Sunday, May 03, 2020

LGBTQ opposition ends alliance between hospital and anti-LGBTQ evangelist Franklin Graham

Even during this coronavirus pandemic, LGBTQ people will not stand for anything which could potentially damage our safety or equality. A recent situation in New York involving a hospital and anti-LGBTQ evangelist Franklin Graham proved this point.

Mount Sinai Hospital is closing down the field hospital in Central Park after treating 315 patients infected with COVID-19. Local officials, including City Council Speaker Corey Johnson, had called on Mount Sinai Hospital to close the field hospital over Samaritan's Purse's practice of requiring staff to sign a pledge against same-sex marriage. Officials said the field hospital will stop admitting patients by May 4, but it could take two weeks to treat the remaining patients and decontaminate the tents. State Senator Brad Hoylman told NBC New York approximately 40 Samaritan's Purse staffers will stay within the Mount Sinai system, redeployed to Beth Israel Hospital.

The field hospital faced much criticism and protests, not just because of the anti-marriage equality pledge, but also because of  Samaritan's Purse founder Franklin Graham. Graham has made many homophobic as well as Islamophobic statements over the years. 

According to Andy Humm at Gay City News:

Graham has been condemned by the NAACP for “using Christianity as a political weapon.” He has said, “True Islam cannot be practiced in this country” and tried to stop an Islamic cultural center from being built near the World Trade Center. He supported Trump’s call for “a total Muslim ban” in the 2016 campaign. He has condemned Hinduism. He said that “Mormonism is not a Christian faith.” He worked hard in his home state of North Carolina in 2012 to ban not just same-sex marriages, but domestic partnerships. 

His bigotry is so vile that 10 venues in the United Kingdom canceled his bookings for crusades earlier this year. When Graham attacked former South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg for being gay, Republican columnist Jennifer Rubin said Graham was “a hypocritical bigot” who “has rationalized Trump’s infidelity and racism, ignored his lies, cheered his inhumane immigration policy, and behaved as a political hack rather than a religious leader.” Graham has even praised Russian strongman Vladimir Putin for taking “a stand to protect his nation’s children from the damaging effects of any gay and lesbian agenda.”