Liverpool

Liverpool venue cancels Franklin Graham event

President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump stand with Franklin Graham during a ceremony Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Franklin Graham (right with President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump) is a prominent Christian leader in the US

A conference venue in Liverpool has cancelled an event featuring American evangelist Franklin Graham.

Mr Graham, the eldest son of the late preacher Billy Graham, has said he believes gay marriage is a "sin".

He was due to speak at ACC Liverpool on 12 June as part of a UK tour.

But an ACC spokesperson said it had recently been "made aware of a number of statements which we consider to be incompatible with our values".

"In light of this, we can no longer reconcile the balance between freedom of speech and the divisive impact this event is having in our city.

"We have informed the organisers of the event that the booking will no longer be fulfilled.

"We are proud to represent all communities," the spokesperson added.

Image copyright Justin Sullivan
Image caption Franklin Graham's tours, including this one in the US, have drawn large audiences

The BBC has approached The Graham Tour organisers for a response.

Its website says the events aim "to share the hope of Jesus Christ".

Liverpool mayor Joe Anderson tweeted that the cancellation was the "right" decision.

"Our city is a diverse city and proud of our LGBTQ+ community and always will be," he added.

"We can not allow hatred and intolerance to go unchallenged by anyone including by religious groups or sects."

The tour is scheduled for May and June and is set to include venues in Glasgow, Newcastle, Sheffield, Milton Keynes, Cardiff, Birmingham and London.

When LGBT+ leaders called for the cancellation of the Sheffield visit, Mr Graham said: "I'm not coming to Sheffield to preach against anyone, I'm coming to tell everyone about a God who loves them."

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