Franklin Graham said President Obama has “shaken his fist” at God by announcing his support for same-sex marriage.
On Wednesday, Obama voiced his support for same-sex marriage, saying he was taking a personal position on the issue.
"I have hesitated on gay marriage in part because I thought that civil unions would be sufficient," Obama said in the interview with ABC. He added, "I was sensitive to the fact that for a lot of people the word 'marriage' was something that evokes very powerful traditions, religious beliefs and so forth."
Now, he said, "it is important for me personally to go ahead and affirm that same-sex couples should be able to get married."
Franklin Graham, president and CEO of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, issued a statement Thursday about the president’s decision.
It said, in part, “In changing his position from that of Senator/candidate Obama, President Obama has, in my view, shaken his fist at the same God who created and defined marriage. It grieves me that our president would now affirm same-sex marriage, though I believe it grieves God even more.”
Graham also said: “While the move to pass amendments defining marriage is relatively new, the definition of marriage is 8,000 years old and was defined not by man, but by God himself.” To read Graham's full statement, click here.
Aides to Obama said the president's shift would have no impact on current policies and he continues to believe that marriage is an issue best decided by states.
Obama’s announcement came the day after voters in North Carolina passed a constitutional amendment to define marriage as being only between one man and one woman.