Hate preacher Franklin Graham calls on ‘God’s army’ to stop Democrats from passing LGBT+ rights law

Rev. Franklin Graham, at the Republican National Convention

Key Trump ally and top Facebook influencer Franklin Graham has said that “God’s army” needs to rally to stop Democrats from passing an LGBT+ rights law.

Graham, a vocal supporter of Donald Trump and head of anti-LGBT+ Christian charity Samaritan’s Purse, called on his followers to rally an “army” to prevent Democrats from taking control of the US Senate.

Control of the chamber is likely to be decided by two run-off elections in Georgia set to be held on 5 January. If Republicans win either race, they will retain control of the Senate, posing a serious challenge to Joe Biden’s legislative agenda.

A key bill likely to be impacted is the Equality Act, which would amend civil rights laws to ban discrimination against LGBT+ people in all 50 states.

Franklin Graham says ‘God’s army’ needs to stop LGBT+ rights law

In a Facebook post, Graham said: “Christians who believe the Bible and live in Georgia – the soul of our nation is at stake. I ask you to rally God’s army to PRAY and VOTE in this run-off for the Senate.

“Please encourage your family, your friends, your community to pray and to vote. If conservatives lose control of the Senate, there is nothing to stop the radical agenda of the left. There will not be another chance to get this right. The nation is depending on you.”

He added: “The Senate is the last line of defence to block the radical, wicked agenda that is trying to take control of our nation. These two seats will determine whether liberal socialist-leaning progressives OR conservative lawmakers have a majority. The policies supported by those on the left promise to be openly hostile to those who hold Christian beliefs.

“Liberal, so called progressives, immediately want to pass the Equality Act, which is anything but equal. It is an attempt to rid our country of religious freedom protections. Progressives could pass this easily and quickly with control of the Senate.

“Friends, this is dangerous. This would change our nation at its very foundation – and yes, it would also greatly change your everyday life. It will vastly alter the America that we leave for our children and grandchildren.”

Rev. Franklin Graham, speaks at the Republican National Convention

Rev. Franklin Graham, speaks at the Republican National Convention (Getty/Drew Angerer)

The bill would provide the same protections in law for discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity as already exist for race, sex  and religion.

Earlier this month Graham claimed that LGBT+ activists are working to control Joe Biden and push a “godless” agenda.

Preacher has a vast platform to spread anti-LGBT+ vitriol via Facebook

Franklin Graham became one of the most powerful conservative Facebook influencers in the run-up to the election, with his posts frequently reach the site’s daily top ten posts despite his hardline anti-LGBT+ views.

A study from Media Matters last month showed that he was one of Trump’s most significant boosters, with his posts earning higher engagement than the president’s own page.

Graham’s Facebook page racked up an average of over 219,000 interactions per post for a total of over 105.5 million interactions between 1 January and 18 October, the study found.

The Trump ally has a long record of extreme beliefs. He previously declared homosexuals “the enemy” of civilisation, and suggested that gay Democrat Pete Buttigieg will face “eternal damnation” for marrying a man.

On a 2015 trip to Russia, he accused gay people of “taking” children from straight couples – and lavished praise upon Vladimir Putin for imposing an anti-gay propaganda law.

He said: “I very much appreciate that president Putin is protecting Russian young people against homosexual propaganda. If only to give them the opportunity to grow up and make a decision for themselves.”

One of his most shocking remarks came in 2016, when he blamed gay people for a “moral 9/11”.

In an interview with Fox News pundit Todd Starnes, Graham said: “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.

“Our foundations have been weakened by immorality and it’s beginning to crumble.”

He added: “I want the school boards of America in the hands of evangelical Christians within the next four to six years.

“And it can happen and that will have a huge impact because so many school districts now are controlled by wicked, evil people, and the gays and lesbians, and I keep bringing their name up, but they are at the forefront of this attack against Christianity in America.”