The Rev. Billy Graham on Wednesday
joined his son, Franklin Graham, in urging voters in North Carolina
to approve Amendment One.
Voters on May 8 will decide the fate of
Amendment One, the constitutional amendment which would bar the state
from recognizing the relationships of gay and lesbian couples with
marriage, civil unions and possibly domestic partnerships.
“Watching the moral decline of our
country causes me great concern,” the AP quoted Graham as saying.
“I believe the home and marriage is the foundation of our society
and must be protected.”
“At 93, I never thought we would have
to debate the definition of marriage. The Bible is clear – God's
definition of marriage is between a man and a woman. I want to urge
my fellow North Carolinians to vote for the marriage amendment.”
Graham's statement, which will appear
in 14 North Carolina newspapers, was issued by the Billy Graham
Evangelistic Association, the Charlotte-based ministry which is led
by Graham's son, the Rev. Franklin Graham. Franklin
Graham earlier recorded a message on behalf of Vote for Marriage
North Carolina, a group working to approve the ban.
William Martin, who wrote the Bill
Graham biography A Prophet with Honor, said he was surprised
by the stand.
“In the past, I have heard him say
with respect to homosexuality, there are greater sins,” Martin told
the AP. “Franklin has been more outspoken about it, but is sounds
as if this is Mr. Graham expressing his own will.”