MADISON-- Evangelical leader Franklin Graham began a rally outside the Wisconsin State Capitol by praying for victims of the mass shooting at a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida.
Graham spoke to thousands of people. The crowd included mostly supporters along with a few hundred protesters from freedom-from-religion and gay-rights groups. After the rally, some evangelicals and protesters clashed.
"There is no God to get you into the right place," one man said to a group of protesters outside the state Capitol. Police got in the middle of arguments to settle the crowd down, but no arrests were made.
The yelling started after Graham, who is the son of Billy Graham, ended his 30-minute speech. He told his audience to vote for Christian political candidates in this fall's elections.
"Our forefathers never meant for Christians, or people of faith, to leave their faith out here on the street when they walk into the Capitol," said Graham.
The rally was part of Graham's nationwide tour, which has stops scheduled through October. In Madison, he did not endorse candidates and told the crowd, "God will tell you who to vote for."
LGBT and freedom from religion groups said the message was bigoted and hateful.
"I don't believe that the Bible tells people to hate each other," said Mary Lou Taylor of Fitchburg, who held up an rainbow-colored flag near the rally. "It's not the same kind of Christianity that I follow."
Steve Starkey, who is gay, said he thought Graham's message was "an attack" on people like him -- especially coming days after the Orlando mass shooting.
"Having anti-gay public messages like this encourages that kind of hatred," said Starkey, of Madison.
"It's very tragic what happened in Orlando. We don't want anybody killed," said Mary Maggatz of Sun Prairie.
Graham's supporters say the country has lost its morals and pointed to the freedom-from-religion protesters as part of the problem.
"These people have more to lose, because if they don't believe, sorry to say they're going to be damned to hell," said Jean Lipke, a Graham supporter from Sauk County.
Some of the Graham followers at the rally said they planned to vote for presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump this fall, even though Trump was not nearly as forthcoming about his faith on the campaign trail as other GOP candidates.