The mayor of Vancouver, in the Canadian province of British Columbia, believes that the city should decline to welcome the Rev. Franklin Graham as the lead speaker for a Christian gathering taking place in March.
Mayor Gregor Robertson cited comments the famous evangelist has made about Muslims and the LGBT community as reason why organizations of the Festival of Hope gathering should drop Graham from the lineup of speakers.
Festival organizers have thus far refused to heed Robertson’s request.
Other city officials, however, agreed with Robertson. Local councilor Tim Stevenson condemned Graham’s “extraordinarily derogative” comments and asked “Why would they have invited this person in the first place, knowing that he's said these things about Muslims, knowing that he's said these things about the LGBTQ community?”
Graham has fully supported President Trump’s travel ban and has spoken out about Islam as a violent religion. He has also called transgender people “weirdos.”
Graham said that the purpose of the Festival of Hope, however, is not to make political statements, but to show God’s love.
“Politics, policies, economics and commerce are significant matters, but for these three days, we will come together in Vancouver to focus on the most important thing of all: God's love for each and every one of us.”
The Festival of Hope will take place from March 3-5 and is expected to draw more than 25,000 attendees.
Photo courtesy: Wikimedia Commons
Publication date: February 24, 2017