Virulently anti-LGBTQ evangelist Franklin Graham and his Samaritan’s Purse organization have been asked to shut down their Central Park tent hospital after attempting to spread their homophobic agenda.
New York City officials asked Graham’s group to pack up and leave after it was revealed volunteers were forced to sign “statements of faith” denouncing same-sex relationships, comparing LGBTQ people to drug addicts and more. Volunteers who refused to sign the document were reportedly turned away.
Originally, Mayor Bill de Blasio said he had received assurances the controversial group wouldn’t discriminate before granting permission to Samaritan’s Purse to set up the temporary facility in March. Those promises were apparently discarded soon after setting up the field hospital.
In addition to requiring the “faith statements” to be signed, Pink News reported that a camera crew was brought in to shoot a highly publicized Easter service from the Central Park location.
And videos released by Samaritan’s Purse have shown Bible verses displayed on health care workers’ face masks and equipment.
News outlets including the New York Times have reported on Samaritan’s Purse using medical emergencies in the past to bring aid victims of disasters while seeking to convert those same people.
New York City council speaker Corey Johnson, who is gay, issued an official statement from the City Council saying, “It is time for Samaritan’s Purse to leave New York City.”
“This group, which is led by the notoriously bigoted, hate-spewing Franklin Graham, came at a time when our city couldn’t in good conscience turn away any offer of help,” wrote Johnson. “That time has passed. Their continued presence here is an affront to our values of inclusion, and is painful for all New Yorkers who care deeply about the LGBTQ community.”
“At the City Council, we are committed to supporting those workers and protecting our city’s public health,” he added. “But as a city that values diversity and compassion for all, we cannot continue to allow a group with the track record of Samaritan’s Purse to remain here when we are past the point they are needed.”
Noting that Graham has called the LGBTQ community “detestable,” “immoral,” and “an affront to God,” Johnson called for Mount Sinai the end its relationship with the organization
The Speaker ended his statement saying, “Hate has no place in our beautiful city.”
CBSN New York reports Mount Sinai Hospital and Samaritan’s Purse issued a joint statement saying the tent hospital was packing up.
“Now that the surge in COVID hospital admissions is reaching manageable levels, we will stop admitting new patients to the Central Park field hospital as of May 4,” said a Mount Sinai spokesperson on Saturday.