Samaritan’s Purse, the group funding and erecting the makeshift coronavirus tent hospital in New York City’s Central Park, makes all workers, including health care providers, “read and adhere” to a statement of faith that says gay people will burn in Hell. Samaritan’s Purse is run by “Christian” homophobe Franklin Graham.
Gothamist reports: “Graham, the son of prominent minister Billy Graham, has specifically sought to recruit Christian medical staff to the Central Park facility. According to the group’s website, all volunteers, including health care workers, should read and adhere to a statement of faith, in which marriage is defined as ‘exclusively the union of one genetic male and one genetic female’ and the unrighteous are sentenced to ‘everlasting punishment in hell.'”
CBS This Morning did a report on the tent hospital. The statement of faith was not mentioned.
Gothamist adds: “Asked whether the Mayor’s Office considers this problematic, a City Hall spokesperson said the field hospital will operate as a Mount Sinai facility, and must adhere to the hospital’s policy against discrimination. The spokesperson did not say whether the city was concerned that volunteers on the project are expected to agree with the group’s anti-gay faith statement.”
Senator Brad Hoylman put the group on notice.
Said Hoylman in a press release: “COVID-19 doesn’t discriminate, and neither should Franklin Graham. It’s unacceptable that a New Yorker infected with COVID-19 could be subjected to discriminatory treatment from an organization whose leader calls us ‘immoral’ and ‘detestable.’ Today I’m calling on Franklin Graham to publicly assure LGBTQ New Yorkers that they will receive the same treatment as anyone else at the Central Park field hospital. The City of New York and the Mount Sinai hospital network must monitor conditions closely at Graham’s facility and ensure every single LGBTQ patient is treated fairly. We cannot abandon our moral compass in the middle of a pandemic. Sadly, beggars can’t be choosers: New York needs every ventilator we can get. But homophobic pastor Franklin Graham and his field hospital operation in Central Park must guarantee all LGBTQ patients with COVID-19 are treated with dignity and respect. We’ll be watching.”
Added Hoylman: “Graham has a long history of homophobic and transphobic remarks. He’s called LGBTQ activists ‘immoral,’ said being gay or trans is ‘detestable,’ and even claimed Satan is behind the fight for equal rights. Graham’s nonprofit, Samaritan’s Purse, is setting up a massive field hospital in Central Park. LGBTQ New Yorkers already experience health disparities compared to the general population, including higher rates of HIV, cancer and respiratory health issues. This means many LGBTQ New Yorkers have weaker immune systems or pre-existing conditions that make them more vulnerable to COVID-19.”