US Evangelical preacher, Franklin Graham has threatened to sue Scottish event venue, SSE Hydro after they cancelled his event because it was likely he’d use hate speech and anti-LGBTIQ themes.
Graham, who has a reputation for homophobia, is on an eight-day tour of the United Kingdom and has faced protests and cancelations from three venues.
Susan Aitken, leader of the Glasgow City Council, the majority shareholder in the SSE Hydro, said, “The reporting of the ways in which Mr. Graham expresses his views makes clear that this is not simply about offense or disagreement.”
“Neither is it a debate about free speech. How he expresses his views could, I believe, fundamentally breach the council’s statutory equalities duties,” Aitken said.
In a statement to The Scotsman Graham said he was being discriminated against for being Christian and may take legal action.
“Though this venue may be cancelled we have not pulled out of Glasgow. We’re coming. We do have options legally. We’ll certainly pursue those options. We would rather not do that. We don’t like having to do that,” Graham said.
Graham also attacked those protesting his events saying, “The other side talks about how tolerant they are and how inclusive they are, but they are the least tolerant, the least inclusive people in the U.K.”
Graham’s virulent anti-LGBTQ beliefs include referring to gay Christians as “the enemy,” boycotting Girls Scout cookies due to the organization’s support of LGBTQ rights, and calling for boycotts of businesses that feature same-sex couples in their advertisements.
He has praised Vladimir Putin’s anti-gay propaganda law and has said that gays and lesbians are “recruiting” people by adopting children.
Sheffield Arena and the ACC Liverpool had already scrapped the event following protests.