Evangelist Franklin Graham on Thursday won a two-year court battle with a British town that kicked his Crusader ad out of the bus for his “anti-LGBTQ” remarks.
Blackpool, a resort town by the Irish Sea, and the shipping company that “discriminated” against Graham “on the grounds of religion” were ruled by Judge Claire Evans, according to a copy of the ruling on page 35.
In a statement to The Charlotte Observer, Graham said he thanked God for the decision “because it is a victory for all Christians in Britain.”
Graham has the right to freedom of expression, Evans writes. “And the role of the court is not to investigate the legitimacy of different religious views or to prioritize some over others.
According to the judge, “all religions and beliefs are traits protected by law.” “National and European Courts of Human Rights have consistently confirmed that a pluralistic tolerant society allows the expression of many different and sometimes opposite beliefs.”
LGBTQ complaints against Franklin Graham
Blackpool Transport quoted when removing ads “Increasing tension” over Graham’s remarks critical of the LGBTQ community, A previously reported observer.
The company said it acted in response to complaints from UK LGBTQ leaders.
Graham counterattacked on Facebook at the time, saying his planned “crusade of hope” was designed to “change the mind and life.”
“I’m sorry,” Graham posted. “Some people find hope unpleasant, but there is no doubt that tens of thousands of people across Blackpool and the UK are looking for hope. Gender, drugs, money and even religion-none of these are the answers. . “
LGBTQ Group Blackpool Pride has canceled a two-day festival reservation The (Blackpool) Gazette reported in June in the Winter Gardens of England to protest the emergence of Graham.
According to the Gazette, two parliamentarians have asked the British government to investigate whether Graham should be denied a visa.
British Graham critics quoted his 2001 A comment that calls Islam “a very evil and evil religion.” They also quoted Graham’s approval of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s crackdown on LGBTQ people in the country.
“Important day” for religious freedom
Graham is Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the Charlotte-based Billy Graham Missionary Association.
James Barrett, president of the association’s board of directors, called the judge’s decision “one of the most comprehensive judicial criticisms of the culture of cancellation in Britain.”
“Today is an important day for religious freedom and freedom of speech,” Barrett said in a statement. “The court has made it clear that Christians and other religious people who have publicly expressed their traditional religious views on marriage and human sexuality are protected by law.”
The Blackpool Autonomous Region Council said, “We focused on not offending the LGBTQ community rather than upholding the right of the local church to promote the celebration of Christian hope.”
The Billy Graham Mission is hoping for a “relief hearing” soon for judges to decide on monetary damages and other measures against Blackpool and the shipping company, said Mark Barber, a spokesman for the association. Told.