An online protest against gay rights foe Franklin Graham aims to
leave him sermonizing to an empty arena in Iceland.
According to the International
Business Times, Icelandic protesters are reserving hundreds
of tickets to Graham's appearance next month at the Festival of Hope
at Reykjavik's Laugardalsholl arena in hopes of leaving him with an
Graham, a leading evangelical figure and the son of evangelist
Billy Graham, last year supported a constitutional amendment banning
gay marriage in his home state of North Carolina. He also criticized
President Barack Obama's endorsement of marriage equality, calling it
a “sad day for America.” In a Piers Morgan Tonight interview
aired in March, Graham said that legalizing nuptials for gay couples
would be a “great mistake” for the United States.
Graham: Gay marriage would be a “great mistake.”)
Graham, who heads the international Christian relief organization
Samaritan's Purse, reportedly is going to Iceland at the request of
Icelandic churches. Next month's sold-out event is free but
attendees must reserve a ticket.
Protesters said on social media that they were reserving seats to
the event with no plans to actually attend.
Elvar Thormar, a software developer, announced on Facebook that he
had reserved 500 tickets. The venue holds between 5,000 and 11,000
people, depending on configuration.
In 2010, Iceland extended marriage rights to gay and lesbian
couples with little opposition and overwhelming public support.
Iceland's first – and the world's only – openly lesbian prime
minister, Johanna Sigurdardottir, retired from politics in May.
PM Johanna Sigurdardottir inaugurates gay marriage law.)