Renaissance and HORIZON LGB&T are proud to be involved with #Lancashire4Love
#Lancashire4Love is an LGB&T community response to the visit of American Preacher Franklin Graham to Blackpool for the upcoming Festival Of Hope.
Many people in our local community will have read about the planned Lancashire Festival of Hope scheduled to take place at Blackpool Winter Gardens on 21-23 September. We know that there is a feeling of concern and outrage that the festival plans to give a platform to American preacher Franklin Graham who regularly uses social media and public events to share his message of hate towards the LGB&T community as well as other minority groups.
We would like to make it abundantly clear that we have no issue with the event itself and welcome all faiths and beliefs in our amazing town. However we do in no way accept the visit of Franklin Graham himself as a person that spreads a message of hatred to his followers.
Examples of the hate speech that Mr Graham has delivered check out:
As organisations working with the LGBTQI+ community in Blackpool we feel that we must represent these views and provide collective leadership at this time. Organisations including HORIZON LGB&T. Renaissance, Liberty Church, Fylde Coast LGBT Forum, Aunty Social and Pride Blackpool have come together to respond to the visit.
We welcome the sensible and swift action of solidarity by Blackpool Transport and Stagecoach Greater Manchester who have chosen to remove adverts promoting the festival from their buses, and would encourage other businesses across the UK to follow their lead.
We know that some businesses will be contractually obliged to honour their commitments with Lancashire Festival of Hope and, where this is the case, we would ask them to publicly donate any payment they have received to LGBTQI+ charities and make statements to that effect.
We firmly believe in the right to free speech for everyone, however the law in the UK recognises that this is limited where the speech in question seeks to incite violence, hatred or discrimination against others, and we feel that Franklin Graham’s words and public statements often do exactly that.
As a collective we know that there are many people of the Christian faith who do not share the views of Franklin Graham. As such we would call on members of our community to choose their words carefully when expressing their legitimate and reasonable right to protest, and recognise that it is only a small minority who choose to promote hate.
We still hold out the hope that the UK government will refuse Franklin Graham’s visa and we encourage anyone who shares our concerns about his visit to sign the petition on change.org.
We are raising funds to promote #Lancashire4Love as a response to Franklin Graham’s visit to Blackpool. To shout loud and proud that the majority of Blackpool residents and visitors do not agree with his ideals of our community and that Blackpool is a safe space that celebrates its thriving LGB&T and other diverse communities. We plan to use the money raised to “pepper the town” with our message, for the weekend of the Festival of Hope and encourage people to visit the website as well as have their say on social media, that we do not condone the visit of this man, nor do we validate his feeling and comments on our community. Click the link below to show your support