Congressman José E. Serrano

Representing the 15th District of New York

Congressman Serrano Joins Congressman Espaillat and the New York City Congressional Delegation to Denounce Anti-LGBTQ+ and Transphobic Actions during COVID-19 Assistance Efforts

Apr 3, 2020
Press Release

NEW YORK, NY – Rep. Serrano joined Rep. Espaillat (NY-13) and members of the New York City Congressional Delegation to issue the following statement regarding the field hospital in Central Park operated by Samaritan’s Purse.  Franklin Graham, president of Samaritan’s Purse, has a long history of anti-LGBTQ+ and transphobic remarks, and the organization’s call for volunteers to provide assistance amid COVID-19 insists that healthcare volunteers adhere to the organization’s Statement of Faith, including homophobic language.

“Homophobic discrimination and bigotry can never be tolerated, particularly at such a time as this when we all must come together to overcome COVID-19. Franklin Graham’s many anti-LGBTQ+ statements are abhorrent, and New York City does not tolerate any such discrimination.  We have been assured by Mount Sinai Hospital and Mayor de Blasio that the field hospital operated by Samaritan’s Purse in Central Park will treat everyone equally and not discriminate based on sexual orientation or gender identity,” said the Members of Congress.

“We call on Franklin Graham and Samaritan’s Purse to issue a public statement assuring LGBTQ+ New Yorkers that they will receive equal treatment and respect at this operation. Mount Saini Hospital, one of many medical centers undertaking the herculean task of caring for our city’s sick, and the City of New York must continue to closely monitor the field hospital to ensure the rights of all New Yorkers being treated at the facility.

“No matter the circumstance, we cannot allow a platform for hateful ideology.  At times like this, we must come together to support our neighbors, not sew divisions and bigotry.  We are thankful to those individuals providing medical care to New Yorkers.  We will closely monitor the situation to ensure equal treatment, respect and dignity for all,” the Members concluded.

In addition to Rep. Espaillat, the following New York City members joined in this effort to denounce anti-LGBTQ+ and transphobic remarks by Franklin Graham and Samaritan’s Purse during COVID-19 assistance and relief:  Rep. Carolyn B. Maloney (NY-12), Rep. Nydia M. Velázquez (NY-07), Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney (NY-18), Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (NY-14), Rep. José E. Serrano (NY-15), Rep. Eliot L. Engel (NY-16), Rep. Grace Meng (NY-06), and Rep. Yvette D. Clarke (NY-09).

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