A Spokesperson for The ACC Liverpool Group:
Subsequent to confirming a booking with the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association Limited (BGEA) to host one date of its planned Graham Tour UK 2020, we were made aware of a number of statements made by the intended keynote speaker for the event - The Reverend Franklin Graham - which we do not support or condone and which various groups and individuals have taken issue with. This led us to take the decision to challenge the original event taking place in the format proposed by BGEA.
Since that time we have been in conversation with BGEA regarding our respective concerns and how best to reach a resolution, to ensure the rights and interests of all communities, groups and individuals are respected. Our commitment to diversity and inclusion applies to everyone and The ACC Liverpool Group strives to operate venues in which views can be safely and lawfully expressed without prejudice to any protected characteristics.
With this in mind and being fully aware of our legal obligation under the Equality Act 2010 - including our obligation not to discriminate on the grounds of religious beliefs - we have continued to work with BGEA to come to an agreement to host a date of ‘The God Loves You Tour UK’ at Exhibition Centre Liverpool on 14 May 2022.
As part of those discussions, we have received satisfactory assurances from the organisers of the event that The Reverend Franklin Graham’s message will not be discriminatory, disrespectful or negative towards any particular communities, groups or individuals. With the cooperation of BGEA we have been able to reach an agreement that provides these assurances.
Since resolving matters with BGEA, we have sought to engage with stakeholders and representatives within the local LGBTQ+ community who we know take issue with some statements attributed to Reverend Franklin Graham and have opposed the event taking place in the city. We are committed to further engagement with these important and valued community groups and representatives and are setting up a Community Advisory Group to ensure we have a formalised process in which to engage with a diverse and inclusive range of stakeholders and groups across our local community.