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Donald Trump invites Franklin Graham and other anti-gay religious leaders to speak at inauguration

Donald Trump invites Franklin Graham and other anti-gay religious leaders to speak at inauguration

Donald Trump

President Elect Donald Trump’s Transition Team have released more details about his inauguration ceremony in Washington DC on 20 January.

Although the incoming President has struggled to secure any A-list entertainers to participate, a statement released yesterday included details of religious leaders who will be participating.

It includes several that have been vocal in their criticism of LGBTI rights and same-sex marriage.

Readings will be delivered by Rev. Franklin Graham, son of famous evangelist Billy Graham; Bishop Wayne T. Jackson of Great Faith Ministries International; and Rabbi Marvin Hier, Dean and Founder of the Simon Wiesenthal Center.

Invocations will be delivered by Cardinal Timothy Dolan, the Archbishop of New York; Rev. Dr. Samuel Rodriguez of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference; and Pastor Paula White of New Destiny Christian Center.

No representatives of other religions are thought to have been invited to participate.

Franklin Graham has been consistent in his condemnation of same-sex marriage and LGBTI rights.

He has praised North Carolina for its anti-LGBTI HB2 legislation and opposed the Stonewall Inn in New York being turned into a national monument.

Only yesterday he raised the specter of Trump making court appointments that might think again on same-sex marriage: ‘President Donald J. Trump will inherit more than 100 judicial vacancies,’ he posted on Facebook.

‘This is a monumental opportunity and can have a great impact on the future direction of our nation. Important issues like same-sex marriage, abortion restrictions, immigration, and religious freedoms are many times addressed at a lower court level.

‘Pray for every appointment—and for President-Elect Trump, Vice President-Elect Mike Pence, and those working to fill these strategically important vacancies.’

Rev. Dr Rodriguez has also been critical of same-sex marriage, and has said that because not enough Christians voted in the 2012 election, ‘the institution of marriage suffered a radical transformation via the conduit of judicial and executive fiat.’

Archbishop Dolan has also spoken against same-sex marriage and condemned gay sex as a sin. However, he did also welcome the inclusion of a LGBTI walking group in the 2014 St Patrick’s Day Parade in New York and insists that people should not see the Catholic church as anti-gay.