Amy Grant announcing that she’s hosting a same-sex wedding for her niece has upset conservative pastor Franklin Graham.
The contemporary Christian singer-songwriter, 62, shared the family news in an interview with the Washington Post last month, ahead of her receiving the Kennedy Center Honors. The article noted how, in recent years, the “Breath of Heaven” songstress had voiced support for the LGBTQ community, through which she has a big fanbase. Also, she and her country music star husband, Vince Gill, are planning to host their niece’s wedding on their family farm. Grant said it was her family’s “first bride and groom” nuptials.
Grant told the outlet that her reaction to her niece coming out was that it was “a gift” to the family. “Honestly, from a faith perspective, I will always say, ‘Jesus, you just narrowed it down to two things: love God and love each other,'” she said. “I mean, hey — that’s pretty simple.”
Graham — the outspoken head of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, founded by his late father — has publicly criticized the six-time Grammy winner over the news. He wrote on social media, “God defines what is sin [in the bible], not us; and His Word is clear that homosexuality is sin.”
Graham is known for being against same-sex marriage, comparing it to “polygamy or incest.” He also opposed a bill banning anti-gay conversion therapy in 2017, calling homosexuality an “abomination.”
While the post was on Graham’s social media pages, the “Baby, Baby” singer received a lot of support in the comments. Some included, “Thank you Amy, for your courage and love for all of God’s people — I know it comes at a cost,” wrote one person. Another called Grant “a wonderful example of Christian witness for decades. So many of her songs have helped me through tough times. I’m so sorry that all you can do is judge and condemn. You’ve got the whole gospel wrong. Very sad.” Another wrote“Oh, you did NOT just go after Amy Grant! How DARE you criticize someone for showing love? She is an amazing woman who has shown more grace and charity than you ever have. You don’t get to judge her or anyone else . I believe that is made perfectly clear in your Bible.”
A rep for Grant did not respond to Yahoo’s request for comment about Franklin’s criticism.
The Kennedy Center Honors will be broadcast Dec. 28 at 8 pm on CBS. Singer Brandi Carlile, who helped honor Grant at the event, told Entertainment Tonight about the support Grant has given her through the years, especially after she came out in 2002.
Grant’s music “was this really big part of my childhood. I always saw Amy and knew Amy as a faith-based singer, as a Christian singer specifically,” six-time Grammy winner Carlile said. “Coming out of the closet, Amy was one of the first people to reach out to me, invite me on her television show in my early twenties. And then just recently, you know, on social media has been really supportive of me and others queer artists specifically. I know she’s taking some heat for it. I know it hasn’t been easy, and I admire her so much for that.” Carlile added that what Grant has done for her “personally and publicly, as a queer person, [has] been really big and important in my growth.”
Grant attended the event with Gill, marking her first red carpet appearance since she suffered a head injury in a bike accident this summer. In July, she hit a pothole while bicycling in Nashville and was thrown from the bike. Grant, who had on a helmet, sustained cuts and bruises as well as a concussion after being knocked unconscious for about 10 minutes. She was briefly hospitalized.