A number of LGBT activists counter protested a prayer rally organized by leading conservative evangelist Franklin Graham outside California's state capitol in Sacramento Thursday.
Graham, who is the president of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, has been traveling state to state this election season to hold prayer rallies outside of state capitol buildings to encourage Christians to pray for the nation's forgiveness and to get involved in local politics.
According to the Sacramento Bee, several thousand Christians attended Graham's Decision America prayer rally in Sacramento, which was the 13th of 50 prayer rallies for the tour this year.
However, the Sacramento rally drew more than just evangelical Christians down to the state capitol. Several dozen LGBT activists held their own rally at the same time as Graham's gathering called the "No Hate in Our State" rally.
The LGBT protesters said on their Facebook page that they are against Graham's conservative Christian political views, his opposition to same-sex marriage, and city ordances that would allow men who identify as women to use ladies restrooms and locker rooms.
Although Graham did not directly address the LGBT crowd in his speech, he did continue to push the notion that Christians need to come together to ask God to forgive the sins of the nation and the church. He added that Christians must vote for candidates who stand for "biblical truth."
"You may ask of yourself when you look at our country, 'what can I do?' I think all of us have asked that question. We see our country sliding further and further and further. What can I do?" Graham asked. "Well, be willing this next election to vote and to vote for candidates that stand for biblical truth and biblical principles and that are willing to live them."
Graham, the son of legendary evangelist Franklin Graham, then addressed the question that he often gets: "What would your father have done?" Graham recalled a statement that his father made in 1952.
"If I were a pastor of a church, I believe I would explain to my people where each candidate stood morally, spiritually and in relation to the Church," Graham quoted his father as saying. "He said, 'I feel we are going to have to meet our political obligations as Christians and make our voice known if America is to be preserved with a type of Christian heritage, which has given us the liberties that we now enjoy.' Unless,' he said, 'America turns back to God and repents of its sin and experiences a spiritual revival, we will fail as a nation.'"
Speaking at the LGBT rally were a number of guest speakers, including Pastor Amundayo De Edwards of the Integrated Praise Spiritual Center.
The Bee reports that before Graham's rally concluded, a few dozen of the LGBT activists moved to the sidewalk near the prayer rally. Despite being just a few feet from thousands of conservative Christians, there was little conflict.
As the participants in Graham' rally departed, the LGBT activists sang "God Bless America."
Graham also held prayer rallies in Salt Lake City, Utah and Carson City, Nevada, this week. Graham's next prayer rally is scheduled for for April 12 in Little Rock, Arkansas.