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‘If Jesus were alive today, he would stand with LGBTQ folks, not against them…’

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“Everyone has a right to happiness,” said Kristine Farrelly, a Christian protester outside Franklin Graham’s East Providence event. “I affirm the fact that Jesus loves [LGBTQ people] and accepts them for who they are, despite the messages they might be getting from other church people.”

There’s was a capacity crowd of about 3,800 people at Bold Point Park in East Providence Sunday night, all to hear Christian evangelist and missionary Franklin Graham. Graham was an early supporter of presidential candidate Donald Trump, and has suggested that God intervened in the last election to make Trump President.

But it’s Graham’s constant attacks on the LGBTQ community that are perhaps the most problematic thing about him. Here’s a link to some of his more hateful and hurtful statements against LGBTQ folks.

At Graham’s “Decision America” event, which was free to attend, people were passed through metal detectors and were not allowed to bring outside food or drink. There were concession stands inside. No purses over a certain size were allowed and oversized bags had to be see through.

Near the entrance I spotted three protesters holding signs expressing Christian support for LGBTQ people. Here I met Kristine Farrelly.

Kristine Farrelly

“I believe that Jesus loves everybody and that everyone should be welcomed into the church, into the Kingdom of God” said Farrelly. “It’s the Holy Spirit’s job to convict people. It’s not our job to point it out and marginalize people, say, ‘You’re not good enough to be part of our church’ or that, ‘You’re not good enough for salvation.’


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“We’re called to love others and to allow Jesus to do the work in their heart,” continued Farrelly. “Everyone has a right to happiness. I affirm the fact that Jesus loves [LGBTQ people] and accepts them for who they are, despite the messages they might be getting from other church people.”

“So you don’t think Franklin Graham is bringing that message to people here today?” I asked.

“Not from what I understand,” said Farrelly. “I don’t think your sexual identity or gender identity has anything to do with your heart. Back in the day, Jesus saved a woman who committed adultery from being stoned to death. If Jesus were alive today, he would stand with LGBTQ folks, not against them.”


For more on Franklin Graham, see:


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Steve Ahlquist is a frontline reporter in Rhode Island. He has covered human rights, social justice, progressive politics and environmental news for half a decade. Uprise RI is his new project, and he's doing all he can to make it essential reading. atomicsteve@gmail.com