Notorious homophobe Franklin Graham will need to find a new hobby. Officials for the state of New York have ordered Graham and his charity organization Samaritan’s Purse to shutter their Central Park tent hospital.
Graham and Samaritan’s Purse attracted immediate scrutiny over opening overflow medical facilities in Central Park to aid in the COVID-19 crisis. Mayor Bill de Blasio claimed to have received assurance from Graham that neither he nor Samaritan’s Purse would discriminate against queer New Yorkers during the pandemic. Graham reneged on that word almost immediately, forcing volunteers for Samaritan’s Purse to sign a document decrying marriage equality. He also publicly compared LGBTQ people to drug addicts.
Now PinkNews reports New York has had enough. New York City council speaker Corey Johnson–an openly gay man–called on Samaritan’s Purse to pack up and get out. “It is time for Samaritan’s Purse to leave New York City. This group, which is led by the notoriously bigoted, hate-spewing Franklin Graham, came at a time when our city couldn’t in good conscience turn away any offer of help,” Johnson declared. “That time has passed. Their continued presence here is an affront to our values of inclusion, and is painful for all New Yorkers who care deeply about the LGBT+ community.”
“I am aware that our battle against COVID-19 is still ongoing, and that our health care system – and the amazing workers who have been the heroes of this unprecedented time in our history – still needs support,” Johnson added. “At the city council, we are committed to supporting those workers and protecting our city’s public health. But as a city that values diversity and compassion for all, we cannot continue to allow a group with the track record of Samaritan’s Purse to remain here when we are past the point they are needed.”
State senator Brad Hoylman gave a more succinct declaration, saying Graham should “pack up his tents and leave New York City for good.”
With the COVID-19 infection rate curbing in the Big Apple, Graham has two weeks to dismantle the Samaritan’s Purse tent hospital and leave the area.