President Obama is "exporting the acceptance of immorality" by advocating for LGBT rights in Kenya, says prominent Christian right leader Franklin Graham.
Graham, president and CEO of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, founded by his father, made the comment in a Facebook post Sunday in response to Obama's statements at a news conference Saturday in Nairobi.
At the press conference, standing alongside Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta, Obama expressed "unequivocal" support of the idea that people being "treated differently or abused because of who they love is wrong." He also noted, "I believe in the principle of treating people equally under the law, that they are deserving of equal protection under the law, that the state should not discriminate against people based on their sexual orientation." Sex between men is a criminal offense in Kenya, and violence against LGBT people is common.
Graham was not pleased with Obama's call for acceptance. "I didn't know that we were sending our president halfway around the world to promote the gay & lesbian agenda!" he wrote on Facebook. "Samaritan's Purse [Graham's charitable organization] has an office in Kenya and has worked there many years, and I can tell you that the churches in Kenya know what the Bible says about homosexuality -- it is a sin. Sin should not be embraced, but recognized truthfully for what it is and for its serious consequences. God's Word says, 'the wages of sin is death.' Thankfully though, sin does have a remedy -- forgiveness is available through repentance and faith in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. As a world leader, the United States of America is now exporting the acceptance of immorality via our president. What will the cost of that be?"
Graham has a long history of antigay statements. One of his more recent claims is that "God could bring judgment on America" for last month's Supreme Court ruling legalizing same-sex marriage nationwide. Also last month, he pulled the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association's funds from Wells Fargo because it featured a lesbian couple in an advertisement, only to move the funds to BB&T, a bank that has sponsored LGBT Pride celebrations. He attempted to explain away the inconsistency by saying BB&T was merely gay-friendly, while Wells Fargo had become "a public advocate" for LGBT causes. He also has defended Russia's homophobic laws and said adoption of children by LGBT people amounts to recruitment.