Billy Graham Gets Behind NC Gay Marriage Ban

Urges fellow North Carolinians to vote yes on Amendment One
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted May 3, 2012 8:22 AM CDT
In this Dec. 20, 2010 file photo, evangelist Billy Graham, 92, is interviewed at the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association headquarters in Charlotte, NC.   (AP Photo/Nell Redmond)

(Newser) – Rev. Billy Graham has come out in strong support of North Carolina’s Amendment One, which would ban gay marriage in his home state. "At 93, I never thought we would have to debate the definition of marriage," reads his statement, which will appear in full-page newspaper ads this weekend. "The Bible is clear—God's definition of marriage is between a man and a woman. I want to urge my fellow North Carolinians to vote for the marriage amendment" Tuesday.

William Martin, a religion professor and author of an authorized biography of Graham, says this is an unusual move for Graham. "I am somewhat surprised that he would take that strong a stand," he tells the AP. "In the past, I have heard him say with respect to homosexuality, there are greater sins." A gay rights group came out with ads recently that compare Amendment One to segregation.

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