RELIGION
04/23/2014 04:14 pm ET Updated Apr 23, 2014

Franklin Graham Says Gays Can Go To Heaven If They Repent

ABC News held a panel discussion about the religious right and mainstream American views a few days ago, featuring Rev. Franklin Graham, Dr. Russell Moore, Ralph Reed, and Cokie Roberts as guests. The discussion turned to gay marriage, and Graham, son of famous American televangelist Billy Graham, made sure to reiterate his opposition to it, though he said that gays could go to heaven if they repent.

Graham said:

Maybe gays that are watching want to know, "Can God forgive me? Or can I go to heaven as a gay person?" Absolutely. But the same for any of us. We have to repent of our sins in turn. A person cannot stay in adultery and be accepted by God. You’ll have to repent.

Graham continued, "Franklin Graham is a sinner, and I’m no better than a gay person. I’m a sinner. But I’ve been forgiven, and I’ve turned from my sins. For any person that’s willing to repent in turn, God will forgive.”

ABC News' Cokie Roberts retorted, "A lot of gay people feel that they are sinners, but not because they’re gay."

Graham also expressed his continuing support for Russian president Vladimir Putin's policies towards the LGBT community, a sentiment that Dr. Moore, President of the Southern Baptist Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, was quick to distance himself from.

Watch the whole exchange above.

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