A conference venue in Liverpool that was due to host the evangelist Franklin Graham on one of his UK tour stops has pulled the plug on the event.
Mr Graham, the son of the late evangelist Billy Graham, was due to speak at the ACC Liverpool on 12 June as part of his eight-date UK tour this summer.
But in a setback for the visit, the ACC has now cancelled the event, with a spokesperson for the venue telling the BBC that it had 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,” the spokesperson said.
“We have informed the organisers of the event that the booking will no longer be fulfilled.
“We are proud to represent all communities.”
Liverpool mayor Joe Anderson said on Twitter that the ACC had made the “right” decision.
“Our city is a diverse city and proud of our LGBTQ+ community and always will be,” he added.
“We cannot allow hatred and intolerance to go unchallenged by anyone including by religious groups or sects.”
Graham is an outspoken supporter of US President Donald Trump and has defended a traditional interpretation of marriage.
He heads up Samaritan’s Purse but also regularly tours across the US, sharing the Gospel and his views on the state of the nation, with his events drawing large crowds.
His UK tour commences in Glasgow on May 30. It will take in a number of cities across England and Wales, before finishing at the 02 Arena in London on October 4.
LGBTQ+ campaigners in Sheffield also sought to have his tour stop at the city’s FlyDSA Arena cancelled but the Sheffield City Trust, which runs the venue, said it supported the “right to free speech and freedom of expression whilst promoting equality and freedom from hatred and abuse”.
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