Rev. Franklin Graham recently made headlines when he announced on ABC News that gays can go to heaven, but only if they first repent from their sin.
Graham was asked to comment on gay marriage in a nationally televised panel discussion held a few days ago about the religious right and mainstream American view.
In response, Graham, who is the grandson of world renowned evangelist Billy Graham, voiced his opposition to homosexuality, but reinforced his belief that homosexuals will go to heaven if they repent and turn away from the lifestyle.
Graham stated, "Maybe gays that are watching want to know, "Can God forgive me? Or can I go to heaven as a gay person?" Absolutely. But the same for any of us. We have to repent of our sins in turn. A person cannot stay in adultery and be accepted by God. You'll have to repent."
The pastor was quick to point out that while all people have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God, God promises to forgive those who believe in Christ and turn from their sins.
"Franklin Graham is a sinner, and I'm no better than a gay person," he continued, "I'm a sinner. But I've been forgiven, and I've turned from my sins. For any person that's willing to repent in turn, God will forgive."
The evangelist later defended Russian President Vladimir Putin for passing a law in Russia forbidding gay propaganda directed towards children, saying that Putin did "what's right for Russia."
"We used to have a president in this country that did what's right for this country, but we don't seem to have that right now," he added.
This is not the first time Graham has spoken out against gay marriage. When asked in a Dec. 29 interview if his opposition to gay marriage would shift, the pastor responded, "Well, God would have to shift, and God doesn't. God's word is the same yesterday and today and a million years from now, and it's a sin.
Joining Graham on the panel were President of the Southern Baptist Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, Dr. Russell Moore, Faith and Freedom Coalition Chairman, Ralph Reed Jr., and journalist Cokie Roberts.