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Franklin_Graham_2016 By Cornstalker - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0,.jpg
UK News

All eight venues cancel on Christian evangelist Franklin Graham

by Press Association

Another British venue has said a concert for a controversial Christian preacher will not go ahead, following a protest by gay rights campaigners.

Newcastle’s Utilita Arena had been booked to host an event for Franklin Graham, son of the evangelist Billy Graham, in June, but it announced it was no longer going ahead.

Ste Dunn, chairman of Northern Pride, said: “Having led the call for this to be cancelled, and coordinated the support of numerous groups throughout the city, we are obviously delighted by this decision.

“We would like to thank everyone who got behind the campaign and signed our petition, to make a stand and show that anti-LGBT+ speech is not welcome in Newcastle.”

A spokesman for the venue said: “Following talks with our partners and relevant stakeholders we can confirm that the Franklin Graham event scheduled at the Utilita Arena Newcastle in June will not take place.”

The Rev Franklin Graham, a supporter of US President Donald Trump, has been called homophobic after saying gay marriage was a sin.

Venues in Glasgow, Sheffield, Newport, London, Birmingham and Liverpool have already pulled out of hosting his events this summer.

In a statement, Mr Graham said that the Bible says that God “designed marriage to be between a man and a woman”.

In a statement last week, before the concert was called off, the preacher said: “People who say I’m ‘preaching hate’ have never heard me speak.

“I’m inviting everyone to come to these meetings. I would love for the LGBTQ community to come.

“Regardless of their faith or belief system, everyone is absolutely welcome. We’re not going to speak against anybody.

“We are bringing a message of hope for everybody.”

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