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March 26, 2023
Reverend Franklin Graham agreed to a $150,000 settlement from the Blackpool Council in Britain.
In 2018, Graham, son of the American evangelist Billy Graham, sued the Blackpool government for removing public transport adverts showcasing a religious festival. According to Blackpool Transport, the ads were taken down after complaints were made regarding the reverend’s views on same-sex marriage. However, the posters merely shared the name of the festival, a slogan “Time for Hope,” and event details.
The Blackpool council leader said, “We accept that the advertisements were not in themselves offensive. We further accept that in removing the advertisements, we did not take into account the fact that this might cause offense to other members of the public and suggest that some voices should not be heard.”
“We accept the findings of the court that we discriminated against Lancashire Festival of Hope because of the religious beliefs of Franklin Graham and in doing so interfered with Lancashire Festival of Hope’s right to freedom of speech,” Blackpool Council and Blackpool Transport stated.
After the decision, Graham said, “We thank God for this ruling because it is a win for every Christian in the UK.” Numerous venues booked to host the Lancashire Festival of Hope were canceled due to the same complaints. In 2020, Graham told reporters he was “denied [a platform] because of religious beliefs” and is still engaged in lawsuits.
ARTICLE: ANTOINETTE AHO
MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE
PHOTO CREDITS: GOSPEL HERALD