Evangelical leader tries to scare up votes by warning of Biden's 'gay lesbian agenda'

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Franklin Graham warned that a Democratic administration could put anti-LGBTQ groups 'in jail.'

Evangelical leader Franklin Graham, son of the late Billy Graham, is warning voters that a Biden administration could result in the "targeting" of businesses through a "gay lesbian agenda." Graham also baselessly asserted that Christian businesses and ministries would be put behind bars if Biden won the White House.

In an interview released on Monday, Tony Perkins, president of the Southern Poverty Law Center-designated anti-LGBTQ hate group Family Research Council, asked Graham about how a Biden administration would compare to Trump's.

Perkins asked if, when discussing Graham's work, whether "it's much easier when the government sees you as an ally as opposed to an opponent."

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Graham, who is currently the head of the evangelical Christian organization Samaritan's Purse, said, "The Obama administration: No question, there was problems there. You had a lot of activists who were in the White House who wanted to push the gay lesbian agenda, and they targeted businesses. You know, they shut them down. Florists, bakers, people like that who refused to participate in a gay wedding."

He added, "And I think if the Democratic Party wins again, they'll be right back with that agenda, and they'll be looking for businesses and ministries to target and to shut them out of business or even put them in jail. Who knows, but it's coming."

In addition to attempting to scare up votes through predictions not grounded in fact, Graham told Perkins that voters should look to party platforms for guidance on who they should vote for. The GOP decided not to update its platform from 2016, which opposed marriage equality, appeared to back the harmful anti-LGBTQ practice of "conversion therapy," and fought greater protections for transgender people.

Graham's organization, Samaritan's Purse, asks its personnel for its aid work across the country to read and agree with a statement of faith that marriage is only between "one genetic male and one genetic female" and that said marriage is the "foundation of the family and the basic structure of human society."

Graham is close to Trump and recently attended a White House Rose Garden event to announce Judge Amy Coney Barrett, who has a long record of anti-LGBTQ actions, as Trump's pick for the Supreme Court.

Throughout the Trump administration, government agencies have moved forward with rules that roll back protections for LGBTQ people by claiming that it is in service of religious freedom. But LGBTQ advocates say that the Trump administration and the religious right are trying to stretch the definition of religious freedom to make it easier to discriminate.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.