The city council of Blackpool in the U.K. has said that it’s up to the country’s authorities to determine whether evangelist Franklin Graham’s conservative views on homosexuality and Islam amount to hate speech that would bar him from entering the country. Graham is scheduled to speak at the Lancashire Festival of Hope in September, though almost 7,500 people have signed an online petition seeking to bar him from the U.K.

Councillor Maria Kirkland, Blackpool Council’s cabinet member for Third Sector Engagement and Leisure Services, responded to the controversy in a statement to anti-Muslim attack monitoring group TellMAMA Tuesday, saying, “The council has been made aware of a number of alleged comments and opinions on topics including gender, sexuality, race and immigration by Franklin Graham, the main speaker at this event.” READ MORE