Evangelist Franklin Graham is the latest conservative to praise Russian President Vladimir Putin for his aggressive crackdown on LGBT people.
Graham, who heads the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association started by his father, credited Putin in the March issue of his group’s Decision magazine with protecting children from gay “propaganda” by signing a bill imposing fines on adults who discuss same-sex relationships in a non-negative way.
On the other hand, Graham wrote, President Barack Obama had sold himself out to promote “the gay-lesbian agenda.”
Graham claims he’s not endorsing Putin, mentioning that he’s never heard the Russian president quote a Bible verse and cites unspecified “controversies” in his personal life.
But he praises Putin as a “commanding presence” who is right to equate homosexuality with pedophilia in the law.
“Isn’t it sad, though, that America’s own morality has fallen so far that on this issue -- protecting children from any homosexual agenda or propaganda -- Russia’s standard is higher than our own?” Graham wrote.
The column was published Feb. 28, the day after Russian sent troops into Crimea.