In an interview with The New York Times, Christian conservative Franklin Graham claimed that a majority of New York City residents oppose same-sex marriage.

Graham was responding to criticism his non-profit Samaritan's Purse received for forcing workers and volunteers at a makeshift field hospital set up in New York City's Central Park to sign a statement of faith which denies the existence of transgender people, rejects same-sex marriage, and states that the “unrighteous” will go to hell. The field hospital, now being dismantled, treated victims of the coronavirus pandemic as New York City hospitals reached capacity.

Graham dismissed as “ludicrous” comments made by New York City Council Speaker Corey Johnson, who is gay. Johnson said that the organization's “continued presence here is an affront to our values of inclusion.”

“New York is – how many million people live here?” Graham said. “There’s not one set of values that represents 9 million people. I think that’s just ludicrous to me even make a statement like that.”

Graham went on to say that the majority of New York City residents oppose same-sex marriage.

“The vast majority of the people in the city believe that marriage is between a man and a woman, but the majority would also say that if two men want to live together, that’s their business, or two women want to live together, that’s their business,” he said.

Polling conducted in 2017 found that an overwhelming majority (69%) of New Yorkers support marriage equality. New York is among a handful of states that legalized marriage for gay and lesbian couples through legislation. It became the sixth state with marriage equality in 2011.

Graham is vocally opposed to LGBT rights. Last year, he criticized former presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg for being gay, saying that he should repent. He has said that bathroom bills are needed to protect children and women from people who identify as transgender. And he has praised Russian President Vladimir Putin for signing a law that prohibits “gay propaganda,” saying that it protects children from being exploited by the “gay and lesbian agenda.”

(Related: Franklin Graham's UK tour in doubt as venues cancel over preacher's anti-LGBT views.)