By Daniel Reynolds
Originally published on Advocate.com March 26 2014 2:39 PM ET
The son of Billy Graham has made antigay remarks that expand on his views toward Russia’s “gay propaganda” law, adoption by same-sex couples, and Biblical punishments.
In an interview with The Charlotte Observer, Franklin Graham, whose 95-year-old father served as spiritual adviser to American presidents, said his love toward gays and lesbians compels him to inform them that they are condemned to hell in the afterlife.
“I love people enough and care enough,” the 61-year-old Christian evangelist said, “to warn them … that if they chose to continue to live in sin, God is going to judge them one day and they’ll be separated from him for eternity in hell.”
He also elaborated on his past support of Russian president Vladimir Putin's antigay policies and derision of Obama’s support of LGBT rights. He said these beliefs stem from a desire to protect children from abuse.
“Of course, gays and lesbians cannot have children,” he said.
In response to a comment that gays and lesbians can adopt children, Graham had his own term to describe the adoption of children by same-sex couples.
“They can recruit,” he said. “You can adopt a child into a marriage, but you can also recruit children into your cause. I believe in protecting children from exploitation — all exploitations.”
“I agree with Putin,” he added. “I think protecting his nation’s children was probably a pretty smart thing to do.”
Graham, who is president and CEO of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, said that “as far as persecution, I’m attacked all the time for my religious beliefs.” He also stressed that his views were not only his own — he was also speaking for his evangelist father.
“You talk about controversy — my father stood with Martin Luther King in the early 1960s,” he said. “My father never worried about polls. I don’t care about them, either. And with the issues we are facing today — if my father were a younger man, he would be addressing and speaking out in the exact same way I’m speaking out on them.”
Watch the interview below.