Facebook has apologized to Christian
conservative Franklin Graham after the site temporarily banned him
over a post in which he described transgender women as men.
Facebook banned Graham, the son of the
late televangelist Billy Graham and a vocal supporter of President
Donald Trump, for 24-hours, saying that a post he wrote in 2016
related to North Carolina's House Bill 2 violated the site's
community standards on hate speech.
House Bill 2, signed by former
Republican Governor Pat McCrory, blocked cities from enacting LGBT
protections and prohibited transgender individuals from using the
bathroom of their choice in government buildings, including schools.
Passage of the bill sparked outrage, with many entertainers vowing to
boycott the state, including Bruce Springsteen.
Roy Cooper signs deal to repeal anti-LGBT law.)
“Bruce Springsteen, a long-time gay
rights activist, has canceled his North Carolina concert,” Graham
wrote in his 2016 post. “He says the NC law #HB2 to prevent men
from being able to use women’s restrooms and locker rooms is going
'backwards instead of forwards.' Well, to be honest, we need to go
back! Back to God. Back to respecting and honoring His commands. Back
to common sense. Mr. Springsteen, a nation embracing sin and bowing
at the feet of godless secularism and political correctness is not
progress. I’m thankful North Carolina has a governor, Pat McCrory,
and a lieutenant governor, Dan Forest, and legislators who put the
safety of our women and children first! HB2 protects the safety and
privacy of women and children and preserves the human rights of
millions of faith-based citizens of this state.”
Appearing on Fox News' Fox and
Friends, Graham discussed the incident.
“I was defending our governor and the
state on HB2,” he said. “It was a good law. If you disagree
with [Facebook's] position on sexual orientation, you can be
classified as hate speech.”
“I accepted Facebook's apology and I
appreciate them stepping up and doing that. I think it was just
really a personal attack towards me,” he added. “They ought to
just come up with a standard based on God's word that applies to all
In a statement given to Fox
News, Facebook said that it had removed the post for violating
its hate speech policies. “Upon re-reviewing this content, we
identified that the post does not violate our hate speech policy and
has been restored,” the statement read.
Graham not afraid to have his head “chopped off” for opposing gay