Franklin Graham explores legal action over venue cancellations

The Billy Graham Evangelistic Association is looking at legal options for breach of contract after a series of venues cancelled its bookings.

Franklin Graham was due to preach at eight venues across Britain this summer, but all cancelled his gospel events because of opposition to his views on homosexuality.

In an interview with Premier Christian Radio, he apologised to those who felt offended by his views but clearly stated he still believes marriage is the union of one man and one woman.

‘We’re coming’

Graham said: “We’re coming. Some people think we may have cancelled, but we’re not cancelling anything, we’re coming, and we’re looking forward to being with the church and working beside the church.”

“I believe the Bible teaches that marriage is between a man and a woman.”

Responding to those opposing his visit, he said: “I think there’s a real misunderstanding. We’re not here to preach against anyone.

“But we’re here to tell everyone how they can have their sins forgiven, and how they can have a relationship with God through faith in his son Jesus Christ.”

He added: “There aren’t many paths to God. There’s only one. And that goes through the cross. Jesus Christ paid for the debt of our sins when he shed his blood in our place.”

Religious freedom

When asked if the Association would be suing the venues which had cancelled, Graham said: “Well, there’s no question this is a religious freedom issue, and it’s also a free speech issue.”

He said it was an issue that went wider than his own events, and affected any churches which meet in public buildings such as schools for Sunday services.

He added there was “no question” that if venues expecting several thousand people would cancel, smaller churches were also in danger.

Breach of contract

“We did have a contract signed with these venues, and they’ve breached the contract. I haven’t broken any laws, and I’m not guilty of anything.

“So I think we just have to look at what our options are, realising that even though we can assign other venues which will go through, I’m thinking of the church in the future.

“We need to do something to try to protect them”.

Biblical marriage

During the interview, Graham took the opportunity to reiterate his position on homosexuality: “I believe the Bible teaches that marriage is between a man and a woman. That’s the Church of England’s position.”

He continued: “It’s the position of the Church, pretty much worldwide. This is what the Bible teaches and that’s what I believe.”

He added: “I’m not against gay people, that’s one of the things that’s just not true. I’m for all people, and I care about gay people.”

“I care enough about gay people just to tell them the truth. I’m not going to lie to them. I want them to know that homosexuality, that God sees it as sin”.

Welcoming opposition

Graham also said that opposition was “not a bad thing”.

“God can use opposition for us to be very careful in how we craft our speech, our message.

“But at the same time, we welcome those that are opposing us. We don’t reject them, we welcome them and invite them to come in and be a part of it.”

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