Celebrated evangelist Rev. Franklin Graham has waded into the fray surrounding North Carolina’s controversial law requiring males and females to use restrooms that correspond to their biological sex, insisting that the legislation makes good sense and will protect the vulnerable from predators.
In a pithy Tweet Friday, Graham, the son of evangelist Billy Graham, stated that men “have no business using women’s bathrooms and locker rooms. Period.”
Men have no business using women’s bathrooms and locker rooms. Period. https://t.co/sZaM2RAa1f
— Franklin Graham (@Franklin_Graham) April 22, 2016
In a Facebook post, Graham took issue with a remark made Thursday by Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump to the Today Show’s Matt Lauer, as reported by the New York Times. Trump suggested that people should be allowed to use whatever bathroom they feel most comfortable with, the way they have until now.
In his post, Graham acknowledged that Trump’s desire to make America great again “has resonated with many voters across America,” but stated that he had to disagree with him “on the statement he made about the NC bathroom law HB2 on The Today Show in an interview with Matt Lauer.”
“He said people should use the bathroom they feel appropriate. He said that if Caitlyn Jenner came to Trump Tower, he could use any bathroom he wanted,” Graham notes, which is “Mr. Trump’s prerogative on his own property.”
The real problem is when such a position becomes a matter of public policy, Rev. Graham suggested.
Private decisions are one thing, but “businesses and organizations shouldn’t be forced by law to allow men pretending to be women to use women’s restrooms,” he said.
On Thursday evening, in fact, Trump slightly amended his previous statement, telling Sean Hannity on Fox News that the North Carolina bathroom law is a matter of states’ rights. Trump said that “local communities and states should make the decision. The federal government should not be involved.”
In his Facebook post, Graham backed up N.C. Governor Pat McCrory, saying that he was “absolutely right to pass HB2 to protect young girls, boys, and women from sexual predators and perverts.”
“It’s not up to us to decide our sex—God determines that,” Graham said, adding that according to the Bible,“He created them male and female and blessed them.”
Graham’s remarks dovetailed with statements by Pope Francis in his recent letter on marriage and the family, Amoris Laetitia (“The Joy of Love”). Francis said that sex education should teach “respect and appreciation” for sexual differences, including self-acceptance and learning to embrace the body with which one is born, rather than playing with fictional identities that deny reality.
“The young need to be helped to accept their own body as it was created,” he wrote. Thinking that we enjoy “absolute power over our own bodies,” Francis warned, leads to the delusion that “we enjoy absolute power over creation.”
Follow Thomas D. Williams on Twitter Follow @tdwilliamsrome