NEW YORK—Today, it was reported that the Central Park field hospital operated by notorious anti-LGBTQ evangelical preacher Franklin Graham will be closing in the next few weeks.
After an inquiry by State Senator Brad Hoylman, the only openly-LGBTQ member of the New York State Senate, Mount Sinai Hospital informed him that Graham’s organization, Samaritan’s Purse, will be invited to move into the Mount Sinai Beth Israel Facility on First Avenue in Senator Hoylman’s district.
Senator Hoylman released the following statement in response:
“Now that the USNS Comfort has set sail and the temporary hospital at the Javits Center is closing its doors shortly, Franklin Graham should pack up his medical tents and leave New York City for good.
“It was bad enough that Donald Trump’s failure to prepare the nation for this pandemic forced New York to accept charity from a bigot like Franklin Graham. Inviting Graham to stay on longer is an insult to LGBTQ New Yorkers and sends the dangerous message that homophobia and transphobia are acceptable.
“I fully support the heroic efforts of the doctors, nurses and medical personnel on the front lines fighting the COVID-19 pandemic. But it’s a real shame that Mount Sinai still clings to the argument that the only way to help our healthcare heroes is to allow bigots and homophobes to lend a hand."
“On behalf of the LGBTQ community I represent, I demand they end their association with Franklin Graham and Samaritan’s Purse, or risk further reputational harm with LGBTQ New Yorkers and the wider public.”
For decades, Franklin Graham and Samaritan’s Purse have been criticized for vilifying the LGBTQ community. Volunteers for Samaritan’s Purse are required to sign a statement affirming “that marriage is exclusively the union of one genetic male and one genetic female” and Graham, who leads Samaritan's Purse, has blamed LGBTQ Americans for the pandemic calling them “detestable” and “immoral.”