Rev. Franklin Graham on Sunday said that he stood by earlier comments agreeing with so-called gay “propaganda” bans in Russia because President Vladimir Putin was doing “what’s right” for the country.
During a March interview with the Charlotte Observer, Graham had asserted that LGBT people were trying to “recruit” children by adopting them, and suggested that it was “exploitation.”
He also said that he “agreed” with Putin because “protecting his nation’s children was a pretty smart thing to do.”
Speaking to ABC News on Sunday, Graham doubled down on his praise of the Russian president.
“Putin is going to do what’s right for Russia, and not what’s right for America, but for Russia,” he opined. “We used to have a president in this country that did what’s right for this country, but we don’t seem to have that right now.”
“Putin is going to make these decisions that he thinks is best for the Russian people, and he thinks that taking advantage of children — exploiting children — is wrong for any group so they passed a law,” Graham added. “So, I do agree with him.”
When asked about his father, Rev. Billy Graham, he again brought the discussion back around to the issue of same-sex parents.
“When we talk about families, when we talk about gay people, many people, maybe gays that are watching want to know, ‘Can God forgive me or can I go to Heaven as a gay person?’ Absolutely,” he declared. “But the same for any of us, we have to repent of our sins and turn.”
“A person cannot stay in adultery and be accepted by God,” Graham continued. “You have to repent.”
“What would you say to those children of gay parents?” ABC host Martha Raddatz wondered.
“Like any parents living in sin, you have to repent,” Graham insisted. “Franklin Graham is a sinner. I’m no better than a gay person, I’m a sinner. But I’ve been forgiven, and I’ve turned from my sins.”
Watch the video below from ABC’s This Week broadcast April 20, 2014.