Homophobic televangelist Franklin Graham was hoping to embark on a speaking tour at church venues across the UK later this year, but one by one those venues are canceling his appearances as word spreads about his hate-filled anti-LGBTQ rhetoric.
At first, venues in Liverpool and London canceled Graham’s appearances, and now arenas in Glasgow, Sheffield, Birmingham, and Newport have also been dropped, PinkNews reports. Another event in Milton Keynes is set to drop him as well.
A spokesperson for the Birmingham venue confirmed that Graham’s June 17 appearance has been canceled and the ICC Wales event in Newport, originally scheduled for June 14, has also been canceled.
“Opposition to this event has come from numerous sources, and from across the community” a spokesperson for ICC Wales noted.
“As a result of this, we can no longer reconcile the balance between freedom of speech and the divisive impact this event is having in our community. We have informed the organizers of the event that the booking will no longer be fulfilled.”
“ICC Wales is proud to represent all communities and looks forward to hosting events of all sizes, promoting Wales as a destination for business events, and bringing huge benefits to the visitor economy.”
A spokesman for the Marshall Arena in Milton Keynes said Graham’s appearance was canceled because it may fuel unrest.
“This decision has been taken due to our concerns that the event may lead to a breach of the peace, which we believe would have a disruptive effect on our staff, our neighbors at Stadium MK and the inclusive Milton Keynes community.”
PinkNews notes that only one of the original eight planned tour dates still stands — precariously — at Newcastle’s Utilita Arena on June 3. But Newcastle council leader Nick Forbes is calling for the event to be canceled.
In an interview with Pride Radio, he had this to say regarding Graham’s appearance:
“I don’t think there’s any room for him in our city… That kind of act does not match the values of our city.”
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