    • The Four Cuddly Kittens of the Apocalypse

      I'd tell you, but then I have to kill you. Okay, most people already know, so here it is: You are doing an on/off on html coding for bold or italic. So in the spot you are splitting, put an and then all together, and you be able to fuck. If you want, you can do bold or italic or both by doing the first three, putting in the text, then the final four I gave you. b for bold, i for italic.

      I've told you. Now I get to kill you. That's the price you have to pay for enlightenment here.

      May 4, 2012 at 12:25 am |
    • The Four Cuddly Kittens of the Apocalypse

      Ooops. The coding vanished, and took some of my brilliant pithy eloquence with it. Oh well, no can help.

      But I still get to kill you.

      May 4, 2012 at 12:26 am |
    • Juggling Squirrel Jesus

      Helping out a fellow four legged creature, that would be <b></b>

      As in fu<b></b>ck

      Of course, if you actually want to display, for example, <, you have to use html escape characters

      May 4, 2012 at 12:30 am |
    • Juggling Squirrel Jesus

      And the kittens still get first dibs on your life.

      May 4, 2012 at 12:30 am |
  8. NOT the lord (and NEITHER are you! or your preacher...)

    Hey Bill-
    I thought you were the one evangelical leader with some sense of dignity and respect, and a foundational belief in the Golden Rule. I am still hoping that these are actually the words of your deplorable children, speaking for their now senile father without his consent. But if this is you, then go f yourself... missionary style of course.

    May 4, 2012 at 12:06 am |
  9. Reality

    Billy, Billy, Billy,


    Time to escape from your 20th century red-neck beliefs. THE FACTS:


    "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 3, 2012 at 11:54 pm |
    • Andrew

      Huh? Umm, why should we care who is the top and bottom, and why should we not use 'marriage' for both?

      Definitions are mutable, they always have been. "Gay" didn't use to mean 'hom-s-xual', and "marriage" certainly wasn't only for monogamous relationships, and in non-Abrahamic cultures, gay marriage was allowed.

      Plus at this point other countries, Canada included, have expanded the definition of marriage to include gay and straight marriages. So... why on earth should they be called 'unions' rather than 'marriage'? Shouldn't we be done with 'separate but equal' nonsense?

      If we've already got a good word for the legal union of two people who love each other, that is, 'marriage', why can't we extend it to gay couples as well? Is straight marriage really so perilous that it'll collapse if we start saying 'yeah, gay couples get hospital visitation rights too'?

      May 4, 2012 at 12:00 am |
    • Reality

      The marriage vs union designation is needed to track the census, social and health aspects of said monogamous relationships.

      May 4, 2012 at 8:37 am |
  10. NOT the lord (and NEITHER are you! or your preacher...)

    My best friend is gay. And so is my first cousin. Back the F off, haters!

    May 3, 2012 at 11:42 pm |
    • Le Cheri

      Nobody is hate'n on gays, we just dont like them. lol

      May 3, 2012 at 11:58 pm |
  11. NOT the lord (and NEITHER are you! or your preacher...)

    But Donald Duck is down with sodomy!

    May 3, 2012 at 11:41 pm |
  12. NOT the lord (and NEITHER are you! or your preacher...)

    Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny are both against Gay Marriage!!!

    May 3, 2012 at 11:40 pm |
  13. NOT the lord (and NEITHER are you! or your preacher...)

    The TALIBAN lives in the US of A...
    Just visit your local fundamentalist church!!!

    May 3, 2012 at 11:39 pm |
  14. NOT the lord (and NEITHER are you! or your preacher...)


    May 3, 2012 at 11:37 pm |
    • The Four Cuddly Kittens of the Apocalypse

      What would AC say? Amy Carter?

      What is happening is that there is a bit of a naughty word in your post, inside another word, like Consti.tution has a ti.t in it, and circu.mmstance has cu.m in it. Find it, do what I did.

      There is no human moderator here. The report abuse button does not work. It's the wild west, say whatever the fuck you want, just know how to deal with the simple computer naughty-word-taker-outer.

      I have given you the secret to the force, young skywalker. Now promise to not use all-caps, and do use good spelling and grammar. All-caps and bad writing are the tools of the dark side, and we will have to cast you into the darkness of religion if you write like them.

      May 4, 2012 at 12:07 am |
    • Chp

      Four cuddly kittens, there have been some changes to the blog, at least for me. It doesn't take long for my IP address to be banned. The ban only lasts an hour or two or three (I haven't timed it), and it may be automatic, yet I am seeing some suggestion that there is a human being banning my IP and not a bot or filter.
      However, this person, if it's a person, does not speak to anyone here. They just act like a greasy kid with a chip on their shoulder. And the filter has been modified somewhat as well. They make bad changes here. Things are now worse in terms of being able to post. CNN sucks.

      May 4, 2012 at 12:20 am |
    • The Four Cuddly Kittens of the Apocalypse

      We get time outs here? Oh I want one! I just have to try that!

      Okay, what would thoroughly pi</bss off an anal retentive little censor? I've got it!!!

      NIGGER ! ! ! !

      That ought to do it.

      To all concerned – I never ever use that word in real life. I don't even think it, ever. I just want to do a little time in the Great CNN Penalty Box to see if it exists, and if anything is going to get me there, that will.

      May 4, 2012 at 12:35 am |
    • The Four Cuddly Kittens of the Apocalypse

      Now to report abuse on myself.

      This is very exciting!

      May 4, 2012 at 12:37 am |
    • Incontinentia Buttocks

      Bad kitty!!! Baaaaaaaaaaad kitty!!!

      May 4, 2012 at 12:39 am |
    • Chp

      Try html entlties.
      I also lost the ability to post when I tried a text-graphic (facepalm), and have gotten more , way more, bans in teh this just in blog. sometimes I can only post once or twice before I am banned.
      And sometimes I can post many many times but then it stops and I am banned.

      May 4, 2012 at 12:43 am |
    • The Four Fluffy And Incredibly Tasteless Cuddly Kittens Of The Apocalypse

      This is a 15 minute test. Am I still here?

      I'm still here? Really? I used the most offensive word I could think of, and reported abuse on myself and everything.

      Hell, I'd even ban me.

      May 4, 2012 at 12:52 am |
    • The Four Fluffy And Incredibly Tasteless Cuddly Kittens Of The Apocalypse

      30 minute test.

      I'm still here? Do I have to up the ante? Okay, be that way . . .


      May 4, 2012 at 1:10 am |
    • The Four Fluffy And Incredibly Tasteless Cuddly Kittens Of The Apocalypse

      I'm still here? I'm so disappointed. I'm going to take my toys and go home, have some cocoa and mope.

      May 4, 2012 at 1:34 am |
    • XD

      Awwww! Look at the kitties! Awwwwww!

      May 4, 2012 at 2:20 am |
    • mandarax

      Hypothesis testing in action. I love it! Good kitty!

      May 4, 2012 at 8:46 am |
  15. mandarax

    North Cackalacky makin' me proud again.

    May 3, 2012 at 11:27 pm |
  16. Annalee

    Billy Graham has only proven to the rest of the world why Christianity is behind the times and needs to go out with the dinosaurs. He's also proven what an nasty little git he really is. I don't think an ALL LOVING GOD is going to be please with his bigotry.

    May 3, 2012 at 11:22 pm |
    • God's Oldest Dreamer

      Namecaller,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, Grow up and be good for Christ's sake

      May 3, 2012 at 11:28 pm |
    • Annalee

      gods oldest invalid...grow up and realize that you and your god or DEAD.

      May 3, 2012 at 11:46 pm |
  17. God's Oldest Dreamer

    Malignancies of socialisms disfiguring are the GLBT's minorially impassioned when one puts upon Life's gardening fields of socialistic enclaves thoughts of desirabilities for nationalized benefits and well-being concernments' sakedness!

    May 3, 2012 at 11:18 pm |
    • Nevermind


      May 3, 2012 at 11:20 pm |
  18. Observer


    Marriage is a proven way to discourage promiscuity.

    You have supplied statistics to show justify gay marriage.

    Well done. Keep it up.

    May 3, 2012 at 11:17 pm |
  19. stop it already!

    cnn-this is NOT news. Stop bringing this up over and over again as if bringing any of these sins in your articles will make the sin go away.

    May 3, 2012 at 11:16 pm |
    • Andrew

      Just to clarify, you're talking about the sin of giving an idiot like Graham national news attention to spew his hate filled rethoric, right?

      May 3, 2012 at 11:25 pm |
    • mandarax

      I hope that there is never a time when hundreds of thousands of people being denied their civil rights is not news.

      May 3, 2012 at 11:25 pm |
    • God's Oldest Dreamer

      mandarax,,,,,,,,,,,, ,

      Civil and righteously civil and cognitions of being civil should never waive the hammers of all socialists who kmow just what malignancies within all of society's demoralizing disfigurementations are really doing to nationalized sovereignties or however the hoots it's spelled!

      May 3, 2012 at 11:43 pm |
    • Andrew

      Socialist? Huh? Do you know what that word even means? How is anyone advocating for the abolition of private industry so that the government and public have ownership of the means of production for anything produced in the US?

      And what on earth does that have to do with gays not being allowed to marry?

      May 3, 2012 at 11:53 pm |
    • HotAirAce

      stop it already – why are you blaming CNN for anything? They are merely reporting what a stupid old white fart said! They are doing their job exposing bigots. Too bad it has the side effect of exposing religion for the pile of crap it is. Why do *you* want to stop public discussion? Are you afraid to have your beliefs examined?

      May 3, 2012 at 11:57 pm |
    • XD

      Yeah! Stop blaming CNN for how they do stupid stuff! They can't help it! They are out of control and this has become bigger than all of us!

      All of us! Just think about it! All of us! =D

      May 4, 2012 at 2:09 am |
    • tallulah13

      "Gods Oldest Dreamer" has a very tenuous grasp of reality.

      May 4, 2012 at 2:10 am |
  20. Alien Orifice

    Is that the lady with the tan that got busted for tanning her kid? Sick!

    P.S. According to TBN tonight, fingerprints are supernatural. I called them and they agreed. Feel free to give them a call at:

    May 3, 2012 at 11:16 pm |
    • call me..

      888-888-9090 Press 1 to continue in English...deje su nombre, número de teléfono y un breve mensaje y con mucho gusto le ...

      May 3, 2012 at 11:21 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.