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Franklin Graham to Buttigieg: Being Gay Is a Sin, Not to Be 'Flaunted'

Franklin Graham and Pete Buttigieg

Graham says Pete Buttigieg, a self-proclaimed Christian, needs to repent for being gay.

On the campaign trail, presidential aspirant Pete Buttigieg has made clear he's not only a married gay man, a Democrat, and a mayor, but a Christian. His talk about his faith, though, is now getting some blowback from a leader of the antigay Christian right, Franklin Graham.

"Mayor Buttigieg says he's a gay Christian," Graham, head of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, tweeted today. "As a Christian I believe the Bible which defines homosexuality as sin, something to be repentant of, not something to be flaunted, praised or politicized. The Bible says marriage is between a man & a woman -- not two men, not two women."

It was part of a series of tweets that Graham sent in response to the South Bend, Ind., mayor's statement at a CNN town hall Monday night that "God does not have a political party." Buttigieg said he hopes to unite conservative, moderate, and liberal Christians and other people of faith.

"It can be challenging to be a person of faith who's also part of the LGBTQ community and yet, to me, the core of faith is regard for one another," Buttigieg said. "And part of God's love is experienced, according to my faith tradition, in the way that we support one another and, in particular, support the least among us."

Graham, well known for his anti-LGBTQ views, wasn't having any of that.

Some who responded to Graham's tweets pointed out the disconnect between his judgment of Buttigieg and his willingness to overlook Donald Trump's sexual misconduct. "So how about applying those laws and standards to POTUS? Hypocrite much?" one commenter wrote. Another said, "Pete's 'sin' isn't even in the top 10. Donald on the other hand...."

It's not the first time Buttigieg has clashed with members of the religious right. After he criticized Vice President Mike Pence's faith-based homophobia, the vice president and his wife, Karen, contended Buttigieg was disrespecting their religious beliefs.

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