Anti-gay evangelical preacher Billy Graham dies, aged 99

Billy Graham

Anti-gay evangelical Billy Graham has died, aged 99.

Graham was one of the most well-known and powerful US Christian evangelists, fuelling the rise of the evangelical movement.

The preacher, who met with 12 US Presidents spanning 60 years, preached that homosexuality is “detestable” and “a sinister form of perversion” contributing to the decay of civilisation – and the Billy Graham Evangelical Association continues to advocate gay ‘cure’ therapy on its website.

He was clear in denouncing gay people throughout the equal rights movement, telling his followers: “Let me say this loud and clear, we traffic in homosexuality at the peril of our spiritual welfare.”

Graham, who claimed in 1993 that AIDS was a “judgement from God”, also used his large political influence to push anti-gay laws – throwing his support behind a 2012 attempt in North Carolina to amend the constitution to define marriage as “between one man and one woman”.

He wrote at the time: “At 93, I never thought we would have to debate the definition of marriage. The Bible is clear – God’s definition of marriage is between a man and a woman.”

Billy Graham (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

The preacher’s son Franklin Graham, who previously took over as head of Billy Graham Evangelistic Association (BGEA) and Christian charity Samaritan’s Purse, is an outspoken anti-LGBT activist.

Franklin Graham previously claimed there had been a “moral 9/11” in America due to “gays and lesbians”.

Graham Jr had claimed: “The country is imploding. We are seeing a moral implosion. Just like we saw the World Trade Center on 9/11 when the planes hit the tower, they imploded, they fell from within, and this is what’s happening to our country, we’re falling within.

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