Franklin Graham compares gay people to drug addicts as he justifies homophobic policy at New York tent hospital

Franklin Graham brought in a camera crew to record an Easter sermon from the tent hospital 'relief' site

Anti-LGBT+ evangelist Franklin Graham has compared gay people to drug addicts as he justified a policy barring them from volunteering at his New York City coronavirus tent hospital.

The right-wing pastor, whose charity Samaritan’s Purse has been accused of exploiting disasters to evangelise, is running a 68-bed tent hospital and a ‘mobile ministry centre’ in New York City.

NYC mayor Bill de Blaiso has insisted that the group will not be permitted to discriminate at the Central Park hospital site, but medical volunteers continue to be turned away if they refuse to sign a belief statement that disavows homosexual relationships.

Franklin Graham compares gays to drug addicts.

Graham fuelled claims that he has exploited the pandemic relief effort to evangelise again on Sunday, when he brought in a professional camera crew to film a half-hour Easter sermon from the tent hospital.

Meanwhile, in an interview with the Charlotte Observer, Graham – who has previously blamed gay people for a “moral 9/11” – defended his refusal to waive the policy by comparing homosexuals to drug addicts.

He said: “All of our doctors and nurses and staff, [they’re] Christians. We believe it’s very important that – as we serve people and help people – we do it in Jesus’ name.

“Of course, I believe marriage is between a man and a woman. That’s part of who we are. So we have a long list of things we want people to understand and agree with before we take them to work with us. I don’t want a person who is going to be on the job and drinks; that’s not a good witness. I don’t want a person who’s going to be using drugs to be part of our team.

“I don’t want someone who’s going to be swearing to be part of our team. I don’t want someone who is trying to pick up girls, and using this as an opportunity to do those kinds of things.

“So, we try to screen the people that work with us, and we want men and women who believe the way we do and have the same core values that we have.”

Anti-LGBT preacher Franklin Graham forces coronavirus volunteers to disavow gay relationships

Anti-LGBT preacher Franklin Graham forces coronavirus volunteers to disavow gay relationships

While the risks of performing medical procedures while intoxicated are pretty clear to see, it is unclear what exactly what Graham thinks the risks are of working while homosexual.

Pastor doubles down on claims that ‘sin’ caused coronavirus.

The homophobic pastor also stuck by his dog-whistle claim on Fox News that coronavirus is actually a result of “the sin that’s in the world”.

Graham said: “Man rebelled against God. And the Bible is very clear that, as a result of this rebellion against God, we live in what we call ‘a fallen world’.”

He continued: “I see the coronavirus, I see the wars of this world, I see the economic problems – I see all these other things – as just a result of the fallen world in which we live, and that’s as a result of sin that came into the world and has infected the entire human race.”

Plans for Graham’s charity to set up a second relief site in New York at an episcopal cathedral were scrapped last week after the two organisations reached an “impasse” over Graham’s discriminatory policies.