CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Rev. Franklin Graham is praising Russian President Vladimir Putin for his crackdown LGBT people, saying Putin's record of protecting children from gay propaganda is better than President Barack Obama's, who Graham claims sold himself out to advance the gay-lesbian agenda.

The piece appears in the March issue of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association's Decision magazine. Franklin Graham heads up the BGEA, which was founded by his father the Rev. Billy Graham.

In my opinion, Putin is right on these issues, Graham wrote. Obviously, he may be wrong about many things, but he has taken a stand to protect his nation s children from the damaging effects of any gay and lesbian agenda. Our president and his attorney general have turned their backs on God and His standards, and many in the Congress are following the administration s lead. This is shameful.

Graham said he is not endorsing Putin, but wrote, Isn t it sad, though, that America s own morality has fallen so far that on this issue protecting children from any homosexual agenda or propaganda Russia s standard is higher than our own?

NBC Charlotte contacted the BGEA for comment on the article. It issued a statement, which said, in part:

The primary purpose of the story is to point out the irony of America lowering its standards on issues of sexuality while Russia has passed a law protecting children from homosexual propaganda a law that is being mocked in our country and around the world. Franklin makes it clear he is not endorsing President Putin, who may be wrong about many things, but is highlighting how far we have fallen morally in this country. We should be protecting our children.

Glenn Griffin, Director of the Charlotte LGBT Community Center, said he found it hurtful to read Graham's article and wondered if the Evangelist had a real grasp on the human rights situation in Russia.

To be openly gay in Russia, you can lose your job, it goes on your record, people are beaten and the videos put on YouTube, said Griffin, Franklin Graham should watch that and see how it makes him feel because it's...'Love they Neighbor' and this is far from it.

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