The daughter of the homophobic evangelist Franklin Graham took to the podium at the Republican National Convention last night to carry on the homophobic and transphobic traditions of her father. Cissie Graham Lynch delivered a speech that was filled with tired tropes about the LGBTQ+ community, including attacks on transgender youth.
Decrying whether its at the hands of a “baker or a florist or a football coach,” Graham claimed that people of faith have been forced to choose between “being obedient to god or to Caesar,” and she listed a litany of perceived offenses by the left in an attempt to prove her point.
“Democrats tried to make faith-based organizations pay for abortion-inducing drugs,” Graham said. “Democrats tried to force adoption agencies to violate their deeply held beliefs. Democrats pressured schools to allow boys to compete in girls’ sports and use girls’ locker rooms." The latter point references ongoing legal disputes surrounding trans youth competing in sports that affirm their lived gender.
“What is particularly shameful is the targeting of some of the most vulnerable in our community: transgender kids,” Alphonso David, president of Human Rights Campaign, said in a statement after teh speech. “Cissie Graham Lynch’s comments were despicable and must be widely condemned by anyone who claims to be an ally of LGBTQ people.”
GLAAD President and CEO Sarah Kate Ellis echoed David’s sentiments, noting the granddaughter of famed televangelist Billy Graham “is sadly not alone in her bigoted, inaccurate beliefs, as the Trump administration has been working hand in hand with anti-LGBTQ activists like her from day one.”
This falls within a legacy of hate against the LGBTQ+ community by the family. Franklin Graham, Cissie's father, has previously praised Putin's anti-gay laws in Russia, claimed gay people were causing a rise in STIs, and said that presidential candidate Pete Buttigeig faces “eternal damnation” for being gay.
Meanwhile, another granddaughter of Billy Graham weighed in Tuesday with an anti-Trump message, although not at the convention. Jerushah Duford, Lynch’s cousin and Franklin’s niece, published an op-ed in USA Today arguing that Christian women should oppose Trump because of his “disrespect and misogyny.”
For her part, Ellis remained adamant in setting the record straight on Graham and the Trump administration when it comes to LGBTQ+ rights, especially those of the transgender community.
“The record is clear — from arguing all the way to the Supreme Court against LGBTQ workers and adoptive parents, to speaking out against transgender girls,” Ellis said. “Lynch and anti-LGBTQ activists like her undeniably have an ally in the Trump administration, while LGBTQ Americans, especially transgender people, face rising numbers of policy rollbacks and growing levels of discrimination.”