‘It’s a shame that the federal government has left New York with no other choice but to accept charity from bigots…’
(Claire Russel, Liberty Headlines) After Samaritan’s Purse—a humanitarian relief organization run by Christian evangelist Franklin Graham—announced it would aid coronavirus patients in New York City, a couple of government officials responded by attacking the organization.
Samaritan’s Purse set up a temporary hospital in Central Park to help New York City combat the spread of COVID-19. Instead of thanking the group for its aid, New York City Council Speaker Corey Johnson slammed Graham, whom Johnson accused of having an “anti-LGBTQ” history.
Franklin Graham has a long history of spewing anti-LGBTQ hate speech and I find it extremely troubling that he and his organization are involved in our relief efforts in any way. I will be monitoring this situation closely.
My full statement: pic.twitter.com/2cg6dHYHwA
— NYC Council Speaker Corey Johnson (@NYCSpeakerCoJo) April 1, 2020
New York state Sen. Brad Hoylman, who is gay, similarly claimed Samaritan’s Purse is full of “bigots.”
It’s a shame that the federal government has left New York with no other choice but to accept charity from bigots. https://t.co/rFSDitIn5Q
— Senator Brad Hoylman (@bradhoylman) March 31, 2020
“It’s unacceptable that a New Yorker infected with COVID-19 could be subjected to discriminatory treatment from an organization whose leader calls us ‘immoral’ and ‘detestable,’” Hoylman said in a statement, calling Graham a “homophobic pastor” whose aid must “sadly” be accepted.
“Sadly, beggars can’t be choosers: New York needs every ventilator we can get,” Holyman continued.
Graham responded to the New York politicians’ accusations on the Todd Starnes show, unequivocally disputing the claims of anti-gay bias.
“We don’t discriminate against anybody” Graham said.
“Our doors are open for all New Yorkers—regardless of their race, ethnicity or their sexual preference,” he continued. “We treat everybody the same.”
He also called on the bigoted anti-Christian lawmakers to put aside their partisan prejudices in order to fight the common enemy that the pandemic has become.
“This virus is a tsunami that is hitting our shores,” Graham said. “It’s killing Republicans. It’s killing Democrats. It’s killing independents. And we just need to say forget the politics right now. Let’s work together to save lives.”