Evangelist Franklin Graham expressed his displeasure on May 6 over the proposed first-ever national monument to honor those who have fought for LGBT rights in the U.S. for decades.
According to The Washington Post, New York City's Christopher Park would be designated as the monument area. The small city park was the scene of a six-day protest that began on June 28, 1969, after the Stonewall Inn, a popular gay bar, was violently raided by police. The Stonewall Inn sits across from Christopher Park.
The LGBT community had been victimized by similar police raids in the past, but this time LGBT people and their supporters protested. The "Stonewall Riots" are generally considered the beginning of the modern gay rights movement, which has cost some people their freedom and others their lives.
In response to the newspaper article, Graham wrote on his Facebook page: "A monument to sin? That's unbelievable. War heroes deserve a monument, our nation’s founding fathers deserve a monument, people who have helped to make America strong deserve a monument — but a monument to sin?"
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The Daily Kos noted in 2012 a brief history of gay people serving in the U.S. military and in World War II, which was a turning point for LGBT people and set the stage for Stonewall.
Graham added: "It’s no surprise that the three officials who represent the area and support the monument are all openly gay. I can’t believe how far our country has digressed. I hope that the president will reconsider. Flaunting sin is a dangerous move. God’s Word tells us, 'Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a reproach to any people' (Proverbs 14:34)."
The Washington Post notes that Democratic Rep. Jerrold Nadler of New York (who is married to a woman and has a son) co-authored the bill that would make the area a national park. Additional heterosexual supporters include New York Democrats Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, Gov. Andrew Cuomo, and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio.