Two further venues have cancelled rallies by US hate preacher Franklin Graham, as a backlash grows to his planned UK tour.
The Trump-supporting preacher, who is known for praising Vladimir Putin’s anti-gay laws and blaming gay people for a “moral 9/11”, is set to visit the UK at the start of Pride Month in June as part of an evangelist tour.
Venues hosting the tour have faced complaints from LGBT+ activists – with a Liverpool conference venue dropping him on Monday.
Following the pressure, two further venues have followed suit.
Franklin Graham dropped by Sheffield and Glasgow venues
Glasgow’s SEC Arena confirmed on Wednesday that his May 30 rally at the venue will not go ahead.
A spokesperson told PinkNews: “The booking for this event was processed in the same way we would for any religious concert of this nature and as a business we remain impartial to the individual beliefs of both our clients and visitors.
“However, we are aware of the recent adverse publicity surrounding this tour and have reviewed this with our partners and stakeholders. Following a request from our principal shareholder the matter has been considered and a decision made that we should not host this event.”
His planned June 6 rally at Sheffield Arena has also been scrapped, after a decision by Sheffield City Council.
Council leader Julie Dore said in a statement: “All my life I have worked hard to fight discrimination and have worked with communities. especially in my time as leader, to make sure we have an inclusive. tolerant and cohesive city that embraces diversity.
‘Franklin Graham, who has demonstrated his intent on creating divisions with his discriminatory and repulsive views, could affect the long established values that we all hold so dear in Sheffield.”
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Sheffield City Trust chair David Grey said the decision had been “exceptionally challenging,” adding: “Throughout it all we have been steadfast that we do not endorse the views of Franklin Graham.”
According to Graham’s tour website, he has four further venues – Birmingham Arena, Utilita Arena in Newcastle, Marshall Arena in Milton Keynes and ICC Wales in Newport – while dates in Liverpool and London are listed as “Location TBA”
PinkNews has requested comment from all the venues.
Preacher claims Pete Buttigieg ‘faces eternal damnation’
Graham has sought to play down his beliefs in a “letter to the LGBTQ community in the UK” during the spat – marking a departure from Graham’s explicitly anti-LGBT+ messages over the past year.
The Trump ally has targeted gay Democratic presidential hopeful Pete Buttigieg, who he has insisted will face “eternal damnation”.
In a Facebook post targeting Buttigieg, he wrote: “God’s word defines homosexuality as sin, something to be repentant of, not something to be flaunted, praised, or politicised. The Bible defines marriage as between a man and a woman – not two men, not two women.”