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Franklin Graham, Other Anti-LGBT Clergy Booked for Trump Inauguration

Franklin Graham
AP Photo/Elise Amendola

Graham, Archbishop Timothy Dolan, and others will take part.

A host of anti-LGBT clergy members will participate in Donald Trump's presidential inauguration, including Rev. Franklin Graham and Archbishop Timothy Dolan.

Trump's inaugural committee today issued a press release listing the religious figures who will take part in the ceremony. Rev. Dr. Samuel Rodriguez of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference, Pastor Paula White of New Destiny Christian Center, and Dolan, the Roman Catholic archbishop of New York, will offer readings and deliver the invocation -- the opening prayer.

Simon Wiesenthal Center dean and founder Rabbi Marvin Hier, Bishop Wayne T. Jackson of Great Faith Ministries International, and Graham will offer readings and give the benediction, or closing prayer.

Graham and Dolan are both notoriously anti-LGBT. Graham, who heads the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, founded by his father, supported a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage in his home state of North Carolina (eventually struck down by the U.S. Supreme Court), has said advances in LGBT rights have the U.S. on the edge of a "spiritual cliff," and has even praised Russia's law against so-called gay propaganda. He also denounced the city of Charlotte's adoption of a law banning anti-LGBT discrimination in public accommodations; the state passed the homophobic, transphobic House Bill 2 in response to the Charlotte ordinance. Graham's charitable organization, Samaritan's Purse, has given money to the bakers sued for refusing to serve a same-sex couple in Oregon.

Dolan lobbied fiercely against marriage equality in New York State, even comparing same-sex marriage to incest. His efforts failed, as the state legislature passed a marriage equality bill in 2011, and Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed it into law.

Some of the other faith leaders who will appear at the inauguration are not as famous as Dolan and Graham but have anti-LGBT records as well. Rodriguez called the Supreme Court's 2015 marriage equality decision "a radical transformation" of marriage "via the conduit of judicial and executive fiat," according to Right Wing Watch. During the presidential campaign, Rodriguez expressed reservations about Trump due to his anti-immigrant stances, but he eventually embraced the candidate, saying Trump will appoint conservative Supreme Court justices.

Jackson in 2004 endorsed an amendment to the U.S. Constitution to ban same-sex marriage. He hosted Trump at his church in Detroit during the campaign.

There is little documentation of White's views on LGBT issues, but she did hold a prayer vigil for victims of the Pulse nightclub mass shooting at her Florida megachurch. She is a longtime friend of Trump's and has been called his spiritual adviser. Hier is not known as anti-LGBT. His organization runs Los Angeles's Museum of Tolerance, which has exhibits on the Holocaust and other crimes against humanity, and acknowledges that LGBT people have been among those historically persecuted.

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