Franklin Graham has hit back at a legislative bill that pledges to ban 'conversion therapy', the controversial practice claiming to change someone's sexual orientation from homosexual to heterosexual.
US Democrats introduced the Theraputic Fraud Prevention Act of 2017 this week, legislation which if passed would render 'gay cure' therapies, advocated by some Christian conservatives, as illegal.
Representative Ted Lieu, who introduced the bill, told the Washington Post: 'The bill is very simple. It says it is fraud if you treat someone for a condition that doesn't exist and there's no medical condition known as being gay.
'LGBTQ people were born perfect; there is nothing to treat them for. And by calling this what it should be, which is fraud, it would effectively shut down most of the organisations.'
In a Facebook post responding to the news today, evangelist and Samaritan's Purse president Graham said: 'Now Democrats are proposing a bill to ban conversion therapy in the United States, saying that LGBTQ people were born perfect. Actually, they are very misled. We were all born imperfect, with sinful natures – yet loved by God who offers us forgiveness and wholeness through faith in His Son, Jesus Christ.
'Homosexuality is defined by God as sin, an abomination to Him. There's one "conversion therapy" that works for all sin, and that is asking Jesus Christ to come into our hearts. He can transform and heal our lives, making us new. The Bible tells us, "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come" (2 Cor. 5:17).'
Although homosexuality was technically defined as a mental disorder among US medical professionals until 1973, the practice of 'conversion therapy' is now widely decried by medical, psychological and equality groups as harmful and abusive. It was alleged that Vice President Mike Pence had been an advocate of conversion therapy, a claim his press secretary has denied.
Although the practice is aligned with strand of socially conservative Christianity, many conservatives, like Southern Baptist Al Mohler, have still condemned it. Former 'ex-gay cure' advocates have also opposed it, describing the 'terrible' damage it can do to individuals.