US pastor Franklin Graham's Sheffield show not cancelled, Council confirm

An event with a controversial US pastor who branded homosexuality a sin has not been cancelled, Sheffield City Council have confirmed.

Tuesday, 28th January 2020, 4:56 pm
Updated Thursday, 30th January 2020, 2:14 pm

In a tweet posted on Monday evening, which has since been deleted, Cllr Ben Miskell claimed Sheffield Council’s cabinet member for culture, parks and leisure, Mary Lea, had said Franklin Graham’s appearance at the city’s FlyDSA Arena on June 6 would no longer go ahead.

But on Tuesday Cllr Lea confirmed that is not the case.

She is, however, in discussions with Sheffield City Trust trustees – the board that oversees Sheffield International Venues – about cancelling the event.

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Franklin Graham

Cllr Lea said: “I am proud to call Sheffield a welcoming city, a city of sanctuary, and a place where fairness, equality and diversity are celebrated.

“Anyone who preaches hate is not welcome in Sheffield. Mr Graham’s prejudiced and divisive views about LGBT+ people and other faith groups run contrary to everything our city stands for.

“We have spent time discussing this issue with Sheffield City Trust (SCT) trustees, and will continue to do so.”

As well as branding homosexuality a ‘sin’, Christian evangelist Graham has previously spoken out against plans to ban gay conversion therapy and reportedly called Islam an ‘evil and very wicked religion’.

Pete Wilcox, the Bishop of Sheffield, said Mr Graham’s comments were “inflammatory” and branded the show a “risk to the social cohesion of our city.”

Meanwhile, Sheffield City Region Mayor Dan Jarvis also declared “Intolerance cannot be welcomed here in South Yorkshire” in a statement on Graham’s scheduled appearance.