NEW YORK—Today, Senator Brad Hoylman called on New York City to require any medical provider intending to provide services in a place of public accommodation to sign an agreement and acknowledgment related to non-discrimination. Senator Hoylman called for this sweeping new step days after an organization controlled by Franklin Graham—a bigot who has spent decades demonizing the LGBTQ community—was allowed to set up medical tents in Manhattan’s Central Park to treat COVID-19 patients.
The new legal agreement was crafted by Senator Hoylman and Roberta Kaplan, the pioneering civil rights attorney who led the fight for marriage equality all the way to the Supreme Court. A copy of the draft agreement being provided to New York City Hall is attached.
Senator Hoylman said:“For decades, Franklin Graham has traveled throughout the country preaching a gospel of bigotry and hate. He’s said advocacy for LGBTQ rights is ‘immoral’ and that marriage equality is ‘detestable.’ His organization supports those awful opinions and actively recruits volunteers who share them.
“Graham and his volunteers are free to adhere to whatever bigoted beliefs they’d like. But when they come to New York they need to abide by our Human Rights Law, which ensures marginalized New Yorkers are not subject to discrimination.
“We can’t let a pandemic change New York’s values. New York City must require every doctor or volunteer working at Graham’s Central Park field hospital—along with anyone providing medical services in a place of public accommodation—to sign a statement affirming their commitment to following New York City’s Human Rights Law.”
On Monday, Senator Hoylman first raised objections to Mr. Graham’s connection to COVID-19 relief. Any medical personnel volunteering with Graham’s organization is asked to adhere to a “statement of faith” that denounces gay marriage and abortion.
In a response sent to the news media, Graham claimed his organization does not discriminate against patients but failed to offer a commitment that he and his staff would abide by the NYC Human Rights Law.
New Yorkers are encouraged to contact the NYC Commission of Human Rights at 718-722-3131 or Senator Hoylman’s office at 212-633-8052 with any reports of discrimination